Looking for answers to life's questions

It always seems like the holiday is a long way off, then all of a sudden, there it is. Making decisions whether or not to cook or let someone else do the cooking can be tricky. Some years ago, I would cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for between 17 to 20 people and enjoyed every minute of it. That’s how I showed them my love. As children grew and had their own families, I learned to make adjustments in my meals. Frozen lasagna, cooked and set out with vegetable, cracker & cheese trays along with plenty of cookies became the new norm and easier on me. It went from everyone sitting down at the extra-long table to setting up a buffet in the kitchen for a grab a bite, visit, and then go on to the next family. I could share them with others.

Bubbles is staying at my son's house for a while. How can it be Thanksgiving and not be grateful for all good dogs.

Bubbles is staying at my son’s house for awhile. How can it be Thanksgiving and not be grateful for all good dogs.

When we moved away, we made more changes to how we did holidays. Now that I live alone and my circle of family and friends has become even smaller, I’ve adapted once again. This year my daughter will drive us to her cousin’s very small house so we can share Thanksgiving with her four daughters, her mother and her significant other’s family. The place will be busting at the seams but the gathering of people who love each other outweighs any discomfort. For me, the hardest part is coming home in the dark. I have to keep my eyes closed as the lights and movement can make me quite nauseous. I’ve decided to take some wine to see if that helps keep my eyes closed. I’m an awful passenger seat driver in the daylight.

Thanksgiving is a special day to remember things you are grateful for. How many of you are grateful for the fact that you have such abundance that dieting is often a necessary part of your life. A lot of the world is looking for food, I have more than enough and choose to eat sparingly most of the time anyway. Yes, we donate to the less fortunate and I’m grateful I can do that as well.

For me, this holiday is about seeing people we don’t always have close by. My sister-in-law (sister-at-heart) has flown in from Missouri to spend both holidays with her daughter and granddaughters. Even after her brother and I divorced, we were still sisters. I’m grateful for a family that loves me even when they could choose to not.

Teaching my daughter to use the machine. Gifts are being made.

Teaching my daughter to use the machine. Gifts are being made.

There is no shortage of gratitude in my daily life. I write them in the morning and again at night. Instead of looking at all the things that present a challenge to me, (fixed income, health challenges, way too much solitude) I have so much more for which to be grateful.

On Monday, I had to change planes in San Jose, CA with a bit of time between flights. Wandering around for some exercise, I went back to the same gate I got off the plane at. It was time for my flight to leave and I didn’t understand why they weren’t calling for boarding. At the very last-minute, I heard a whisper in my head to check my boarding pass. I was at the wrong gate. A quick jog allowed me to be the very last passenger on my flight, but I didn’t miss it. I was oh so grateful.

I'm grateful my niece can make me look human again.

I’m grateful my niece can make me look human again.

Tomorrow I will be grateful for a noisy crowded house with plenty to eat and a daughter that is willing to get me back and forth. Each year the celebrations are different from the last. I’m grateful for adaptability. Thanksgiving comes every day that I allow it. How are you showing your gratitude for what is on this day of remembrance?

Happy, happy Thanksgiving everyone.
From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Thanksgiving Gratitude" (21)

  1. I think it’s just the nicest thing that you have so many loving people around you and will spend the day chatting and laughing. Since I became a vegetarian, the turkeys get a break at our house too, HA. But all the other stuff is so yummy I don’t even miss it (Mr B might feel different).

    And look at how svelte little ol’ you are! Snap, snap, snap (done with attitude with a jaunty hand in the shape of a Z ) Your are looking like a million (US) bucks hon! Hope your day is wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Thank you so much for noticing. I will still have 15-20 to go but not till after the holidays and then depending on how much damage I do during. 🙂 I LOVE to bake. I’d like to be a vegetarian, my brain won’t let me. But I keep it small. Have a lovely weekend and hope you are staying warm. We are due for an arctic blast starting Sunday.


      • Well now, you’d know best as far as targets and goals, but 20 more lbs and you might be toooooo skinny. I love baking, as in things that are baked LOL. I can not resist it so don’t do as much as I used to. I admire your ‘stick-to-it-news’ Marlene, you’ve done so well. Bravo!


      • Thanks you. I bake to keep the house warm. Does that excuse work? 🙂 I checked with the doctor on the numbers I need and we are in agreement. It’s always amazed me how much extra weight I can carry without anyone really seeing it. But now I’m working on being kind to myself and going gently down the road. Most of my baking is for sharing but I have to make sure I pass on only GOOD stuff, right? Hugs. M


  2. Adaptability…perfect word ti reflect our lives. Thanks!


  3. Happy Thanksgiving … so many different ways to enjoy this special time. Truly the best holiday because we do stop, breathe, think, and hopefully are grateful.


  4. I hope you had a lovely day in that bursting-to-the-seams house. I’ve only recently come to terms with the reality that holidays change as we move through our lives–which has helped me to feel grateful for the gifts I get right now (as opposed to sad about the ones that have passed).


    • Thank you Rita. I did have a wonderful day. I’m happy to hear you are growing in your adaptability. I think it was my greatest gift. I had always envied those with firmly established roots and tradition. Now I realize that life is always in flow and going downstream is so much easier. You know that expression, “too soon old, too late smart”. I think I’ve finally reached both. 😉 Thanks for reading and glad you are flowing sooner than later.


  5. You look fantastic! Well done, well done. Losing weight is the pits. You’ve done so in a slow and steady manner…and here you are blogging about meals as we go.

    I hope your holiday was grand. Sorry to be checking in so late. I don’t know why this doesn’t show up in the Reader? It seems that it should.



    • Thanks Alys, Yes, slow is the way to go. I’m holding my own through the holidays then going after the rest before my next checkup. Will keep the doctor happy. He was in agreement with where I should be at my age. I’m often behind in my reading as there are days I can’t read that much. Unless it’s Pinterest of course. 🙂


      • Pinterest requires very little energy, yet provides great reward. I’m glad you’re a fan.

        I think maintaining over the holidays is an excellent goal, one I should set for myself. I don’t even own a scale anymore. I’m going by the fit of my snuggest pants, and planning to hold steady at this size. Period!

        Thanks for being here, Marlene.


  6. waitaminute! You were in San Jose? You were in San Jose!!! Oh man…so close and yet so far. I know they wouldn’t let a non-ticketed passenger behind the gate but we could have waved at each other. Let me know if you ever have a longer over-stay. xox


    • I was thinking of you. Maybe that’s why I almost missed my flight.:) I have to go back to my son’s in January. He needs Knee surgery. It’s a nice airport.


      • Sorry to hear about the knee surgery. That’s a bummer. I’m glad you can be with him for a few days when he’s recovering.

        They just redid the airport, so depending on your carrier, you were either in the super new airport, or the moderately new airport. We used to laugh, because there was the original airport (very old), then the addition (the new airport), then the redid the very old one and now it’s the new one. I just need to focus on Terminal A or B or I’ll lose my mind.


      • I’m not sure which section I was in. Gate 20 but it was nice enough to keep me distracted. It’s much nicer than Burbank’s airport.


      • Oh yes! Burbank is in real need of updating, isn’t it.

        We used to travel south quite a bit. My sister once lived in Chula Vista and my SIL lives in Newport. My sister now lives a mile from here (hurray for me) and my nephew attends Stanford, also nearby.


      • At least I don’t have to go through LAX. My son works a block from the Burbank airport. 🙂


      • That’s perfect, then. Good for both of you.


  7. Marlene, how fortunate you didn’t miss your connecting flight and a wonderful Thanksgiving of loved ones. My family doesn’t complain about cramped quarters when they gather at my apartment, they just enjoy the company. I think that shows real love. If you need extra room between yourself and those you are with the real closeness is missing. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.



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