Hi everyone. Our Thanksgiving holiday here in the USA is tomorrow. For the last several years, I have not “cooked” a big Thanksgiving dinner. With my daughter going to LA every year at that time and my son opting for McDonald’s so much of the time in the past, there just wasn’t a need to make a big dinner. Yes, my husband did complain. Every year. But he never offered to help with anything, either.  In desperation, we tried different traditions—the “Festive Fajita Party Pack” from our nearest Mexican restaurant, which is wonderful, by the way; the “Smoked Turkey Dinner and Fixin’s” from a fantabulous barbecue place we love…but of course, it wasn’t the same.

This year, my daughter will be home with us, and she wants “the dinner.” I haven’t bought my turkey—or anything else. It’s Tuesday.  I’m not stressed, though. Let me tell you why.

I have the money in the bank to buy those groceries.  So many people don’t. If I want to make sweet potato pie, I don’t have to skimp on the marshmallows. If I want to make turkey, I don’t have to worry about one brand being ten cents cheaper than the brand I really want. And best of all, I can buy both kinds of cranberry sauce, since I’m the only one in my family who really loves the whole berry kind.  So I’m very thankful for the fact that I don’t have to worry about being able to provide the menu I want to make for this holiday dinner.

I have learned to cook pretty darn well. It wasn’t always this way, believe me. My mother was a wonderful cook, but being a child of the 60’s I couldn’t have cared less about learning from her. I was happy with a hamburger (which I did learn how to make for myself) and chips. I learned how to cook only after I got married—and there were quite a few trial and error “errors” that had to be tossed. They were unsalvageable. So I’m glad that now I have learned through the years and am able to do the job right at this point.

I have the physical ability to cook. This may seem like a little thing. We gripe and complain sometimes about having to fix a meal, but I promise you, one short walk through a nursing home will make you thankful for so many things. Seeing the older people there who would give anything to be able to prepare a meal once more, or go work in their gardens, makes me realize how much I have to be thankful for—even the simple preparation of a holiday meal takes on new meaning.

I have a wonderful family. And this year they are all going to be home for Thanksgiving! So many military men and women are far away from everything familiar in dangerous situations. Families separate as children grow up and move away. It’s not always possible to get home for the holidays. And many homeless men and women have no families to go to.

I have fantastic memories of growing up, all of us gathered around my grandmother’s table, or wherever we could manage to find a place to perch with our plates. We spilled out onto the porch, into the living room, eating in shifts. Of course, the men ate first.  It was a huge gathering—my grandmother had eleven children. I have thirty-three cousins on my mother’s side of the family. When we were done there, we’d go to my dad’s side and visit. There were only eight cousins there, but two of them were boys and loved to play cowboys and Indians. What could be better? Another blessing to be thankful for—boy cousins who were just my age.

A good time was always had by all, and that was the holiday that brought everyone home to granny’s house, even if they couldn’t come at Christmas. I had a cousin, Julie, who was a few months older than I. She was my “partner in crime”. One Thanksgiving, we spotted a package of six Milky Way candy bars in the refrigerator—our favorite. With everything going on, we managed to sneak the package out, and she hid it in her jacket. We made it out the door and into the nearby woods. This was quite a trick since she had three younger siblings at the time. We ate those candy bars, three each. I can tell you, I was feeling sick when I ate that last bite. But we were so proud of ourselves for managing to get them out undetected and to actually be alone to commit the rest of the crime. When we got back to the house, our Aunt Joyce was beside herself. It turned out, she had bought those candy bars for a specific purpose—to make her “Mississippi Mud Slide Cake” that two of her brothers-in-law had requested. Of course, as eleven-year-old children, we’d never even thought that the candy bars might be needed for a recipe. We laugh about it now, but at the time, it was serious stuff.

These are only a few of the “everyday” things that I’m so thankful for. This is really just the tip of the iceberg. When we think of everything we have in this beautiful world, it’s impossible to make a list of things to be thankful for, isn’t it?

What are you thankful for this holiday? Do you have a favorite memory to share? Come on, we’d love to hear it!


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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
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20 thoughts on “WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?”

  1. Cheryl,

    Great reminder of everything there is to be thankful for.

    Our family Thanksgivings were always a lot of fun. I don’t know how our small house held all those people, but I loved being at the kids table with my brother and cousin as we plotted our exploits for the long weekend (usually something that would end up getting us in trouble).

    Since moving East I haven’t made it home for Thanksgiving, but I’ve been blessed that a friend I’ve had since we were in sixth grade lives out here, and getting together with her is like being home. And this year I’m thankful her husband took cooking classes and is preparing the whole meal. :o)

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. I truly believe that a heart that give thanks for the little things is a heart full of contentment. Thank you for reminding us in such a practical way.

    Now if I can just remember this tomorrow when I’m stressed about getting the turkey and all the fixin’s on the table. 🙂

  3. Kirsten,
    I have a friend that I’ve known since 1st grade. She moved across the street from me in 3rd grade, and we have been best friends ever since. We’ve had lapses in our lives of writing letters or talking on the phone, etc. as we would have loved to do–sometimes RL gets in the way; but she is coming up to spend the night on Saturday after Thanksgiving this year, and I’m thrilled. Haven’t seen her in about 2 years, though we talk on the phone and e-mail. Friends are such a blessing. It’s nice to have an “old friend” that you have a shared past with. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Kirsten!

  4. Sherri,
    I can so relate. I think most kids are shy and feel uncomfortable with having to declare their “thankfulness” because they don’t really have a grasp of truly what that means yet. So, for me, I know it was always a fear of saying the wrong thing, or being laughed at. As adults, we don’t really have that fear anymore, because we do grasp the true meaning of being thankful. Thanks for commenting, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  5. LOL KAREN! You crack me up. I was thinking that same thing when I was typing the part about meal preparation. LOL I truly am thankful for the ability, but sometimes I wish I had an army of others that would pitch in to help…oh wait…my kitchen isn’t that big. LOL Contentment is a good word to describe being thankful for the “little” things. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, Karen!

  6. Even though I have already have celebratedy Thanksgiving.. I am thankful everyday for all the wonderful people I have him my life, who make getting out of bed each day worth it and count the many blessing I have in my life.

    Happy Thanksgivng to you all.
    May your table be bountiful and your blessings be many on this Thanksgiving Day..

  7. Blessed thanksgiving to you and yours, Cheryl! For the first time probably ever, I won’t be cooking. Our daughter in her new house with her new baby is doing her first one! But I’m on board to make the stuffing!

    I’m most thankful for good health and family, especially my two grandsons. They are my love, my future, my everything!

    God bless you! oxoxox

  8. I’m thankful for my family. A lot of people are all alone.

    I’m thankful that I live in a country that values its freedom.

    I’m thankful for my home and money to buy the things the I need and pay my bills. So many people are displaced or homeless in this recession.

    Blessings to you and yours, Cheryl. May we always remember the things that are important to us.

  9. Kathleen, beautifully stated! I, too, am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. Every day should be a “Thanksgiving” day, shouldn’t it? We are so blessed, and so lucky.

  10. Tanya,
    Oh, yes, what a blessing your little grandbabies are! And how nice you are getting to be the “invitee” to dinner this year, even if you do have to do the stuffing. I am making stuffing this year for the first time. Always in the past, someone else has had a “perfect” stuffing they want to bring. So I’m at a loss. If you have a good stuffing recipe, send it my way! LOL Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my filly sis!

  11. Lori,
    Health is something you really don’t think about until you don’t have it. My mom always used to say, “If you have your health, you have everything.” Now that I’m older, I see what she means. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  12. Linda,
    I remember when my husband and I were first married and lived in WV — my entire family was in Oklahoma! I missed those holidays with them so much, but we went to Gary’s mom’s house and had wonderful celebrations there with all of his family. When we moved back to Oklahoma, we celebrated some with my family, but by then, we had our own traditions, and it was hard to “do it all” every holiday. Still, it was so nice to be close enough to pop in for a visit even if we had already eaten. Being alone for the holidays is really hard. I always think of those that have no family or aren’t able to go home. Blessings to you and yours, too, Linda. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!

  13. Cheryl, what a wonderful, thought provoking post. It really made me stop and think about the things I’m so thankful for and just don’t take the time to think about them. Health, by all means, is so important.

    I have so many wonderful memories of the holidays with my family. I was very fortunate because my husband’s family and mine blended the moment we married, so we never had to split the holidays between families like so many do. Such precious memories … especially, since most of them have passed on.

    Bob and I are having a quiet Thanksgiving because our girls and their families are going to be out of town, but we had a fabulous Sunday gathering, and look forward to huge and happy Christmas.

    Thanks for reminding us of the many things we need to stop and be thankful for this season. Hugs, Phyliss

  14. Phyliss,
    That’s great that your families blended so well from the very beginning! Yes, sometimes we do forget the small things that we take for granted. I’m going to try to be more mindful of those things from now on. I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your dear hubby!

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