The third Thursday of every November is when Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated in the United States. So every year it falls on a different day. But it’s always the third Thursday of November.

Thanksgiving is a time when folks are supposed to get together with their families, head to grandma’s or whoever’s turn it is to host the current year.

Some people choose a ‘Friendsgiving’. Which is kind of fun for the singles from teens to whatever age.

One year I recall helping cook, serve and clean up at a local church. There was a meal for those who had nowhere else to go. It was bitterly cold, snowy and windy that day. But it’s a Thanksgiving I remember fondly. I enjoyed volunteering and hopefully allowing people to enjoy a day otherwise spent alone.

Thanksgiving was the last holiday my parents spent together before my mother passed away. Thanksgiving was also the last holiday my brother celebrated before he passed away less than a week later at 51. So Thanksgiving is bittersweet for me.

Memories of long ago years with my core family let me smile and tell stories. Followed by memories of my husband, kids and my husband’s large family, who often hosted Thanksgiving. We had it at our house one year when the kids were still very young. I can barely remember it, but I know it was a good time had by all.

This year is quite different for us. Daughter Rachel is married now, living in Florida with her husband Kyle. I’m so happy for her to start her own married life traditions, but there’s a sadness in my heart that she is not here at the table. Son Dawson found his way to the gym to work out and won’t be here til it’s time to eat!

I’m very lucky in that husband Tony is all about cooking! If I never had to cook another meal for the rest of my life, I’d be thrilled! He’s out and about, gathering last minute items for ham on his Treager smoker grill thingie! Not my department and I want no part of it!

The grey skies of November somehow feel right on Thanksgiving for me. Did you know, November is the darkest month of the year? After it’s over, the days start getting just a touch longer!

Harvest is done, winter is looming. I hear there’s to be a lot of snow for us this year and some pretty cold days! I enjoy the winter months though. It’s a good time for reflection and looking forward to spring and fresh starts.

As you enjoy this day with your families, friends, by yourself, volunteering, watching football, or reflecting, take in your surroundings. Let the memories create a stamp on your heart and in your mind. Sometime you’ll pull those memories out and examine them. Let them run through your soul and fill your life with those moments of days gone by. The love will always be there.

As for me, I’m hoping that my parents and my brother are celebrating Thanksgiving together.

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