Growing up, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my immediate family. All of the cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles lived far away in Michigan and Ohio. So, it was just the four of us – Dad, Mom, Brother, and yours truly. Through the years and because of different circumstances, my Thanksgivings have grown to include and be included in much bigger gatherings with family and friends who have become family. This is a good thing.
For the past two Thanksgivings, I have made the long journey to New England to visit my cousin and her family in upstate New York, where it is very cold and snowy and cozy. Lots of us gather around the table to feast, give thanks, and catch up on each others’ lives. After we have stuffed ourselves silly, we go for a long walk under the stars where the snow crunches under our feet and snowflakes melt on our noses and cheeks.
This Thanksgiving, I am staying close to home and going back to celebrating with my BFF (Ms. Powers) and her family. This is a tradition we started many years ago – mostly because I do not like to hostess parties, and she does. I like to cook, and so does she. So, we make a mountain of food for our families and friends. She sets a beautiful holiday table, and right before everyone sits down to eat, there is a mad scramble in the kitchen which we call “the dance.” Turkey gets carved. Hot dishes come out of the oven. Rolls go into the oven. Gravy boils. Glasses are filled. Cold dishes fetched from the fridge. It’s time to eat!
One thing that doesn’t change from year to year is my heart of gratitude. There are always lots of people and things for which to be thankful for. Here is my partial list:
- God, my relationship with Jesus Christ, and the freedom we have to freely worship in the United States of America.
- My family, near and far.
- Dear friends, near and far.
- Democracy (even if the election did not go the way I thought it would)
- My dogs: Ruby, Pearl, Theo, and Jasper.
- My amazing students.
- My job as a teacher for the DUSD since 1989!
- My home and neighborhood.
- My church family.
- Too many blessings, opportunities, and unmerited privileges to mention.