Thankful Thanksgiving… by JoAnn

A turkey is running in the air.

Another Thanksgiving Day is around the corner and it’s hard to believe we are already here in 2021. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. This time of year, with its beautiful fall foliage and crisp air, is by far my favorite season! Nothing feels better than wrapping up in my softest old sweater and turning on the heat for the first time.

With the lovely colors on the trees and ground, along with the smells of pumpkin, hay, and dried leaves in the air, it’s the perfect time of year to stop for a while and take an inventory of what we are thankful for in our lives. Yes, we should stop and count our blessings every day. But one holiday a year, towards the end of the year, is a perfect time to do some serious reflection. Usually, by this time, we have lived through many experiences in the past 10 1/2 months.

I think a lot of us just plow through life at a steady rate and choose to just “Keep on Trucking” as the old saying goes. Getting through another day, week, and month the best and quickest way we can. Sometimes it feels if we fall during the race, we will surely end up in the ditch. So, I think it’s fitting that during this season, along with nature slowing down to prepare for its Winter slumber, we too should slow down and not only rest, but take time to meditate on what the previous year has brought to our lives.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to only count the many blessings and to not miss the things we have lost. There is no way around that. Missing our loved ones that are no longer here to enjoy a big family get together is especially hard for all of us. One of the last photos I have of my mother is of her in the kitchen, with her hands full of chopped celery and onions, as she was preparing her famous dressing on a Thanksgiving Day. Every year I miss my mama like crazy. And yes, I miss her dressing too.

For me, it is impossible not to daydream about the wonderful, loving, family Thanksgivings of my past, the warmth felt in every home visited. The smells of food cooking, the scents of spice, and a warm fire. Seeing loved ones that we may have not seen for the entire year. Catching up on family gossip. Noticing how much the children have grown in the past year or meeting a brand-new family member for the first time.

There are so many things that make Thanksgiving special. To me, it is the best holiday to just enjoy family, friends, and being together. There is no pressure to exchange gifts, no pressure for money to be spent at all, just spending time together over some tasty food in a relaxed environment. It’s just perfect!

Wherever you are this year for Thanksgiving, my prayer is that you feel the love and peace that the holiday should bring. Even if you are alone, which I have been too, some years, stop and be thankful, and reflect on your most precious memories of your past. Remember those you miss with love and gratitude for having had them in your life. And if you just happen to get the chance to eat a piece of your favorite pie, do that too! 

Happy Thanksgiving from me to you…JoAnn