This Thanksgiving was a relatively quiet one. As the years go by, the family gets a little bit smaller it seems. That’s what happens when only children marry only children and then have an only child. It’s a bit sad to think about. I remember Thanksgiving as a child myself and while it wasn’t huge, I still had my grandparents, both my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Preparing to eat Thanksgiving Dinner

Preparing to eat, I snapped a quick photo

Thanksgiving is my son’s favorite holiday, at least that’s what he’s told me. He probably figured Christmas and the gifts were a given! Ha ha… Ah… well I can understand why. We live out in the country and he’s an only child so there’s not much going on out here friend wise. He’s always loved to be around people.

Do you remember how when we were kids, the holidays were so exciting? People came over to the house that you’ve might not seen for most of the year. Or maybe you go to their house. All bets are off for calm and collected – at least for my family. It was always a loud affair with plenty of kids, some crying, some yelling and running though the house.

Laughter was a common thread for all the get togethers I remember. I could always count on hearing heated conversations in the garage about unions or politics, where much drinking and smoking was going on at my uncle’s house but always hugs and I love you’s given before we parted ways.

The women always ended up around the table catching up and laughing, drinking wine or mixed drinks and complaining about the husbands or just chatting about what was going on in life.

It was a warm, welcoming place. Everyone there knew me all my life, or all of theirs if they were younger. Conversation was easy. The TV usually had a Christmas movie on for us kids and a football game going in the garage. I miss it.

As I got older and a bit of a stick in the mud (teenager) I remember thinking how chaotic it all was and I could only think of being with friends or my boyfriend. I left many family functions early to be with the boyfriends, a date or hang out with friends if they could too get away.

It’s not until it’s too late for many of us that we realize how fleeting the time with loved ones is. I would love to go back to the time of carefree days and knowing my grandma and grandpa would always be there… how Mom could always be there… a time where I never thought about life changing.

Preparing to eat Thanksgiving Dinner

My family now.

Now I think of how different it seems for my son. A lot of the old family is gone, the new family – the one formed by my husband and myself is small. Large family gatherings aren’t happening very often. Although, as I write this, my mom’s side of the family is trying to plan a Christmas get together. It’s hard to get so many different small families together as we grow older and there are more and more places to go.

Life goes on. It certainly changes. Sometimes I long for simple days and how life used to be. At least I have the memories.

Walking about stuffing ourselves.

Walking after stuffing ourselves. Making new memories.

I hope you had a joyous Thanksgiving with your family – the one you’re given or the one you choose. We’re lucky to have either.

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