by Linda Arnold
Those of you who know me know I love fall and the holiday of Thanksgiving! Maybe it is my New England roots and growing up near Plymouth Rock and with girls who were direct descendants of Governor Bradford. Maybe it was just something about fall itself, the beautiful colored leaves, and the crisp air. My favorite fall memories, playing in the woods, spending Sundays with my sisters raking leaves and jumping in them while my mother made a roast beef Sunday dinner. There was also something in the air from the burning leaves and the changes in temperature.
Maybe it was the holiday itself. My parents were always the ones who hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my mother’s extended family. Aunts, Uncles, and cousins would always come. There was a special excitement in the air, a lot of great smells, and everyone working together to make sure we had a wonderful feast.
I don’t know why it’s such a great holiday for me but maybe it’s a conglomeration of all of those wonderful memories. I just know I love to decorate my house for fall. I have many pumpkin scented candles all through my house. I have large multi-colored felt maple leaf placemats set on my dining room table. Baskets of Mums, a fall favorite (of course, mine are silk), are by the front door, a fall wreath hangs on the door, and scarecrows abound! I even have special decorated dishes (Thanks to Publix) that I only use at thanksgiving.
All of the meal planning and Thanksgiving Day itself are all very special to me. But what is even more important is how I use this time of year to really reflect on what I think are the most important things in my life and what I am most thankful for. I think that is one of the most important parts of this holiday: reflection and prioritizing.
Each night before I go to sleep I try to think of all the things I am thankful for. I try to look for all the little things that make a difference. As I approach my “golden years”, (people might say at 70 years I am already there) I really think about the things I am grateful for and that are important in my life. It is important to know that just waking up in the morning and being able to move and get out of bed is a wonderful thing. Grateful that my husband is waking up with me after 42 years together. Knowing that I will connect with my son, daughter in law and grandchildren each day just to check in and say I love you. I am so lucky to have 5 wonderful step children and their families who love me as much as I love them.
Even though we are a country that is very divided and angry, I am still grateful that I do live in one of the best countries in the world. I am thankful for all of my friends! I am thankful for the gift of song and sharing it every Thursday night and on so many other wonderful occasions with a group of wonderful women!!
Yes, this Thanksgiving and every other day of the year I remember and am grateful for all the beauty and good in my life. Yes, so many things to be thankful for! I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and don’t forget to think about all of the wonderful simple things that are a part of life your everyday! Happy Thanksgiving!