It seems to me that Thanksgiving has more expectations attached to it than any other day of the year. I like to read advice columns in the morning (makes me feel like I have a good handle on things); for a couple of weeks the columns have been filled with angst about Thanksgiving.

Grandma doesn’t want to host dinner and two of the daughters are throwing a fit because it will spoil the day. Uncle Joey always drinks too much and everyone is worried about whether he will spoil the day.  Cousin Mary has a new boyfriend who is a vegetarian and everyone is worried his dietary needs will spoil the day.  Grandpa won’t come because he has a new puppy that isn’t welcome and it will spoil the day.  For so many people Thanksgiving seems to be encased in amber; it must be exactly as it’s always been and it can’t be spoiled.

As a person who moved away from home at an early age, got divorced and then became a single parent, I have never had a chance to cement a list of requirements to make Thanksgiving Day overly static. There is however, one thing that I have been in charge of for many years – the thankful project. I’ve done a paper Mayflower w/ little scrolls that people wrote on, I’ve done a large cut out turkey whose feathers became lists of what we’ve thankful for, I’ve done a large tree with leaves for the thankful thoughts.  This year I’m doing a big poster board covered with square of different papers and have a handful of markers for everybody to write with.  I love doing the thankful project as it really brings it home to me where my focus should be, rather than on whether the potatoes are the way I like them.

One of the things that I’ve written down for the last couple of years on the thankful project is “baboons” (which I then have to explain).  I am beyond grateful that I’ve found a community of folks who are thoughtful, caring, sincere, well-read, funny… all these things and more.  I’m thankful for this past year with you all on the Trail and looking forward to the year coming up.

No question today – just heartfelt thanks for all of you!

35 thoughts on “Grateful”

  1. As best I can remember the lyric, this is my favorite Dale and Jim Ed “song” sung to the tune of Rudolph.
    They did a whole series of Thanksgiving Day “carols”.

    “Gandolph The Thanksgiving Turkey
    Had a day with many woes.
    And if you ever saw him
    you’d say, “Delicious!”
    Head to toes.
    All of the other turkeys
    used to laugh and call him names
    (like Drumstick)
    They ALWAYS let poor Gandolph
    eat the final bits of grain.
    Then one dark Thanksgiving Eve
    the farmer came to say,
    “Gandolph, with your meat so white,
    Won’t you be my guest tonight?”
    Then how the turkeys loved him
    And they shouted out with glee,
    “Gandolph the Thanksgiving Turkey,
    It was better you than me!”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Awww, gee, that sparks memories of the first time Ann Reed created a song for the Minnesota State Fair. It ended:

      It took some time but now I find
      The heartbreak of this place
      The shocked and frozen look
      Upon some FFA kid’s face
      If her pig should lose
      I s’pose that’s only pure dumb luck
      But if her pig’s a winner
      Then she’s next year’s Pronto Pup

      One of those radio moments when I gasped and said, “They can SAY that???”

      Happy Thanksgiving, Baboons!

      Liked by 6 people

  2. Thank you for this, VS. I love your calm and reasoned approach to life.

    Today marks my 52 anniversary of arriving in the US, two days before Thanksgiving. So this year will be my 52 Thanksgiving. My first one was spent at wasband’s parents’ house in Greenport, Long Island, and that was a bit overwhelming, to say the least. A large, noisy and squabbling family of Italian immigrants celebrating their version of Thanksgiving.

    The second and third were spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming with the family of Earl Armstrong, the old watchmaker for whom I worked at the PX of F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Warm and generous people, who welcomed us into their home.

    The following four years were in Carbondale where I got to put on my version – severely limited by lack of both money and understanding of the whole concept of the Thanksgiving holiday. I remember us being a ragtag bunch of students feasting on a turkey meal with very few of the trimmings. The highlight of one of those years was living down the street from an old house full of foreign students. They somehow managed to set their house on fire, and it burned to the ground, but they salvaged their turkey.

    The remaining Thanksgivings have been spent in the Twin Cities. Some have been delightful, others not so much. Today we’re celebrating with a small group of old friends. It will be quiet and peaceful, and I’m in charge of only wine and Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, hope you have an enjoyable feast.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My first two Thanksgivings as a young married person were in Milwaukee and we didn’t really celebrate. I was in the bakery business and was too tired, we didn’t have any family and because we were only there for wasband’s graduate school we didn’t really make any friends or connections there. My first Thanksgiving in the Twin Cities however we had made several friends and I decided I was going to have Thanksgiving at my house for a handful of people who didn’t have any other family either. I made a tofurky. If you’ve never had it, well suffice it to say that although it actually tastes pretty good, the idea of it even for vegetarian that you would have a tofu turkey for Thanksgiving is a bit much. Needless to say no one ever clamored for a repeat of this.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A neighborhood friend announced on Facebook a couple of days ago that her whole family was coming to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. Then she added: “I didn’t tell them that this year it’s vegan and gluten free. Is that mean?”

        She got a response from one of her siblings that he was glad he was having dinner at his brother Paul’s house.

        Yesterday Maria confessed, she was just kidding. She’s cooking a 20lb turkey and all the trimmings. I wonder if she had had any cancellations?

        Liked by 3 people

  3. We’re headed to a friend’s house near here, and I’m just in charge of a couple of appetizers and a pie. We happen to have a boat load of carrots, and I’ve found a recipe for Carrot (faux pumpkin) Pie. I’m not telling till we’re through with dessert, see if anyone notices.


  4. We’re not heading out until early afternoon. I’m in charge of my sage stuffing, pumpkin gooey butter cake, placecards and the thankful project!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve just had a good laugh today. I’m finishing up the thankful project and watching the two Thanksgiving parades, switching back and forth whenever a commercial hits. So a float just came by with a giraffe on it and the moderator is yakking along and says “you know they eat Acadia leaves”. I’m sure it was just a typo – C is close to D. But it did make me laugh that it got on national TV that giraffes eat Acadia leaves instead of Acacia leaves.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The turkey is in the oven, the apple crisp and carmel apple pie are cooling, the casseroles are being assembled by husband, the mashed potatoes are done, tbe French bread is baked, and I am surviving on tylenol and mucinex.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The NOAA is predicting 70° here today. Lots of Christmas lights will be strung up outside. Hubans already put ours up on the deck in back.


  8. The neighbors across the street are dusting off their string of hanging icicle lights with a broom. We can’t have dusty lights hanging off the eaves now, can we.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. We are off soon to my brother’s house in Prior Lake – Mrs (or Mr) Kowalski has done most of the heavy lifting, but I will bring salad and wine (I am perhaps a little too excited by the gruyere I got for the salad). The day for me is less about the food than it is about being with my family – I am grateful on a regular basis for a family that I like and that gets along with each other. I am also grateful for Baboons who let me flit in and out and still like me anyway.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Hi– We hosted Kelly’s brother and 5 of his 6 boys. Whew. The dogs ran out of patience almost before we did. One dog, Humphrey, just laid down and took a nap. Allie, the rat terrier, insisted on still being involved, but she was getting grumpy about it.
    Two youngest boys had a good time feeding left overs to the chickens and multiple trips in the tractor up and down the driveway.
    Ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, Yams, Oreo Cookie Salad, and Bakers Square French Silk Pie topped it off.
    Doing it all over again on Sunday with my family. But not at our house.

    Thanks to all of you for keeping the Trail Real!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I am thankful that the potatoes were very much the way I like them. As was everything else, mostly. The rolls were sort of a failure this year – my fault. But it’s not like anyone went hungry.

    Good to hear of everyone’s bounty. Hope Renee’s health returns soon. Night, ‘boons.

    Liked by 1 person

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