This week I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a centenarian. A young man at heart at the ripe age of 100. He was vibrant, dynamic, and engaging – telling me stories from his childhood, working on rockets for the moon, and of his family. As I sat there, it made me think of my Uncle Melvin.
I used to ride in the beet truck on the farm with my Uncle Melvin. His green thermos filled with black coffee and our sack lunch spam and cheese sandwiches made by grandmother. I loved riding in the beet truck with Uncle Melvin, hauling sugar beets from the farm to the sugar factory all day long. The memories made me smile and feel a bit nostalgic and it made me think about Thanksgiving.
This time of year is one of my favorites. Most of the vibrant reds and yellows of the trees have fallen to the ground, and there is an embrace of gratitude in the air for family, friends, traditions, memories and of course the food. The traditional turkey dinner is put on a pedestal, where most can’t wait to fill themselves with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls and other favorite family dishes.
We recall years passed when someone used salt instead of sugar, accidentally added an eggshell, or overcooked the turkey. As each year comes and goes, we realize, we always remember how it was, embracing the memories and laughter, and somehow as we all grow older, it all changes. Familiar faces leave the table, the menu slightly changes, or something has happened in our lives where the mood is just simply not the same.
Each year is different, yet there is always something to be thankful for. Things change, hardships come and go, and reflections of the year can put a lot into perspective.
Thanksgiving is a moment to find those things we are grateful for. A day where we can appreciate the old, look forward to the new, but live in the day of staying present in the creation of memories, laughter, and love. Celebrating each family member for who they are. Recognizing each person’s light they bring to this world.
I have a list to be thankful for this year, including my family, friends, and the many I have met cloudsurfing along the way. Even the fact that my airline started carrying Prosecco on their domestic flights. 🙂
For all of the positive things this year, including saying “I Do” to my husband Scott and stepping closer to one of my biggest career dreams, it has also been tough. There were some health scares, dramatic changes in our extended family with the loss of someone very special, and abrupt circumstances to work through.
For me, as I sit around the table this year I know I am grateful to be here. Grateful for those that find joy in creating the epic meal, those that bring their smile and laughter, those that inspire me to hit the yoga room and take in a run, those that hold my hand, and those that needed to be somewhere else.
As I recall on people lost in life, such as Uncle Melvin and Anthony, and those friends and family that live far away, all of whom will not be physically around the table. This year I know that they will all be in our hearts and part of the conversation.
We cannot replace what has been lost. They will forever be part of us, part of the meal and the traditions going forward. Yet we can embrace everyone that is there.
So I raise my glass to all of you around your tables this year wherever you are and say, “May you embrace this moment. May you share the love with everyone at your table. My motto is life is better with bubbles, and although I do live by that, my heart says, life is better for these moments. The Thanksgiving dinners where we come together to share conversation, laughter, and food. It is true, food is people glue. So cheers to you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving from me.