Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day and/or for anyone who is inclined to take a moment to reflect and express gratitude for the good things in their life. Maggie continues the Throwback Thursday series today by asking us to write about something we’re thankful for from our past.
I complain a lot, but the truth is I had loving parents and a safe home with plenty of food, warmth, toys, books, and emotional support. These are not things to be taken for granted. I will always be thankful for my parents and that they did their best with what they had, as most of us try to do for our children. We moved house frequently, and I’ve always thought this wasn’t ideal, but there are worse things. I vowed not to do the same, but in fact I moved my children several times too, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I saw my parents in a softer light after that.
I’m thankful to have had a good education and the opportunity to go to college. I didn’t finish my degree until I was 30, but the slow lane is better than no lane. My parents always encouraged me, I did the same for my children, and they both finished their degrees in four years. I wish my parents were still around, especially my mom, but it’s wonderful that they had a chance to know their granddaughters and were able to form a close bond during the years they did have. I’m very grateful that when I returned to work full-time my parents were there to help with childcare ~ I’m also thankful that I found a good job working for nice people (I’m still there 21+ years later).
My mom always served up the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey (or capon), stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies, rolls, and of course pie. This isn’t my favorite group of foods, so I wasn’t that excited about continuing the routine when I had my own household. When the girls were little, sometimes we’d just go to the zoo for the day to avoid dealing with it. I remember once we came home in the late afternoon and nothing was open, so I made spaghetti. That was fun! Well, I thought so anyway. Years later though, we ended up making the festive Thanksgiving meal like everyone else, and after the divorce, I usually spent the holiday with my girls. They both lived in Northern California for a while, so I would go up there and we’d celebrate in some way, which usually involved wine and sweets, since none of us liked turkey.
Six years ago, I told them I was busy on Thanksgiving because I was seeing someone. This guy and I made a plan of cooking at his house and then taking the train up to Santa Barbara. I was really looking forward to it, but then he dumped me on the Tuesday right before. I call it ghosting to be more dramatic, and also it was kind of ghosting since he gave no explanation. (Later on, he concocted one, but it was some BS about my age and how I hadn’t made cookies for him.) Anyway, it was too late to make other plans, so I told my girls I was fine alone. I wasn’t though ~ I was severely depressed. My eldest was still in NorCal, but my youngest was in Los Angeles, and she figured out that I was not doing well. She changed all her plans to drive down and be with me, and I am so grateful she did that. Both of my daughters are wonderful human beings, and I never cease being amazed at how caring they are and how lucky I am to have them. And now I am blessed with two sweet grandchildren as well. Life really is good!
This year, however, for the first time in over six years, I won’t be seeing either of my girls on Thanksgiving. Things just worked out so that it makes more sense to get together at other times ~ I saw them both recently, and I’ll be seeing them both again in December. It’s still probably not a great idea for me to be alone on Thanksgiving though, especially this year because the dates mirror those of six years ago (the leap year makes it so one cycle is skipped). So today I am spending time with friends: we’re having a festive dinner in a restaurant and then playing board games at one of the friend’s homes. I am planning to substitute steak and mashed potatoes for the turkey dinner, so we’ll see if that works out. Of course I will have pie! If I’m too full after dinner, I’ll save it for breakfast on Friday. I feel pie is a most excellent breakfast food anyway.
Wishing all my readers a happy day. I am thankful for all of you and for the blogging community in general.
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