Giving Thanks

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Yep, I will join in with many of my fellow bloated-tum bloggers and give thanks for the bounty that was in my home yesterday. I have much to be thankful for. I actually try to get some gratitude in my day every day, but this feasting holiday is always a good time to go over the list again.

I had something of a rough upbringing and holidays were always a touchy topic. My dad didn’t see why my mom had to go through the bother and expense of buying up a bunch of presents and hassling with a tree and all of that. Birthdays were just another reason to spend too much money. But Thanksgiving, an eatin’ holiday, that was one my dad could get behind. Plus, his birthday was right around T’giving (and sometimes on the day) and he’d get an apple pie made just for him, so I guess that was a’okay in his book.

When I moved to California ten years ago, it was as much about getting away from the oppression as making a new start. I’m glad I did it, made my own life on my own terms. But that comes at a cost. For as much as my family makes me crazy, I love them. A lot. Probably more than they deserve. Anyhow, since I moved away, I rarely go back for the holidays, so that makes me a bit of an orphan this time of year. (Which, honestly, is probably better for all involved.)

So enter The Cute Boy™ into my life. This is good. I have a “date” on holidays. And what’s weirder, his parents live here. Close by. And even odder, he gets along with them. I mean, they have a healthy relationship. What the &^%$ is that!?!? Needless to say I both envy and admire the way he and his folks get along.

In the past several years for Thanksgiving I’ve gone to visit my sister who lives in Seattle. She’s the only family I’ll claim (and I’m the only one she claims). She has twin boys and they are adorable and a complete pain in the arse. But it’s been great. This year, The Cute Boy™ asked if we could spend Thanksgiving together since in the past years we’d gone separate directions for the holiday. At first, it pained me, a lot. I yearned to see my sister and brother-in-law (who I adore and is more family than my actual brother) and my twin nephews who light up my world. I was mad, pouty, pain in the ass about it until I “got over it” and got into having the holiday in my home. Hadn’t done that in a while.

So today, in my post feast hangover, I’m thankful that The Cute Boy™ is so wise. He was right. And look at me publicly acknowledging it! It was right for us to spend the holiday in this home we are making together.

Mother of The Cute Boy™ came over. We had big eats. We all cooked together in a companionable way. We ate together with big bites and laughter. It was easy. And comfortable. And no one yelled at anyone. And everyone had a nice time. And it was a holiday in which I felt (somewhat) part of “family”, and didn’t come out of “family” time with excruciatingly lowered self-esteem.

Even the feline had a nice time. She horked down a bunch of turkey and some wet food (a special treat for the holiday) and then sacked out on the couch like she was comatose, paws up.

And so today I’m thankful that family doesn’t always mean pain. It can mean peace.

I’m also thankful that when I spoke to my mom on Wednesday she was in good spirits. The holidays are tough for her since my dad passed, but her outlook is good. She planned to cook a small turkey and have my aunt and uncle over. My sister and her family are fine. My brother and his family as well. Everyone is fine.

I have a good life. I’m thankful for the blessings that are in it. Despite all my complaints and whinging about things (it’s just my way) I really am blessed.

And it’s just more proof that family isn’t what you are born with, it is what you make it. I have a rag tag bunch that I call family, but they are mine, and for each and every one, I give thanks.

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