Thanksgiving preparations have been in full swing the past week with lots of yummy food on the menu!

Our oldest son will be smoking a turkey, which we are really looking forward to.  Our Thanksgiving meal tradition includes a turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, cranberry salad, green beans and homemade rolls.  How can one not be eternally grateful for such a bounty of food?  We can get so caught up in the rush of making everything just perfect, that we are blind to how much we are blessed with.

One year, long ago in my past, I was alone with the children during the week of Thanksgiving.  We didn’t have the finances to have a Thanksgiving dinner and in those early days, I didn’t even have the ability to fix it.  All of our family lived several states away.  I was homesick for my family’s traditional Thanksgiving, not just for the delicious food, but more so for the company of family.  A childhood friend contacted us a few days before Thanksgiving and insisted we join her family that year.  Even though I was hesitant to intrude, we decided to go.  I am still extremely grateful for that opportunity during that lonely week to experience family and friends.

Each year now, I mentally go down the list of each friend and neighbor we know that might possibly have to spend this time alone and connect with them to ensure they are invited to spend time with us.  We never truly know how lonely this time of year can be until we experience it ourselves.  Think about those you know.   Do they have anyone to be with?  Do you have any neighbors that have lost a spouse, a single mother, a military wife who doesn’t have any other family close, or simply an elderly couple whose children live far away?  Would they enjoy being invited to your Thanksgiving meal?  What a blessing you might be able to be to someone this week.

This morning I am enjoying the fire crackling while the ice is falling outside.  The typical winter chores of frozen waterers and hay beckon each morning now.  I have to keep in mind how mild our winters here are compared to northern Wisconsin, but sometimes, that just doesn’t make it any better.  We have a very damp cold here, compared to the dry cold up there, but it is easy to forget the 40 below temps even without the wind chill.  A mind tends to erase that type of discomfort and concentrate on the immediate discomfort.  Sometimes I get to missing the beauty of Wisconsin, even the winters.  I had fun this week finding some kindred Wisconsin hearts at the Rogersville Library.  I appreciate it ladies!

One thing we thoroughly enjoy doing here is feeding the wild birds.  My grandmother taught me to appreciate how special each one of them are, during hours of bird watching with her as a child.  The problem with feeding the birds is that our outside cats love them too.  I feel as though I’m simply baiting them for our feline’s tasty treats.  On occasion, I’ve even seen those small hawks dip in and catch the little songbirds in the air.  Due to this circle of life that takes place in the yard, I’m not as crazy about feeding them as I used to be.  However, I do enjoy watching the family of Pileated Woodpeckers that enjoy the old trees around the property.  I’d like to see one of the cats try to pick on one of them!

I’d better get back to feeding the fire, but I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving!