November is upon us once again! It’s the time New England’s brilliant colors fade. Grass and brush turn brown while gardening dreams rest until next spring. Squirrels and chipmunks scatter about, rolling nuts and seeds preparing for the blanket of snow, soon to come. We all scramble for snow tire appointments and most people fill their fuel tanks, as we load up on cut wood for our stove.
As our clocks fall back an hour tonight and we earn our extra hour of sleep under the cozy flannel sheets, my thoughts and plans concentrate on the holidays. It’s a joyous season for family and friends, a time of feeling grateful for Earth’s bounty. The special family memories come to mind of connecting with those from afar. Mouth watering visions of hefty plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and vegetables and dessert goodies bring aromas to life. Close relatives laugh and chatter, tucked in at the table of plenty. Past years of country walks in the crisp air and movies generating a room full of hearty laughter come to mind. Grateful thoughts and prayers hang thick among us, as we each count our many blessings of the past year.
Growing up my Thanksgiving memories involve family and a big feast for all. Roasted turkey and stuffing, orange winter squash ( which I detested as a child….I learned to love it) and pies that mom made. I remember our Doyle family of six eating dinner along with our grandparents, long passed away. As I got older, my mom worked at a nursing home and had to work on holidays. Sometimes she worked on Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. This schedule helped teach the value of family, for there was a significant void when my mom wasn’t around. I didn’t like it when she had to work, it seemed like everything was on hold. Now I understand that the people in the nursing home needed mom every day of the year, including Thanksgiving. Although I have fleeting memories of Thanksgiving, my true nostalgic thoughts lie with Christmas. It was a magical time, of family and festivities and trimming the tree listening to dad’s country hits on the stereo record player. Those memories will emerge in my Christmas posts.
My husband and I have always spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with our sons. We’ve been blessed to be able to share these special holidays with them, enjoying every moment. Despite this, as the coming years approach and they grow in their own lives, this may not always be. Circumstances may arise, distance, jobs, families grow and decisions have to be made where to go on holidays. It’s tough deciding, for everyone wants to share in its joys. So for now this means much to me…to be able to enjoy them and Dylan’s girlfriend Lexie who has become a part of the family.
When dreaming of Thanksgiving, I think of tasty turkey, homemade gravy, homemade pumpkin pie, cherry pie that I bake for Tom every year and so many other delectables. I look forward to using leftover bird in potpies and cranberry stuffing sandwiches.Our cozy cats slumber, curled in furry balls along the fire until the turkey scent wakes them from their slumber. Then they transform into polite table side beggars.
I may have convinced you that the food is the center of it all, but I mislead you, for family is the importance of the day. Being with my husband, my sons Dylan and Branden, Alexis, my sister in law, Bev and brother in law Chris around the table, talking, laughing, sharing, that’s what it’s about. Although we all enjoy the food, it could be take out or sandwiches if things got hard, and the blessings would remain. I would feel grateful for our connections, our health, our lives as we branch out on our own while our roots stay connected. I feel this way with Tom’s mother and family in Florida, although we don’t spend Thanksgiving together, our connections and history remain the same, strong.
As there are a few weeks to go, the countdown to Thanksgiving starts. In the meantime, I’ll plan my dishes to serve, choose my table settings and most importantly thank God for my family and my many blessings in this life.
Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates! He is risen! This is a beautiful day of rejoicing!
My husband and I sit here in quiet morning peace, thinking of all past Easters when our sons were little. Years of Easter egg hunts and baskets brimming with candy, swimming goggles and bottles of bubbles. Years of visiting my mother in law’s house and seeing family to celebrate.
Now things have changed, it’s slowly evolved the last few years. Our sons have grown into men, so now Easter is different. No more Easter egg hunts or excitement and laughter when they wake up. My mother in law and Tom’s sister and husband have moved away and will celebrate miles away.Yet, even with changes, (which every family experiences) Easter remains special. As my sister in law said, we have our memories and I think they are precious.
Easter is a day of renewal and hope.
Change is hard but can be good for us. My family will go to my sister’s house today for a big lunch. I’m making cheesy scalloped potatoes and made strawberry shortcake cupcakes yesterday. It will be a beautiful day, even with changes. Traditions change and we grow as that happens.