A Different Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving with my husband’s family was a little different this year.

There were fewer faces around the table and that table was sitting in a house that was slowly being emptied.

It has been a year of change and transitions which included a cancer diagnosis for Jan’s dad and several rounds of chemo.

And in just a few weeks, Jan’s parents will be moving out of their large four bedroom family home into a senior living apartment.

There has been a lot of cleaning and sorting and giving away.

Several rooms sit almost empty. Others have furniture noticeably missing.

But the dining room table was still there. And the fine china wasn’t packed. So Jan’s mom borrowed my roaster and did the turkey while the kids and I made sides and desserts.

We enjoyed one last Thanksgiving in the family home, just them and us and a couple of close friends.

It was one short day. No overnight. No extended family.

But we missed them.

There was no coffee run and Black Friday shopping. No late night Clue Game and pumpkin pie. No grand kids sprawled all over the family room.

And I missed spending time with my sisters-in-law; gals who are related only by marriage but have become some of my dearest friends. Bonded together by years of late night talks in one of the bedrooms upstairs.

It was a different Thanksgiving. Quieter. Shorter.

There were a few tears. But there was also laughter.

We’ll get his parents settled in the new apartment in the new few weeks and then we’ll find some new traditions.

It will be different.

But in the end, it’s not the place, but the people that matter.

And for them, I am very thankful.






Haybales Blurred

I’m still adjusting to these new glasses.

After nine years, a change in prescription is hard.

So is a radically different frame. (Now you’re all curious – aren’t you!)

Suddenly – everything looked different. The boundaries of my sight were altered.

When I walked – it almost felt as if the ground was moving under me.  My eyes were tired and I got a headache.

A friend recently pointed out that adjusting to these new glasses is a perfect metaphor to what any change does in our lives.

Everything appears different.  Your boundaries are new. The earth around seems to be moving.

Some changes are more earth shattering than others (think moving, or a death.)

Others are smaller, like the first day of school or a new job.

But with every change comes the undeniable fact that the old normal has gone and you need to adjust to the new.

And that is the key to any change – allowing yourself time to adjust.

In time the world will stop moving every time I step, my eyes will have learned their new borders, my headache will go away, and things will settle back down into a new normal.

Then I will truly see things more clearly.