Looking for answers to life's questions

This is my only post this month. I’ve been needing down time. Thanksgiving is upon us here in the U.S. and for many, it’s just another day off. For me it’s extra special in many ways. First, it’s my son’s birthday week. His birthday always falls somewhere around Thanksgiving and sometimes on it.

There are a few more candles now and he doesn't need the chair

There are a few more candles now and he doesn’t need the chair

Second is Thanksgiving itself. I have a hard day on this holiday keeping tears in check. My gratitude overflows. Last year was spent at my son’s home that was all in boxes so there was no cooking and just the two of us. He had several invitations but chose to accept the one so he could be with his three God-children and their parents. It was an odd day for me to be a guest, not the host.

These will be added to a charity quilt for a little boy. Don't look too closely, You'll see my mistake.

These will be added to a charity quilt for a little boy. Don’t look too closely, You’ll see my mistake.

This year I thought it would be just myself and my adult children. I decided to invite my niece and her family that live and hour plus away. They graciously accepted and asked if their newly married daughter and son-in-law could be included. Of course. It turned out they had plans. Those plans fell through this week and with a few texts, they are coming after all.

My sister was going to the home of her daughter and her daughter’s other parent. Then I got an e-mail that her daughter wants to be with family. So three more will be at our multiple tables and odd assortment of chairs. I decided the sofa could be turned to face the dining room so sofa sitters could face the rest of the group. There is always a way to make things work.
This is my kind of Thanksgiving. The most I’ve ever had for a holiday dinner was 17. I always cook BIG so it’s easy for me. I’m sure there will be plenty of help.

A crowd for Thanksgiving is for what I am most grateful. Family, friends that are family and lots of happy chatter, playfulness, thoughtfulness, with lots of warm memories being made.

I was originally prepared for eight so I made that many placemats, trying to be festive. Who knew I’d need 13. I also made myself the first ever autumn apron deciding to not only line the pre-printed panel, but make it reversible with pockets on both sides. I’m grateful that I can sew. I am grateful for my home that has the room for so many in it. This will be my first Thanksgiving in this house. I am thankful every moment of every day but this one day is collect those around you to celebrate those moments. To top it off, I am deeply grateful for all of you who stop by to visit and share your hearts with me. It makes every day Thanksgiving.

How are you spending your Thanksgiving and for what are you most grateful?

Happy Thanksgiving
From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Thanksgiving" (57)

  1. Lovely. I hope you all have a wonderful day. I’d rather go to a surprise (Oh My Goodness I didn’t expect to host this many!) party than one of the same crowd every single time. I know you will make it work regardless of how many placemats or chairs there are. Have a great day. And happy birthday to your son and to you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Melanie. Thanks too for stopping by. Yes, I’m with you. Love the surprise of how many decided my home was the place to be. We picked up a couple extra chairs and TV trays from my daughter last night. I love the eclectic group of people and there has NEVER been anything the same in my holidays. Surprises always abound and I love this variety. There is always room for one more regardless. Thank you for the birthday wishes. He’s always happy to have another birthday. Not everyone is that lucky and we all are aware of that.

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  2. Hope you have a lovely day. I hope you model the apron for us… I’d love to see you wearing it 🙂

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  3. Good morning Marlene! One of the things I am thankful for is our friendship! Love all your sewing projects, and the “mistake” you said not to look for, is what I’d call modern art. Thanksgiving is not that big a deal for me, maybe because I didn’t grow up with it. And our family dinner doesn’t look anything like the traditional one. But it will be fun to have the kids over and enjoy a quiet day. Happy turkey day Marlene!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Sabine. Yesterday was another blur. These next two will be also. Today is cleaning day and getting the last of the groceries and prep work. This will be such an eclectic group that I hope it works. I have never had a “traditional” holiday. Each one has been unique in itself. This will be my first big holiday dinner since before my divorce. One year my daughter and I went out for Thanksgiving dinner. Just the two of us so why bother. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one goes. :)))

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  4. It sounds like your house will be filled with love on the most American holiday we have. Ken and I invited his family – 2 brothers, 2 sisters and families along with Mom and Dad. BUT, they had made other plans. All of them will be spending Thanksgiving with others. The same thing happened last year and we survived. My good friend Jackie will be with us for dinner and the Packer game and we’re having a feast. Have a happy day. Your handiwork is beautiful.

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    • Thanks for stopping by Barb. I make family out of whoever is around. Too bad Kens family has chosen to not join you. The last few years have been less than festive with a lack of family participation. One year we went to my nieces and one my daughter and I went out for dinner. Not something I want to repeat. But every one of my holidays has been different so I’ve adapted to them. We will Christen this home with a crowd this year. Christmas will be a quieter story once again. Each holiday is unique. Friends are family you choose so I’m glad you’ll have one there. Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy. Giant hugs.

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  5. Your first Thanksgiving in your home, with plenty of family around the table, you’re so blessed, Marlene.
    After a colonoscopy tomorrow 😦 I plan to make up for today’s fasting, on Thanksgiving. I’ll be with my family, it’s all that I need.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    • You are right, Jill. Family and food is all you need for a great Thanksgiving. And yes, I am very blessed. My gratitude lists often fill pages. Hope the colonoscopy goes well. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

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  6. Your Thanksgiving plans have made my heart happy this morning Marlene – I just know you will be in your element with such a gathering and you in your own home for it too. The happiest of all possible occasions, loved people, good food and a congenial hostess! Have fun ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pauline. Yes, I will be in my element. That’s part of why it’s so hard for me to live in a tiny space. I like to collect “family” and feed them. I’m no whiz in the kitchen but my daughter says I’m a feeder. You come here, you get fed. I fed my siblings and parents for years before leaving home. I’ll have plenty of help so all should be well. Fun is the name of this game. We have adult coloring books for something to keep idle hands busy and rum balls to roll out for Christmas. I’ve got a supply of crafting material if I hear the word bored from anyone. 🙂 Have a great week in your warm space. It will be quite nippy here but at least no freezing rain for our travelers. Giant hugs to you and yours.

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  7. Marlene, I’m thankful for you and for this post. I remember your posts this time last year. You were working hard getting your son’s place ready to sell, then packing boxes for the move. What a difference in a year. Now you’re settled in your new home and gathering family and friends to be with you for your feast.

    You’ve embroidered such beautiful place mats. I love the vintage vibe.

    While I’ve missed your posts, I’m happy that you’ve taken a much-needed break. I’ve delighted in your visits to my own blog and to our in-common blogging friends.

    Enjoy your day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, sweet lady. Your kind heart is always in your words. Yes, it’s quite a different holiday for me from last year and even the few before it. I miss a large holiday gathering. I like the vintage vibe for that kind of thing too. I’m collecting vintage patterns to use on things. I’ll have slow going of the blog till after the first of they year. First, catching up on my reading and then some revamping. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving which I’m sure will include your sister and both boys. You’ll be here in my heart this week. Giant hugs.

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  8. You’ll have a very happy Thanksgiving (not something we do in Europe) – I’m envious.
    Your mats etc are superb – What an undertaking for 13. I hope somebody else gets to do the dishes!
    PS What mistake?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 You make me smile Viv. What mistake indeed. My quilting friends said the blocks will not be side by side so leave them as they are. I did. I love the holidays when I have a full house. I’ve missed that since my last marriage ended. I have my niece and her girls close enough to have here on occasion. It could be quite a raucous group if not well fed. 🙂 I have a dishwasher and there are 10 females and 3 males so I have no problem handing over some of the work load. My daughter will be here early to help. The mats were machine made but will add a nice autumn touch. I’m sure you have your own versions of something like Thanksgiving though I don’t remember it from my years in Germany either. Have a wonderfilled week Hugs,

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  9. Wow… Happy Thanksgiving to you Marlene.. How wonderful so many of your family are going to make it a real family time.. I so wish you all a wonderful time.. I so so love your embroidery and that apron.. WOW!!…
    I got the sewing machine out last week, but only to take up some material for my daughter for her treatment couch she brought back from her visit to Sri Lanka.. ..
    My pastels have been more in use this week.. They are for presents for Christmas… 🙂

    Have a fabulous time Marlene.. and let yourself be waited upon if their are many willing hands around you..

    Happy Thanksgiving.. LOVE and Hugs Sue ❤ xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Sue. It’s been a long time since I hosted a large family gathering. I hope I still have what it takes to get it done. But there will be lots of hands and I no longer have difficulty asking for help.
      The embroidery is done on my machine so I take very little credit.:) Drawing has never been on my list of “can do” abilities. I like to make my gifts too but each year it gets harder. I ran right out of time this year to do much. Next year should be easier as the house should be completely settled by then. Have a lovely week and LOVE and giant squishy hugs back to you. I’m going to spend the first week of January reading all the posts I’ve missed. 🙂

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      • Well Marlene.. don’t go straining those precious eyes of yours in January 🙂 , and Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family.. Sending a BIG BIG hug right on back at you.. ❤ Love Sue xxxx

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  10. The Eco Grandma said:

    Look at that little one, how quickly they grow up.

    Wonderful that you will have a houseful! Now I see why you needed a bigger home. 🙂 I can’t imagine that gathering would have fit comfortably into you apartment.

    Our gathering will be much smaller and I no longer am the host. When my children started their own homes with their wives they each wanted to take a holiday, Thanksgiving was the first I gave up followed by Easter. Christmas is still here but the festivities are spread out to accommodate when the oldest son can come down.

    My Thanksgiving starts tomorrow with a tradition we have followed for 31 years. We visit a shop that has a Christmas tree display of some where between 25-30 trees, then we drive down the street to a chocolate shop (all chocolate is made there) and pick up a few pieces to enjoy on the ride home. This year I’ll be going up there with my youngest and his family and meeting my ex-daughter-in-law and granddaughter. My granddaughter will be returning with me for the weekend.

    Thanksgiving will, like usual, be at my son’s house and just be us and the extra granddaughter. Friday-Sunday will just be quiet time alone at home with the little one until she has to go home.

    Have a lovely time with your extended family and friends on this Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember you mentioning something about your chocolate shop tradition, Lois. I would love to give up the cooking but alas, my daughter is not so inclined and has no family. My son, no longer married but both are quite helpful. My sister will be helpful and there will be plenty of nieces to pitch in an extra hand if needed. I have always loved hosting large groups so yes, I did need a substantial place. I’ve been profoundly blessed. I’m glad you have someone to pass the torch to. It could get interesting in a couple of years. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the little ones. 🙂

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      • The Eco Grandma said:

        I don’t mind not cooking any more, although it’s nice to plan and prep a big meal once in a while now that it’s just me most days to cook for and I rarely take the time to do much more than a one pot meal. Christmas I’ve held on to because that’s the coldest time of the year and it’s nice to just stay home and have all come to me. 🙂

        I don’t eat much chocolate these days, just isn’t good for me, but I do love a good piece now and again without all the crap in it.

        Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Marlene.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello my friend and happy Thanksgiving! I’m so excited for you to be surrounded by friends and family this year…and in your new home. That is certainly something to be extremely grateful for.

    For us, it will be at our house with part of our family. With the change up in the weather, it might end up with more family. That’s okay. We always have more than enough food.

    I’m thankful for many things. My list is long. You are on that list. Best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My son and I were talking about our gratitude lists on the way home from his birthday celebration last night. For him, every birthday is a gift in itself.He already has 6 more years than his dad had. A house full of frenzy is a blessing indeed. I’m just grateful the weather took a turn for the better here. Hope it did there as well. Miss seeing you. Giant hugs. 🙂

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  12. Dear Marlene, what a beautiful post filled with gratitude and joy and love for family, friends and loved ones. Not to mention, your beautiful napkins and apron 🙂 I remember sharing with you last year that my middle boy, like your son, is also my ‘Thanksgiving Baby’. We don’t have Thanksgiving here in the UK, but I will be spending the weekend celebrating with my family for my son’s birthday. And then, I will look to Christmas, not before 🙂 Your cup runneth over with all that is most important…bless you my friend, and have the most wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sherri and wish your son a Happy Birthday too. Yes, my cup does run over and my gratitude runs deep. I’ll celebrate anything with anyone. Life is it’s own celebration. Have a wonderful weekend. Big hugs.

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      • Thank you so much Marlene…it is a wonderful gift to have a heart full of gratitude, we are blessed indeed. Big hugs back to you once more… xo

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Carol Ferenc said:

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Marlene. Enjoy the crowd!

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  14. Oh, Marlene, such a lovely post. ♡ I do hope you have a marvelous day. You have a loving and generous heart. I am certain this will be a memorable Thanksgiving for all you have welcomed into your home. Happy Thanksgiving to you. ♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, dear heart. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the timing goes well and everyone stays pleasant. This will be my home’s Christening. I am so grateful to have one and family close by. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving yourself.

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  15. Wow sounds like you’re having a lovely Thanksgiving ahead. Hope it will be great. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a day you’re going to have! It sounds like all the elements are in place for a holiday that will make many people happy. I love the vintage look of your linens–they’ll be treasured by future generations, I bet! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kerry. Yes, all the elements are in place. The turkey went in at 5 this morning and now comes the rest. I’m hoping all goes well. I love the vintage look too, thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours.

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  17. How wonderful to have a full house 🙂 I too cooked for those I love. Our home was full of family and friends, dogs barking and kids paying. For that I am very, very thankful 🙂

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  18. I loved your post so much. I am never happier than when I have my family and friends gathered round me. So much better if we can include a couple of others who need a place to go as well. Your guests must have loved those beautiful placemats.

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    • It was one of my best Thanksgivings ever. The larger the crowd, the happier I am. It was a lovely Christening for my new home. Our first Thanksgiving in it. No one notices the details unless you point them out. They don’t even notice the holiday decorations. But I do it for me so it doesn’t matter.

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  19. First…your projects are beautiful! ! And I simply love that the number kept changing and you just adapted and said heck yes…there’s room for more!! I am certain it was a wonderful celebration…I would have lived to be there!! You will always remember your first Thanksgiving in this home! Much love dear friend ♡♡

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    • Thanks so much Lorrie. Adapt is my middle name.:) Or rather the story of my life. Make a plan and watch God laugh. You know. I set an intention for this house to welcome all and invite many. So far, so good. Have a wonderful week ahead.

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  20. I remember your Thanksgiving last year, Marlene!
    And I loved reading your joy and gratitude about Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. It’s all about gratitude, giving, food, togetherness, friends, and family (okay and football).
    It is a time to cherish all that surrounds us.
    Take that down time, and try not to fill it up too quickly with other things. Just breathe …

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by. My goodness, I can barely remember last Thanksgiving. You usually remember the awful holidays. It was a most unsettled year. That just makes me even more grateful when the really good things come along. Contrast is always necessary. Getting plenty of breathing time. Sitting and watching Hallmark Christmas movies and last night Paddington on DVD while I sew on binding. Hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful. Are you getting any breathing time? You are busier than 3 people. 🙂 Hugs.

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  21. Oh gosh, is that Little Tech Support? Adorable! It sounds like you must have had a house full and I’ll bet it was wonderful. How long ago was your divorce? (and forgive me for the personal question) You seem like such a powerhouse to me, it’s hard to imagine you sharing the running of a household, so I have assumed that your marriage was in a more distant past. Your stories confirm that you’ve been a strong woman all your life, so I think I need to adjust my assumptions, huh? 😉

    The sincere gratitude you share here is truly touching, and I’m glad I was a witness. Much love to you and your amazing life (quilting creativity included) and your great family. Hugs and kisses. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you, Crystal. You make me blush. Yes, that was little TS. I did really love having a house full which is why this place was so important to me. I have always been a take charge kind of person when I see things that need taking charge of. I’ve been married and divorced twice.The last time was 4 years ago. I left after I got so sick and debilitated from the Bells. I’ve always been the one in charge. The first husband was gone a lot. The second was a head in the sand kind of guy.
      Gratitude is my middle name. I have so much for which to be grateful . Most days I am awestruck. Giant squishy hugs to you. 🙂

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      • Squishiest of hugs back to you. I was married and divorced three times by age 32. Then it occurred to me that I should stop it. ha ha! That was almost 14 years ago. I think I could get married again, but the older I get, the more I think it’s unlikely. I am a difficult woman and, like you, I’m totally fine on my own. A lot of men want to feel needed, and I’m not very good at showing them I need them. What I need is emotional support, but they would rather show support by bringing home the bacon, or fixing a leak. That stuff I can take care of myself.

        One of my common tags is “gratitude.” I made that one early, partly because I am grateful, but also because I want to remind myself to BE grateful. I’m glad you are a person who can remind me.

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  22. I trust it was all wonderful, M. Amazing quilt!

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  23. Stay blessed. Stay surrounded with love.

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