A Day of Gratitude

This year, more than ever before, we need to concentrate on our blessings and what we have. My Sweet Babboo and I are both healthy, and able to snuggle down in our cozy mountain nest as long as we need to. We have food on our table, and although our friends may not be at our door this year, we know they are still there. I plan to make a lot of calls today, to check in with those we miss, and hopefully bring some cheer to those home alone this year. This morning, I’ll be reading friend’s blogs, and chatting online, as making connections is more important this year than ever before.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will certainly be different this year. I saw a news story that said the floats and balloons will be pulled around the block in front of the store, and that performances were taped for the TV audience. The parade has only been canceled during WWII, from 1942-44, when the war effort needed the rubber and other materials. Kudos to Macy’s for finding a way to bring our annual tradition to us this year, instead of canceling.

©Macy’s Inc.

However the Thanksgiving ‘parade’ goes, I’ll be watching it and enjoying a special breakfast. Did you know you can watch previous year’s parades, see behind the scenes videos on things like inflating the balloons, and more on youtube? There are an amazing number of videos there, including one with some wonderful historical footage. There are even full videos of parades going back to 1927! I even found one on the parade setup that showed the fabulous animated displays in the Broadway street windows. You know, I’d love it if they would show some scenes of past parades. It would be even better if we could have the CSPAN version, just show us the floats and balloons, and leave the commentary off. Some years I think the networks show the hosts jabbering more than the actual parade.

Later today, we will enjoy the football games and our Thanksgiving meal.

Tomorrow, I’ll start the day watching the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th street, while I pack up all the turkeys and autumn decor, and do some cleaning.

©Twentieth Century Fox

Then it is on to Christmas!

Photo: AP Charles Sykes

But for today, it is Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for all the blessings in my life. I want to say to you, dear readers, that I am grateful for each one of you. As I near the end of my seventh year of blogging, I want you to know that it wouldn’t be sustainable without your comments, encouragement and support. You have lifted my spirits in dark days, and helped me to have a reason to design and create.

I love reading Thanksgiving stories, and shared a number of mine on my post Thanksgiving 101.  I have so many memories of Thanksgiving days past, and it is usually the ones with mishaps that become the most memorable. Like the year I had to send My Sweet Babboo to the store on Thanksgiving day, just minutes before closing because I wasn’t able to get the jellied cranberry sauce required. Or the time my mother and I were cooking together, and she stopped up the sink with potato skin peelings before dinner.

But the best disaster story of all was this one. I shared this story in 2015, and thought newer readers might enjoy it.  My husband and I were celebrating out first holiday season after we got married, living in a decades-old apartment complex. Old enough to be just a bit sad, not old enough to be charming, but cheap enough for us to afford. My mother and grandmother made the six hour drive to visit us for a few days that first year.  My mother, who was always up for something new, wanted to cook the turkey at 200 degrees for 24 hours, a new method she had just read in a magazine. OK, sure. So, I put mom in charge of the turkey on Wednesday and went to work, leaving my poor husband home to entertain the in-laws all day.  Well, about four hours after she put the bird in, the oven in that old apartment burnt through the element shooting the oven temp up over 500 degrees.  Luckily, someone noticed that, although to this day I still don’t know exactly what happened.  A call to the apartment office, and the manager (who thankfully was still there) happened to have an empty apartment where they could use the oven.  Unfortunately, when My Sweet Babboo grabbed the turkey out of our burned up oven, a tidal wave of turkey juice and grease crested over the top of the roaster and down the front of his shirt and pants.   Soaking wet with hot broth, he managed to get the turkey over to the other place, and cleaned up both the kitchen and himself before I got home.   I was grateful that I didn’t know about this while it was happening!!  I was also grateful it occurred the day BEFORE the holiday, and not on the holiday itself when the office would have been closed.  Amazingly, the turkey was delicious the next day as it was supposed to be.

For my US readers, however you are able to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday. For readers around the world, take care of yourselves, and have a safe and happy holiday season this coming month.

Would you share your stories, and your blessings?

28 thoughts on “A Day of Gratitude

  1. Julie

    My parents got married on Thanksgiving as did one of her sisters (a different year). After marrying went to my husband’s parents for Thanksgiving & celebrated Christmas with my family. The dates aligned on my parent’s 50th anniversary & I hosted Thanksgiving, with my parents-in-law joining us. Each of my sisters brought a set of dishes so there would enough place settings. We moved furniture out of the living room, rented banquet tables & chairs and managed to squeeze the family into my very small house. One turkey roasted in the kitchen and other roasted in the sun room in the vintage turkey roaster from the old homestead. One of my teen nephew’s arrived late with a friend & 2 of his cousins; plenty of food for more. While we sometimes have snow, it was fair weather that day and the kids from toddler to teen took turns bouncing on the trampoline outside afterwards. Many are gone now but the happy time we had together lasts forever. Wishing everyone a happy & unique experience this memorable year.

  2. Rita C.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Carole, to you & your Sweet Babboo. I’m grateful to count you among my circle of virtual friends, friends who are very real to me!

  3. Juana Ibanez

    I am very thankful that I have found your blog. The pictures, the stories, the ideas, the inspiration are all wonderful! I’ll be trying a couple of your recipes today. Thank you for sharing and paying life’s blessings forward! You are a blessing! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and all your readers.

  4. Judi Mitchell

    Yes …we too have much to be thankful for…. Although we had to move away from the mountians… we are closer to family and healthy. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving ..

  5. Sandi

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your husband! I enjoy your story about the oven that gave out and was happy to read everything worked out. Hugs,

  6. Rosemary B

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your sweet hubbs.
    It is just the two of us here as well.
    This whole year has been weird.
    I love your remembered Thanksgiving story, oh those were the days…. (the shabby apartments and antics within)
    My younger daughter with the three under three is enjoying mother hood. I will go to her tomorrow and help with laundry or play with babies. Her hubbs had foot tendon surgery last week so they are keeping it very simple.
    My older daughter just up the road, they are coming over this afternoon and we are going to go for a walk around our neighborhood. we have trails in the woods and little creeks.
    So I am not making a fancy dinner bc hubbs and I do not really like all of that food. I did buy some ham. I am debating whether to make cinnamon rolls from scratch, or an apple pie.
    I read your blog every day, I just never have time to comment. You are indeed keeping many of us mentally afloat. This year has been epic.

  7. Sue H

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Carole and your Sweet Babboo! Like you, our tradition is to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade but then we go on to watch the AKC Dog Show. Of course, there is football after that. Thank you for your blog — your stories, your sharing, your inspiration!

  8. Oh, what fun to read about other people’s dramas! It brought back the memories of a couple of holiday disaster wanna be’s for me! I’ll share next holiday……going to nap now…..have been up for hours and this day absolutely must continue in its indulgent, quiet manner, as planned. Again, Carole, thank you for your postings during this bizarre year……I saw a cartoon about the nature of this year…..it had an ice cream truck driving through a neighborhood with a sign for “liver and onions”. Thank You for being apple pie!

  9. Linda B

    Oh Happy Thanksgiving to you Carole, and to all the posters here also! It was lovely to get up and send HT texts to family and friends, and get lots back. Ours is not going to be a hectic day, but have a chicken in the frig waiting to be roasted. And one part of the family is planning a zoom event this afternoon. Should be fun. This is my favorite holiday of the year…just seems like there is so much always to be grateful for, regardless what craziness we are going through. Glad you decided to start blogging when you did, and created this little gathering of like-minded souls. Looking forward to your virtual retreats and lessons also! Thanksgiving blessings to you all!! Best, Linda B

  10. Happy Thanksgiving, Carole! That’s a great turkey story! I don’t have any funny disasters to share, but I do remember the first time I hosted Mike’s huge family at our house – I was sure exhausted afterward, but now I miss those big gatherings. 🙂 Have a lovely day!

  11. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. My parents were married on Thanksgiving Day one year and I was born on Thanksgiving Day the following year. Good timing, huh? I hope your day is full of thanks and great food. Enjoy!

  12. Susan Salo

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! I love your blog Carole; it is “comfy” to read and I enjoy your stories. We always cooked our turkeys in the gas oven downstairs. One year it just wasn’t cooking and hours later we finally brought it up and cut into pieces to nuke. At Christmas, it happened again with a roast. Finally, when in January we couldn’t get pork roast to cook, hubby took action. Yes, the oven temp regulator was shot and it never got above 170! A new oven solved the problem, and I made sure everyone knew what the problem was afterwards so they didn’t think we were poor cooks!

  13. Connie Wolfe

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your husband. I appreciate your sharing on such a wide variety of topics. Our holiday also involves two but my husband says this makes it easier to see and to hear the entire football game!
    My story for Thanksgiving is that our youngest was born on the holiday exactly 39 years ago today. Our oldest was born when my husband was active duty military so we were living a thousand miles from home. My mom was determined not to miss this baby’s birth. So, she woke my little sister who, in her excitement, fell down the stairs trying to get ready only to learn that she was being assigned turkey baking and had to stay home. A large family holiday was supposed to take place at mom’s. It was my sister’s first turkey which she prepared with the help of our aunt who came to her rescue. Well, our daughter was born in time for my husband, mom and dad to return home and eat dinner. The holiday was moved to my hospital room with over a dozen visitors when they brought me a big plate, It was so good, much better than any hospital food.
    Connie

  14. Joan Sheppard

    Thank you for sharing so many wonderful stories – it’s like Chicken Soup for the Soul! Like the time I dumped an entire cake pan of hot, baked yams with marshmallows upside down on the floor, or the centerpiece catching fire, or my personal favorite was when the legs of the table gave out under the weight of all the food! (food was saved, just a little shaken!)
    Thanks for being you!

  15. Jean McKinstry

    Reading those memories of other readers, And your words. I am so thankful for so much, as you are. there does not have to be a huge gathering, and this year so many will celebrate quietly at home, safely, and see or talk to their family in other ways. Phone calls, Zoom or Facetime, something posted, all mean so much as you try to stay safe. Carole and your Sweet Baboo, have a Happy Thanksgiving with your beautiful table setting and a meal prepared with love.

  16. Happy Thanksgiving to you Carole, and to your Sweet Baboo! We had a lovely day with time spent talking to family via the telephone and FaceTime. No great Thanksgiving stories here, except maybe for the year we made 20 different pies, just to see if we could!

  17. Rosalind

    Enjoyed reading your news letter. Loved the pics especially the quilt.
    My husband and I spent the day together without grown children traveling home. So we had stuffed pork chops instead of turkey. We don’t often have those so enjoyed them along with the trimmings.
    Upon completing clean up after the meal we each relaxed with our books. I video chatted later in the evening with the kids. All in all it wasn’t a bad day.

  18. thedarlingdogwood

    You are so right about the videos of the Macy’s parade. Last year we watched about an hour before realizing we were watching the previous year’s parade! Oh well, my son didn’t care. He watched it this year too, I saw bits from the kitchen. I too wish they would cut out the commentary!

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