Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tiny Blessings

Day 14 of 365 Tiny Changes

I was driving home from my parents home, where we celebrated our family Thanksgiving.

I fall asleep easily behind the wheel, so I was trying to come up with a topic that would keep my mind engaged and awake.

So I started thinking about my family, which is a huge topic, literally. 

My Mom grew up in Michigan, my Dad in West Virginia.  They settled in northwestern Ohio when I was three months old.  They left their parents and siblings behind and started a new life on their own.  We didn’t have a lot of money when I was little, so we didn’t travel back to their respective home states very often, and their families rarely made the trip to visit us, so I didn’t get the real understanding of what an extended family was, while I was growing up.

For holidays it was usually, just us, my parents, me and my 4 siblings. 

On Thanksgiving morning, we would get up, turn on the Macy’s Day Parade and watch with wonder at the giant black and white Charlie Brown, and Snoopy balloons, and wait for Santa to come at the end waving to us and wishing us a Merry Christmas.  We knew the holiday season had officially begun.

Mom would be in the kitchen cooking enough to feed all of us for the next week.  The house was always extra warm on Thanksgiving, due to all the baking and cooking.

In the afternoon, while my parents watched the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers square off, we would play, either inside or out, depending on what the weather happened to be that year.

It wasn’t elaborate, but it was our Thanksgiving, and it was enough.

We really don’t know our extended family, so it's easy for me to look at my parents as sort of the top of the pyramid that is our family. 

There are my parents.  There are me and my 4 siblings.  There are our 8 children and 3 step children.  There are their 5 children + 1 more sometime around Christmas.  Add in the various, spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends, and we have a pretty tall pyramid going.

With the exception of one of my sisters, and 2 of the grandchildren, we all live within a one hour drive of my parents.  The majority of us are only minutes away.

Holidays are a little different now.  They are big, they are noisy, they are chaotic, at times they are crowded.  We no longer fit around one table, we take 3, now.  The food no longer lasts for a week, it’s usually gone by nightfall.  It’s no longer just my parents watching the game, it’s anyone who can fit into the living room, sometimes standing room, only.  The kids play where ever they can find a spot, sometimes inside, sometimes outside.  The adults spend time catching up on each others lives, because even though we live so close to each other, our busy schedules keep us apart most of the year.

It’s still not elaborate, but it’s our Thanksgiving.

I am truly blessed to have the family I have.  We’re not perfect, we’re not even exceptionally close, but we know we can count on each other in a crunch, and it is enough.

Tiny Change 14:  Acknowledge to myself and the universe at least one blessing I have been given, each day.

I hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with the blessings that you find fulfilling.

Best Regards,


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