It’s Thanksgiving week. Yep, another Thanksgiving will come and go and I will try to get excited about all of the gratitude that I feel! I gotta admit that the last several months I have not “felt” the gratitude that I really feel. Does that make any sense? I mean that there are a lot of things that I am so grateful for, but I have trouble following up with the prayers and acknowledgement that align with my heart. It happens from time to time that I am “prayed out”. The heaviness during this time of year hits me and I am magically supposed to turn on the Holiday Spirit, when I am having a hard time finding the switch! I am tired and the weight of this pandemic has wiped me out! I think about it non stop and I have to turn off the TV because the news and the numbers overtake my brain! I can’t believe that this is where we are today, like we are somewhere in Middle Earth and I don’t have the Ring! This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year and I am complaining about my lack of enthusiasm! It isn’t really lack, it is more like having to unwrap a roll of toilet paper….then rolling it back up again, it never looks the same as it did. That’s how I am looking at all of this … Covid = operation toilet paper reroll.

Thanksgiving looked different for me as a kid in Western Kansas. The snow would already be 3 feet high, all of my Mom’s relatives, (I say “all”, she is an only child, so “all” meant, her aunt, uncle and cousin) would barrel down the drive in their big blue car and since they were from Houston, they were always cold! I get that now, since I am cold all of the time! They would fill the kitchen counter with treats that you couldn’t find in WaKeeney! Shrimp, that my Aunt had cleaned and prepared, crab meat, German Chocolate cake that only my Mimi could make, a trunk full of booze bottles from Bert Wheeler liquor store in Houston, where you could get a heck of a deal on gin and vodka! *Side note, that is the first place that I had ever seen grocery carts in a liquor store. At a very young age I was aware that this novelty was a huge game changer!! It was a slice of liquor store heaven of which I would come to really appreciate in my older life!! We would overload on food, except for the Jello salad that the adults all pretended to love, after all, doesn’t everyone eat Jello with green olives and pimento, green onions and cranberries?? SICK!! We would get bored, so the adults would tell us to wax our cross country skies and take it outside. I remember that being fun until frostbite hit and your toes were iced into short boots attached to the skies that had not “slid” in the snow the way the adults skies did!

Thanksgiving of days gone by holds way more allure than the Thanksgivings we celebrate today!! Maybe I romanticize it, maybe it wasn’t as awesome as I remember it, maybe the cast of characters weren’t like all of them on Christmas Vacation….let me think……Nope! It was as fun as I remember! I didn’t have to work the day after and I could hang out with my grandparents and not realize how precious those memories would become, Now, we celebrate on Saturday and spend the day playing with grandkids and making memories that are just different than the way it was. I guess that starting new traditions is a great idea and I am in favor of mixing it up so that when it all changes, it doesn’t seem as “bad” somehow when there are empty seats???….yeah, that won’t work either. The fact will always remain that a loved one is missing from the equation, the hard knocks of life remind you that things are never the same…….

I am a reluctant participant in adulthood! I still look around the room for the “older people”, those capable of making decisions, those who, without batting an eye know how to handle everything! I am not that person!! I don’t want to be that person!! I have been forced to assume the role of matriarch of our family. I know how to do it, I know how to keep it together, but I don’t want to! Some days it’s just hard to accept that I am older….Mike and I are now the “old people”. We are the people who take the littles home from a party so that momma and papa can have some fun! We take them home and put them to bed and then wake up grateful that the hangover is someone else’s responsibility! It is the little things….the little people…the little blessings…the little bits of happiness sprinkled between each holiday and our time to slow it down for a short minute. It is in the moments that you don’t expect to be great that we write our entire story.

"Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a little girl.  She was strong willed and funny and she truly loved everyone, even those who didn't love her back.  Her days were spent daydreaming about what her life would be and she planned each part very carefully.  She knew that she had a fairy godmother, but figured that her godmother must be on vacation, permanently."  and so it goes.....

It isn’t difficult to fill in the blanks. We all have a story and some just appear more romantic than others. I have to remember and constantly remind myself that I am still writing mine. Each day gives me a new set of challenges and memories; how I deal with them is on me. Today I am going to focus on 10 things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving and it will go something like this… in no particular order….

I am thankful for God, my Mom, my kids and grandkids, friends who are family, rain, health, Mike, my business, my employees, and the ability to recognize the good parts of life.

I am going to take time to make a couple of Grinch hats, light a fire, and enjoy the quiet corners of my mind. I am most at home with my own memories! I will remember with love all of the memories that flood me like waves crashing the rocks. So many times they hit me really hard and run down my cheeks. Big love = big hole.

Until then, work on counting my blessings, work on counting yours. Happy Thanksgiving, Chickens!


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