So much to be thankful for!

First, Katie’s safe arrival home for Thanksgiving!!!  And I’m thankful that she is able to grow and learn in New York City.  And, I’m thankful her grandma is able to help us with that!I’m thankful that Alyssa has found this program that she likes and excels at. I”m thankful that she’ll be able to make a good living with a flexible schedule NEXT MAY! I’m thankful that she was able to simply turn her back on drama and realize that she doesn’t have to have it in her life. I’m thankful that she has such a good heart and is such a hard worker.I’m thankful that Michael is having a great time in Nicaragua. I’m thankful that he finished his degree and learned that he really was smart – in spite of lots of doubts he had. I’m also thankful that he’s going to be able to put the Journalism degree to work by writing for the Peace Corps magazine. I’m thankful that he’s on his path of figuring out how to be employed AND travel the world AND get to know and help other culture in need
I’m really thankful that we could Skype with him while everyone was here.

I’m thankful that Grandma lives close and is coping with this lack of independence she’s facing. I’m thankful that she is generally cheerful even though she’s incredibly forgetful. I’m thankful that her house sold quickly and she was able to get to Austin where we could take care of her.

I’m thankful that Ron was NOT as sick as that kooky doctor thought he was. I’m thankful that he did not die on that hiking trip he went on in the fall.  I’m thankful that he continues to endure his job so we can all continue to have fun.

I’m thankful that Pam and Scott were able to join us for dinner. I’m thankful that Scott found such a nice person that brings out the best in him. I’m thankful to have them in our lives.

I’m thankful that Josh got on at the fire department and starts on Monday. I’m thankful that he’s open to listening to ideas and suggestions from us. I’m thankful that he’s so sweet to Alyssa. I’m thankful that Josh was able to experience a real Thanksgiving Dinner with “all the fix in’s”

I’m thankful for my family.

And I am thankful for my friends – some I stay in touch with often, others not as often. But I still feel so very lucky and grateful to have them in my life!Before I wrote all my “thankfuls,” I was thinking about past Thanksgivings. I may come back in if I remember more. But here are a few that stick out in my mind…

 Funny memories of Thanksgivings Past…

  • Laura Derrick and I, huddling in the pantry, picking weevils out of the flour so we could make gravy for the 20 unsuspecting guests in the next room
  • Patty Nielsen’s family and ours, having a “one course at a time” Thanksgiving on the year we had no husbands for Turkey day and 7 kids between us. We just cooked one thing, everyone sat and ate it. Kids went back to playing until the next thing we felt like cooking was done. This went on all day.
  • Scott Copeland and I in the kitchen, my phone on speaker. I’m making food, he’s watching his granddaughter, and my mom, her brother, and her sister are on the phone arguing with me about directions from their hotel to our house. Scott thought it would was funny enough to sell tickets.
  • At the ranch, kids riding horses in laps around the house. And watching Zachary bounce so hard on  Gilly that his wallet fell out in the pasture.
  • Mema deciding that we had to make Ron and Scott’s favorite chocolate pie in the middle of my fixing Thanksgiving dinner for 20 with the tiniest oven. Then when the meringue didn’t “set,” it was all my fault for letting egg yolk get in it.
  • Hannibal wearing chaps, and all of them wrestling the goats to the ground to trim hooves.
  • Jennifer turning up her nose at the green bean casserole, saying it was not like her mother’s. I told her she could get her mother to help her make it for next year and bring it. Her response, “yeah, if she’s out of prison.” That marriage ended soon afterward.
  • Leslie Beam and I were cooking Thanksgiving for Walt and Betty. We were furious because we thought they jipped us out of turkey giblets. Only to find we had cooked the giblets in their little sack IN the turkey!
  • Playing touch football with my cousins in Aunt Marilyn’s yard. Losing a gold bracelet and in spite of hours of searching, realizing that the yard just swallowed it up
  • The toilet backing up at my parents house just before everyone started arriving.  Always some major catastrophe like that at the holidays.
  • The year my dad had cancer and my mom got the flu the night before we held Thanksgiving at her house. Probably 30 people. So my cousin Steve and I did the dinner together. We figured it out. I remember Natalie coming in say, “Why don’t I know any of these people?” about Ron’s side of the family.
  • When Kirby was suffering terribly from his diabetes, he always made jokes about it.  One year, the house was so hot inside from people and cooking, and he kept going out front to lay on the cool concrete sidewalk. Some of the kids came in to tell me what was going on.  Finally, someone told me, so I went out to get him. It must have looked strange to the neighbors. Gosh, he was a sweet cousin!
  • The year we couldn’t get the smoker to cook the turkey because it was too cold. We ended up bringing it into the garage and wrapping it with blankets.  It tasted good, but we ate LAAATE!
  • The year we cooked on the smoker and somehow it cooked up the turkey so much it reminded us of the turkey in the movie, Christmas Vacation
  • Every year that Grandma says something silly and the kids launch into lines from the same Chevy Chase movie. “Play ball!!” 

Happy Thanksgiving, Ya’ll!


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