Thanksgiving my way

For the past few years, since I got divorced, I’ve been lucky enough to have Thanksgiving free to do whatever I want. I don’t host dinner, and my son goes to his dad’s to celebrate with that side of the family. And I make my own plans. Or rather, lack of plans.

My aunt called me a few days ago and asked if I had plans for Thanksgiving. I told her no, and she said they were having a small dinner, just my mom and the family. Now, my aunt means well, but what you have to understand is that she often only tells you half of what she’s thinking and expects you to infer the rest. So I figured implicit in her call was an invitation to dinner, but I really wasn’t sure. Until yesterday, when she texted me to confirm we were coming.

So today I got the rare opportunity to sleep in. (8:15!) I lounged around, drinking coffee and playing on the computer for a while, until it was time to take my son to his dad’s. Then I stopped in at Jewel to pick up a can of mushroom soup for the green bean casserole I was making. I also decided to splurge on scratch-off lottery tickets, since I hadn’t bought any in quite a while.

When I got home, I split the lottery tickets with my boyfriend, and wouldn’t you know it he had the winner. We came out $60 ahead, which is pretty good.

He helped me with the casserole, since I’ve never fried anything before, and I was a little wary to do the onions. (It turned out fantastic, by the way. You can find the recipe here:

I even had time to put on makeup, which I rarely find time for any more. I got dressed, and away we went. We got to my aunt’s right on time.

The food was delicious, we spent time with family (including little ones, which is how it always should be), and then we headed home early to spend the evening doing our own things. That’s Thanksgiving the way I like it.


The Kindness of Strangers

Alex and I went out tonight to get a Christmas tree. We went to the nearest tree lot, one run by the Lions or Knights of Columbus or something. Within a minute, a man asked if he could help me. I asked how much the trees run, and he said that depends how big I wanted.

I said, “I’ve got 40 dollars.”

The man started to balk, I’m assuming because trees generally start around $60 or so. Another man broke in and told me kindly just to pick a tree.

I told him I only wanted a tree about five feet or so. Most of the trees looked large, but I said I needed to carry the tree in myself, and besides, I have low ceilings.

The man showed me a skinny tree that was a little too tall, but I said it would do. Alex said he wanted to keep looking. The man smiled and said we’d wait until Alex made up his mind. I returned his smile and told him this tree would be fine.

I let Alex wander around for a minute, then I told him it was time to go. The man shoved a handful of tootsie rolls into my hand, “for Alex,” he said.

The men sawed the bottom of the tree, ran it through netting, and then loaded it onto my car. There wasn’t a hint of criticism the entire time, and no suggestion of charity. Just smiles and overall good cheer. Alex had no idea of the grace of those men tonight. But I did.


Home for the Holidays

Written by guest blogger Sadie

Mom took me for a car ride! I love car rides, but I had no idea how long the ride would be. I was so excited I didn’t sleep the whole way!

It turns out, we went to visit Grandma! Grandma had visited me in the summertime, but I’d never been to her house before. She lives in a faraway place called Southern Illinois.

Sadie and Uncle Marc
Sadie and Uncle Marc

When I got to Grandma’s house, there were a couple of dogs outside to greet me. They were friendly, but I was on a leash and they weren’t, so that’s no fun.

I went into Grandma’s house and met Sugar. Sugar is a nice dog that’s a lot like me but twice as big. That didn’t bother me, though. She’s nice but didn’t want to play. Grandma was nervous that Sugar and I wouldn’t get along, but I knew we’d be the best of friends.

Exhausted after the long trip

The next day was Thanksgiving! I don’t remember having Thanksgiving before; I’m sure I would have remembered something that made the house smell so good! Mom wouldn’t let me have most of the Thanksgiving, but she did give me a few pieces. It tasted like turkey. Yum!

Sylvia and Uncle Danny
Sylvia and Uncle Danny

Uncle Marc was there. I’d met him before at my house. He’s really nice and takes me for walks. He even feeds me when Mom’s not looking. Uncle Danny and his wife Sylvia came to visit too, and lots of other people I’d never met before.

Being at Grandma’s house was fun and different, but I’ll admit I was also a little nervous. I get a little scared in new places, and I didn’t want my mom to leave. I tried to follow her around everywhere and look extra sad so she’d take me with her. She didn’t always take me with her when she was going somewhere, but I never had to go into a crate, and I still got to sleep with Mom at night, so all in all, it was a nice time.


The next day, Mom took me to the Humane Society where she adopted me. I saw the nice lady who had taken care of me before, and I was so excited! But I remembered the smell of the place, and I was afraid Mom was going to leave me there. As much as I like visiting people, I couldn’t wait to leave!

Sugar, Sadie, and Uncle Marc
Sugar, Sadie, and Uncle Marc

Most of the time at Grandma’s was just laying around. But there are always people visiting Grandma, so I got lots of attention. I really enjoyed seeing cousin Kaiden again too. He’s really nice like my brother Alex, and loves to cuddle.

Grandma and Kaiden

I really liked visiting Grandma for Thanksgiving, but I’m glad to be home.