I don’t remember how Thanksgiving day was spent when I was growing up. We moved around a lot so probably we spent it with just the four of us often.
When I married my first husband in 1970, Thanksgivings every year were spent at his parents’ house. The gatherings included many including his parents, grandparents, brother and sister-in-law and their 5 kids, his aunt and two kids, his uncle and three kids. Maybe more. And as the years passed, it started including the spouses and kids of those kids.
While I tried to embrace the gathering of all those people, I struggled because whenever I asked my own parents to come to my house for a holiday, my dad would never commit, saying the weather might prevent them. Now, mind you, the weather where I lived was nothing like the weather many live through during the winter, we only sometimes get snow at all. Anyway, to say the holidays have never been my favorite time of the year is putting it mildly.
After my own kids grew up, my daughter has rarely lived in the same area as I do and when she did she felt it was too hard on her own kids to drag them to so many places – her daughter’s father, her mother’s (me), her dad’s, etc. so they have always lived far away from me and refused to come during the holidays. My son and his family often would split their day between my house and his dad’s house, but once their son was grown, they started spending the Thanksgiving holiday at the coast with their friends in their ATV club.
When my second husband (Bill) and I were married, we usually spent the day alone although one year his son and daughter-in-law and my son and his family were here.
After Bill’s death in 2013, I met my friend, Bob, and his entire family has always spent the holidays together at his ranch so I was included in that tradition.
Along comes the pandemic of 2021 and our state-imposed mandates limiting the number of people and number of households that could gather for Thanksgiving. Due to the mandates as well as the pandemic, that meant no get together for Thanksgiving. As a result, I found myself somewhat depressed for the week before Thanksgiving, really dreading spending the day by myself.
However, Thanksgiving day arrived and was a fairly nice day out so my dog and I went for a walk. Then when we got home, I decided to start raking my lawn since Bob was planning to come over and mow my lawns. In the afternoon Bob came over and mowed my lawns. My lawns now look nice, Bob and I spent a couple of hours together and then he went home and we each had our own non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner alone.
Also, when Bob was here, our dear friends stopped by to say hi. We all practiced social distancing outdoors, and she gave me a cactus plant, which I had been wanting to get. Later I also got texts from a dear friend, my ex-step-daughter-in-law, texted pictures from my granddaughter and from Bob’s daughter.
So, the gratitude that I found during Thanksgiving 2020 included friends and family, and receiving pictures of my great granddaughter, pictures of Bob’s latest great granddaughter, and my 4-legged friend.
Harley, my granddaughter and daughter -
Bob's great granddaughter Caroline -
My 4-legged friend, Marv -
My goal for the rest of 2020 is to focus on the positive things in my life, not the negative things.