It’s that time. We all know it. We’ve been inundated with the turkey paraphernalia, the fall leaves, and the grocery stores stocked full of ready made chicken broth, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, and stuffing. We’re gearing up mentally for the onslaught of family and food, oh the food. I knew a guy who “trained” for Thanksgiving by eating ever-increasing sized meals for 2 weeks before the big day. I think that’s fabulous. Way to put your heart, and stomach, in it.

Yeah, I’m excited about Turkey Day. It’s my favorite holiday because of all the people. My cousin’s will be there and this makes my heart sing. I really can’t wait. We’re sadly staying at a hotel, but it will be cozy cousin love for 2 straight nights. Drinking plus cousin’s plus hotel away from the rest of the family equals a vacation holiday I can handle.

What I’m not looking forward to is my mom dressing up like a pilgrim. Yeah, it’s not a lie, it happens. Every year she dons this homemade black and white number, hat and all, and reads some pilgrim thing. I know, it sounds like it’s straight out of a David Sedaris book or maybe National Lampoon’s movie, but no; it’s my mom all right. When the pilgrim enters the dining room, I leave. I go in the kitchen, put my hands over my ears and wish upon every star in the sky that I live through these moments and let them go, quickly. My cousin’s think this is endearing, the pilgrim I mean. This is one thing my cousin’s and I do not agree on. Politics, check; pilgrim, uncheck.

In two-kindergarten classrooms this week I’ve talked to the children about what they’re thankful for. I’ve read them stories and gone around and asked each child to share their thankful thoughts. Mostly there was thankfulness for family and pets and toys. In college, the pilgrim asked everyone at our table what we were thankful for. As we went around the table, my cousin’s and aunts talked about their families with stories of being so happy to all be together. When it came around to me I said “I’m thankful for the sun because without it we’d all be dead.” I think my family was a bit miffed. I could’ve cared less; I was miffed that my mother was dressed as a pilgrim. I told the kindergarteners this year that I was thankful for my cousin’s and that I’d get to seen them soon.

I’m thankful for so many things, for life in general, for all the questions and the lack of answers, and the struggles and the triumphants and the celebrations and the weddings and milestones. I’m thankful for my friends and my family and for all that I have. May everyone be as blessed to look around and be thankful. To be full up with joy just thinking about the people in your life. Thankfulness, it’s a journey I think and one day I may just be thankful for that damn pilgrim!

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