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Gratitude Time

It is the week to count our blessings. It is official – Thanksgiving Day and week is all about slowing down and enjoying good food and good company with family and friends. I like to host the day myself – and I have family and friends who somehow manage to make it almost every year. So I am starting this week with a tribute to that circle.

First, there is my mom, who is so special to me. She comes every November to connect and play and plan and cook together. We all look forward to her visits every year. She teaches us new card games and gets us laughing around a good fire. She is full of energy this year – we are having a lot of fun already and it is only Monday!

Next, my daughter is home from college, and I always love it when she is here. And my son, Aren and husband, Carlos make the family circle complete. Carlos and Aren worked so hard the past weekend, just so the yard would look good for Thanksgiving Day. We were truly buried in leaves here at the bottom of our hill. I feel deep gratitude for the support that they both give me everyday, each in their own way.

Then there is the circle of friends that I count as extended family, that call my house their home for Thanksgiving Day almost every year. Karen and Kirby, Pam, Dennis, Sasha and Ana, Giselle, Steve and Amanda, and Jane and Will. In some years Kari, Larry and Hana can make it. For many years my friend Kay made it.They each bring their own unique gifts. We have gotten to watch the children grow up into fine adults. They all tease me about the Thanksgiving song I insist we sing every year – but no one really seems to want to give it up.We sing together after dinner, too – any Beatles songs we can remember, and many others. We often sing until we are hoarse.

Everyone brings some kind of food or drinks – and it is delicious. I make the turkey and everyone else contributes what they do best. And the rule is that whoever does not cook has to clean up. It almost works.

I am deeply grateful for this annual ritual. It has seen me through some really hard times, and keeps on giving back to me. My brother died on Thanksgiving Day in 1996. So for many years it was sad and sweet  – and connected to all of life that was left. Thank goodness there was a wealth of support, and the loss has faded with the years. In fact, I would say that there has been a deepening of all of our connections through this shared experience.

So as I write to all of you this evening, I am grateful – lots of love surrounds me and my heart is full and radiating. May each of you be able to find what is in your life to be grateful for this week, and may you remember to let your love radiate to those around you.

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