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We are preparing for Thanksgiving here in America. In our houses, that means that MKL is replacing toilets, scrubbing floors, and vacuuming carpets, because he is hosting this year. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was a small family thing, sometimes with guests in the morning or early afternoon, a few paper decorations around the house, football, and just the four of us for supper, which was always a traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes (that my Dad made), gravy, and pumpkin pie (again, from my Dad). With MKL, the family is sons and parents and sisters and nieces and grand-nieces – maybe 13 people. This will be the first year that Kelsea hasn’t been home for Thanksgiving. She’s staying in Washington and, I think, hosting other Thanksgiving “orphans” at her house. Perhaps I will coach her on cooking a turkey, as my Mother coached me, during countless phone calls, when I made my first one, which was just for my Dad and me when I was a senior in college. We had Thanksgiving dinner on a coffee table on the red-shag carpeted floor of my little attic studio in a house long gone in Boulder. That was a very happy Thanksgiving.

In these times of political turmoil in our country, it is nice to have an occasion to try to bring families together. Our differences are so intense, and in some cases, unforgiveable, that togetherness may not be possible for everyone. Politics today is not something that just matters during elections – and while that has never been the case, we have been passive in our approach to it, up until now, when many are finding the need to exercise their freedom to speak and finding their voices. I hope that all individuals can find something to give thanks for this week, regardless of our differences.

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Boulder, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The most important political office is that of private citizen.” — Louis D. Brandeis

Daily gratitudes:
Doing the right thing
My current read
A hot bath
A beautiful day
The cooing of iridescent pigeons

Like this one.  MKL are celebrating in a motel room with the help of Denny’s and a bottle of Toasted Head Chardonnay.  I am wearing my antlers, and we have TV turkey dinners (and a microwave that we bought at WalMart) just in case he gets hungry later.  Hope your celebrations are as special as ours!

Littleton, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —  G.K. Chesterton

Daily gratitudes:
Road trips
New Mexico light
Fireplaces
My dear MKL
The big gun camera

Since I can’t be live with you today, I wanted to share a repost from a year ago, when I was much less a happy, but still grateful. And this year, I am grateful for much more – my new love, new friends, house, job – and yes, so much more.

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You know there will be a million posts/articles/tweets of this nature today – and rightfully so.  This is just my contribution to the masses.

Thankfulness By The Alphabet

A is for Anegada.
The world is blessed by the mere existence of such a magical place – a land where the star people live and where the soft white sand and turquoise sea caresses your soul.

B is for Books.
A constant blessing in my life, whether I’m reading them, writing them or just being around them. Infinitely fascinating.

C is for Creativity.
Whether its mine or that of others, whether it’s through words, images, movement or sound, I am grateful for it.

D is for Dreams.
Daydreams, night dreams or dreams of present and future, they are all wonderful.  Well, sometimes the night dreams are a little rough, but I’ll forgive them.

E is for Emotion.
There are a myriad of them contained in each of us, joyful, painful, beautiful.  Let’s get to know them and embrace them all, so we can live to the fullest.

F is for Friends.
Some you never forget, some you never lose, some you have in your life for a short while because you need to learn something from each other.  All are blessings.

G is for Grace.
Grace is a character in my novel, Grace is my friend Trisha’s daughter, grace is a way of moving through the world with poise, peace and beauty, and something I strive for.

H is for Hugs.
Warm, comforting, connecting and something we never get enough of.  Hug everyone you care for whom you see today – and every day.

I is for Integrity.
Live your life with honor.  Sometimes we lose our way, and then we find it again.

J is for Journey.
We take many journeys in the course of our lives.  Through each day, across continents, through different spiritual realms.  Revel in each journey and accept the gifts of each.

K is for Kelsea.
One word that means the world to me.

L is for Love.
Love comes in so many forms, but it always comes from within and shines outward to the world.  Let your love shine.

M is for Magic.
There is a tremendous amount of magic in the universe if we just open our hearts and minds to see and feel it.

N is for Nature.
Beautiful, cruel, kind, just, essential, wonderous.  Let’s appreciate it and care for it to the best of our ability.

O is for Ocean.
One of my favorite parts of the planet.  Moving eternally, deep, unexplored, ever-changing, full of life and color.  A metaphor for each of us.  You are blessed if you can feel that you are your own – and someone’s – ocean.

P is for Power.
A good thing, power is strength – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Find your own power and you will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Q is for Quest.
Each of our lives is a quest for wisdom and peace.  Be a crusader for yourself and make the most of it.

R is for Rest.
We all need it.  And it can be elusive. Sleep and rest are not the same thing.  Take time to refresh the soul – that is true rest.

S is for Spirit.
Whether it’s a higher power or the soul that surges within you, stay connected with your spirit.  It keeps your life alive.

T is for Tenderness.
Take time to be tender with yourself, with the man or woman you love, with children, with animals, with nature.

U is for Uniqueness.
I am grateful for my own uniqueness and the uniqueness of those I love.  It makes my life infinitely richer.

V is for Vision.
The ability to see inward, to see past this world, to really SEE this world, are all blessings for me.

W is for Warmth.
Warmth from the sun, and from the people dear to us.

X is for X marks the spot.
The spot where you met someone special, the spots you’ve claimed as your own, the spot where you find your creativity, the spots that restore you to yourself.

Y is for Yellow roses.
One of my favorite flowers and always for me, a memory of my parents.

Z is for Zumba Class.
It has helped me get in shape, helped me remember how to dance, helped me get back in touch with my body.

For all this, and so much more, I give thanks.  Have a blessed day!

You know there will be a million posts/articles/tweets of this nature today – and rightfully so.  This is just my contribution to the masses.

Thankfulness By The Alphabet

A is for Anegada.
The world is blessed by the mere existence of such a magical place – a land where the star people live and where the soft white sand and turquoise sea caresses your soul.

B is for Books.
A constant blessing in my life, whether I’m reading them, writing them or just being around them. Infinitely fascinating.

C is for Creativity.
Whether its mine or that of others, whether it’s through words, images, movement or sound, I am grateful for it.

D is for Dreams.
Daydreams, night dreams or dreams of present and future, they are all wonderful.  Well, sometimes the night dreams are a little rough, but I’ll forgive them.

E is for Emotion.
There are a myriad of them contained in each of us, joyful, painful, beautiful.  Let’s get to know them and embrace them all, so we can live to the fullest.

F is for Friends.
Some you never forget, some you never lose, some you have in your life for a short while because you need to learn something from each other.  All are blessings.

G is for Grace.
Grace is a character in my novel, Grace is my friend Trisha’s daughter, grace is a way of moving through the world with poise, peace and beauty, and something I strive for.

H is for Hugs.
Warm, comforting, connecting and something we never get enough of.  Hug everyone you care for whom you see today – and every day.

I is for Integrity.
Live your life with honor.  Sometimes we lose our way, and then we find it again.

J is for Journey.
We take many journeys in the course of our lives.  Through each day, across continents, through different spiritual realms.  Revel in each journey and accept the gifts of each.

K is for Kelsea.
One word that means the world to me.

L is for Love. 
Love comes in so many forms, but it always comes from within and shines outward to the world.  Let your love shine.

M is for Magic.
There is a tremendous amount of magic in the universe if we just open our hearts and minds to see and feel it.

N is for Nature.
Beautiful, cruel, kind, just, essential, wonderous.  Let’s appreciate it and care for it to the best of our ability.

O is for Ocean.
One of my favorite parts of the planet.  Moving eternally, deep, unexplored, ever-changing, full of life and color.  A metaphor for each of us.  You are blessed if you can feel that you are your own – and someone’s – ocean.

P is for Power.
A good thing, power is strength – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Find your own power and you will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Q is for Quest.
Each of our lives is a quest for wisdom and peace.  Be a crusader for yourself and make the most of it.

R is for Rest.
We all need it.  And it can be elusive. Sleep and rest are not the same thing.  Take time to refresh the soul – that is true rest.

S is for Spirit.
Whether it’s a higher power or the soul that surges within you, stay connected with your spirit.  It keeps your life alive.

T is for Tenderness.
Take time to be tender with yourself, with the man or woman you love, with children, with animals, with nature. 

U is for Uniqueness.
I am grateful for my own uniqueness and the uniqueness of those I love.  It makes my life infinitely richer.

V is for Vision.
The ability to see inward, to see past this world, to really SEE this world, are all blessings for me.

W is for Warmth.
Warmth from the sun, and from the people dear to us. 

X is for X marks the spot.
The spot where you met someone special, the spots you’ve claimed as your own, the spot where you find your creativity, the spots that restore you to yourself.

Y is for Yellow roses.
One of my favorite flowers and always for me, a memory of my parents.

Z is for Zumba Class.
It has helped me get in shape, helped me remember how to dance, helped me get back in touch with my body.

For all this, and so much more, I give thanks.  Have a blessed day!

 
 
 



 

It doesn’t feel like Friday, since I had half of Wednesday and all of yesterday off.  And I have Saturday, Sunday and Monday off!  Darn near a vacation!

Thanksgiving was good.  Possible new tradition – sarong, fuzzy reindeer antlers and pink champagne?

Today is Sinkie Day – the day where everyone is supposed to eat their leftovers over the sink.  But I ate my Thanksgiving lamb over the pan last night – does that count?

It was 73 degrees today and I hiked for an hour and a half – nice.  LOVE my iPod!

Lumpdate:  Stll having a deep ached from time to time in my left breast.  I don’t understand it.

This is the first Thanksgiving I have spent alone in 29 years.

Thanksgiving when I was growing up was a quiet family affair.  Mother would cook a turkey, Daddy would make mashed potatoes, Mother would make gravy.  The vegetables were an afterthought.  Mother would make piecrusts and Daddy would make pies.  Sounds so equitable, doesn’t it?  We would have an early dinner, in our usual fashion, on our little low tables in  the living room.  Daddy would make a fire.  Football would be on the TV.  Every so often, one of our parents’ maiden lady friends would come over.  I don’t really recall it, but there are pictures as evidence, that one year E-Bro and I did some sort of little pageant for Doralyn and Damon.  Generally, it was just a cozy, loving relaxed time.  Very nice memories.  Warm and safe.

The first and, up until now, only Thanksgiving I ever spent alone was my first one away from home when I was 18.   Money was tight, so I decided to stay in Boston for the holiday.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal, as I had never found Thanksgiving to be a big deal.  As I wrote above, it was just a quiet holiday.  Because they closed the dorms, I was going to stay at my boyfriend’s apartment, even though he was going home to Pittsburgh. Well, we wound up breaking up shortly before Thanksgiving, but agreed that I could still stay in the apartment because he wouldn’t be there anyway.  I was really devastated by this break-up, even though we weren’t very serious, and so staying in his place was not a good idea.  I had bought myself some champagne and roses, woke up and watched the parades and drank champagne and cried.  A tradition was born.  (I also ate port wine cheese and crackers, but left that out of future reenactments of the tradition.)  I was miserable.  In the early afternoon, I pulled myself together and went to the movies to see My Brilliant Career.  It cheered me up a bit.  But then I went to Store 24 to buy myself a TV turkey dinner, and the East Indian man at the counter felt so sorry for me that he invited me to have Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family.  That was the nail in my feeling-better coffin.  I went back to the apartment, cooked my TV dinner – this was back when they came in the little three-compartment metallic trays – cried my way through dinner and the obligatory Christmas TV shows and went to bed early.  I was awfully glad that day was over.

The next Thanksgiving, I went home with my friend Elsa and spent the holiday at her house in Billerica.  I don’t recall it very well, but I remember woods, and that it was nice to be with a family, even if it wasn’t my own.

After that, I was in Boulder.  My Dad started what became a wonderful tradition.  He would come out to see me, all by himself, for Thanksgiving.  E-Bro would typically go home to see my Mother, although she spent a few Thanksgivings happily alone.  Thanksgivings with my father added to our already-close relationship.  He would usually stay at the University Inn, since I never lived anywhere large enough to have company.  We talked about everything under the sun. 

The first year, I didn’t have a kitchen, so after struggling to locate an open restaurant, we found ourselves having Thanksgiving dinner in a basement Chinese restaurant on the Pearl Street Mall.

For our second Thanksgiving, I cooked my first turkey.  I was living in my cold little upstairs apartment with the red shag carpeting that climbed the walls and the turquoise-tiled bathroom with the claw foot tub.  And the mice and faulty gas heater.  We ate on the floor, using a trunk covered with a lace shawl as our dining table.  I must have called my Mother ten times for turkey cooking advice.  He was so proud to have been there for my first bird.  It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad.

Subsequent Thanksgivings were with Pat, but my Dad still came out.  We ate at the Red Lion the first year, and cooked in our triplex for the next two years, usually having CJ and Debbie for company.  As neurotic as Debbie was, my Dad was quite fond of her.  I believe Pat and I went back to North Carolina for one Thanksgiving, just after we got engaged. 

After that, almost everything Thanksgiving was spent at my brother-in-law/sister-in-law’s house, with their girls and friends.  It was always very nice, even though it was a larger crowd than I was generally comfortable with.  My Mother came with my Dad for a couple of Thanksgivings, and  Once my parents reached a certain age, though, they both stayed in Durham for Thanksgiving.  That’s when the champagne-parade-tears tradition started.  And so it continues.

Last year, I had just moved into the cottage.  I had company, a leg of lamb, my tearful tradition, and a nice day.  This year, it is just me.  Pat’s family has invited me to share their Thanksgiving, saying it’s not the same without me.  Of course it’s not – and that’s the whole point.  If I wanted it to be the same, I’d have stayed married.  I need to separate myself from that level of family, though certainly not from Kelsea.  I need to find my own family, whether that’s in my relationship with a lover, myself , or perhaps both.

It is time to find a new tradition.

Lumpdate: I am starting to feel some pain in my breast – not where the lumps are, just a deep ache sometimes.  Hallucinations, hysterics, psychosomatic, nothing, who knows?

Holidays after a divorce are sad.  I had a family, but I am not part of it anymore.  Not really.  I haven’t spent a Thanksgiving by myself since I was 18.  Ah, well.

There are flowers, and Kelsea, and the promise of spring someday to be thankful for.  Where’s the strength I need now?

 

February 2019
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