#ThoughtfulThursday Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving is one of those touchstone days that inevitably has me musing over holidays past, reflecting on the twists and turns that have happened over my life, and sometimes wondering what will be different by the time another November rolls around. This year, these Thanksgiving thoughts started earlier this week, and I decided to try to capture them for a Thoughtful Thursday kind of post, seeing as I’ve already done Throwback Thursday Thanksgiving posts before. Doing something like this helps remind me of what’s important and shift my priorities to a better place, something I think everyone needs from time to time.

First I wanted to mention that as I was putting together these thoughts, I noticed a post by @wesphilbin in my feed called, Thoughtful Daily Post – #BestSeasonalThoughts Contest, and thought I’d also try to jump onboard with this. And while I said on @snook‘s post, Fill Steem with Positive Posts for One Day! that I’d give that a go, I realized when I went to get the link that it was specifically about experiences on Steem, so oopsies… although I definitely want to join in if she does that again.

At any rate, we’ve had many different types of celebrations over the years. My earliest memories are at my maternal grandparents house for dinner, then at some point our house became the go to. When our kids were little, it was a mix of traveling some years, and home the others. There have been home cooked meals, and once we did a restaurant with a table for about a dozen. We’ve eaten with family, with friends, and some times both. We’ve ordered a pre-cooked holiday meal from the local grocery store (back when we were living in a camper), and other times cooked everything (including the cranberry sauce) from scratch. One year we had our holiday meal donated to us by our local Fire Department, and in subsequent years we’ve in turn bought meals to be donated.

This year hubby, the kids, and I are staying home and having a home-cooked turkey, pre-made sides (mashed potatoes and butternut squash), homemade stuffing (Nana Souza’s recipe, as always), green beans and store bought dinner rolls. We splurged on a fruit platter as well as a shrimp platter for everyone to munch on during the day (well, not me as I discovered when I was 18 that I’m allergic to shellfish). The eldest put together an apple pie and apple crumble to be baked after the turkey is done, and we’re all just hanging out, waiting for the food to cook while watching a bit of football and relaxing.

As I look back over this past year, there have been a number of changes in my circle of family and friends. Much of it rooted in pain, sorrow, and loss but there has also been healing, joy, and growth. I don’t mean to be all vaguebook about it, but as I’ve said before – while the stories of the people in my life definitely have an affect on me, it doesn’t mean it’s my story to tell. I’ve always tried to be respectful of that, and I’m fairly certain the worst thing I’ve ever shared on social media were a couple of pictures (not embarrassing) that I didn’t clear with the family member first.

Oh, and my usual disclaimer – don’t worry mom, I’m not referring to anything you’re not already aware of.

Through all of it though, one thing remains constant. The love of and gratitude for my family. Speaking of, here are some (approved by those who are usually not happy about their pictures being shared… 😂 ) photos from over the years. They’re in no particular order, but they’re all ones I thought of, and went searching through my archives for, when putting this post together.

Thanksgiving Thoughts
Caillean (Cailli for short) and Tristan, his first morning home, July 1997

Thanksgiving Thoughts
Cailli holding Ciara

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Sisters with hats

Thanksgiving Thoughts
Easter Sunday 2001

Thanksgiving Thoughts
Aunt Mary meeting Tristan, 1997

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Ciara and me, at a homeschool family dance, 2005

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Jim and the older two, 1998

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Daddy and Ciara 2007

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Our girls and Aunt Mary, at my mother’s 80th birthday party

Ciara and Peanut (her pet rat) June 26, 2006

In the driveway as we started our family vacation trip to PA July 2016

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Jim and Cailli in New York, October 2015

Jim and me in a photo booth at the mall, 1987

Jim and the kids, Rockport MA

Me hugging Cailli

Me and Mom November 30th 1967ish

Tristan Tigger

Mom and the kids, 2007 Niles Beach

Me and Tristan at the Boy Scouts Pinewood Debry

Caillean at Prescott Park, Portsmouth, NH

The kids and Nanny, Rockport 2004

Driveway picnic

Ciara and Tristan

Tristan and Jim, Rockport 2000ish

There will be a number of people missing in person at our table this year, but I know they’re with us in spirit. These four in particular come to mind…
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Me and Grampy Souza, who passed in 1978

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My cousin Heather (who recently passed) and me, around 1971

Mom, Nana Souza (who passed in December 2001), me, and Cailli 1996

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My late father (who also passed in December 2001) and me


Whether or not you mark this occasion, I wish you the brightest of Thanksgiving blessings. 

NOTE – the clipart for my Thoughtful Thursday Thanksgiving Thoughts blog thumbnail photo is free for use from Happy Thanksgiving Vectors by Vecteezy


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