Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Pausing to Give Thanks

This year I’m blessed with TWO Thanksgivings! My son Ian flew out from NYC to spend his first California Thanksgiving since (as far as he and I could figure out) his freshman year in college — that is, nine years ago!

I’ve been “off-duty” from blogging, posting, tweeting and the like, since Friday. I treated myself to really savoring the grocery shopping, home care and general preparation for Ian’s arrival to my mountain cottage. I’m wishing the same for you — moments, even fleeting ones, that are set apart from the normal routine. Moments in which to pause and feel that enlivening wave of gratitude.

I cooked a full-on Thanksgiving feast for the evening Ian arrived, on Sunday. The next day we went on a forest outing to take in the fresh air, gorgeous sun… and forage for great fire kindling! We did some cool local brew IPA tasting, watched select TV highlights and a couple movies, and shared lots of wonderful conversation. We caught up in that deep heart-way that really only happens in person, and when there are many hours here and there over a few days.

Can you pick out the New Yorker, lol? Ian (center) with my friend Sarah-Jane and my love Larry.

Can you pick out the New Yorker, lol? Ian (center) with my friend Sarah-Jane and my love Larry.

Ian just now hit the road back to L.A. to spend actual Thanksgiving with his dad and grandmother. I sent him forth equipped with multiple containers packed with leftover food. (It’s official: I have become my mother-in-law, the aforementioned grandmother. At least in that regard.)

Ian’s younger sister Eve is three weeks into a 2-month artist’s residency in upstate New York. She could spend the holiday with a college friend whose family invited her,  but that would mean missing five days at her studio. So she’s chosen instead to stay at the residency grounds with a handful of other artists.

Not long before Ian left, I got a text from Eve: “Can I have your stuffing and cranberry sauce recipes?”

Mmmm, wave of gratitude.

I plan to spend time on the (good ol’-fashioned) phone over the next few days connecting with friends & family without the usual “tick-tock” time pressure that busy-life-as-usual tends to exert. Thursday I’ll go with Larry to spend turkey day with some of his family, and meet lots of new people.

My wish for you is the opportunity to be present to YOUR blessings, with the gift of a lightened agenda. A pause in the typically daily To-Do roster.

So… (for those of you in the U.S., that is) what might you drop off your To-Do list these coming few days to help mark Thanksgiving in a more joyful, thankful way??


Catch you on the flip side of thanks!






Holidays With Your New Baby

MotheringFeaturedSantaBaby2For anyone who becomes a mother within nine months of a major holiday season (and, taking into account all of the holidays within every faith and cultural tradition, that means almost everybody!) I have a radical idea for you: Simplify your idea of how the holidays will look this year. Better yet, let yourself let someone ELSE handle everything. {Read more at}

JodyDigger through a Creative Commons license | Flickr


A Personal Note of Blessing

Bidding my U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving! And to the rest of you, blessings on you just because! I’m taking off today to care for my home (such a nicer way to put it than “clean the house”) and begin kitchen prep. Then four days of cooking, eating and…being. A little slowing down and being with. Myself and others.

A Thanksgiving Blessing

Anne will have a fuller plate this visit!

Last year was the first time in my life I spent Thanksgiving on my own. As somewhat sad as it was to anticipate that, once the day arrived, it was actually rather enchanting. I cooked myself a feast and spent time on the phone with several dear friends over the course of the day. That said, I’m happy to be spending Thanksgiving with a beloved friend this year — in fact, one of my (many) sisters.

Yes, friends, I grew up an only child, yet I have sisters and brothers of various kinds. How can that be? When you put together being adopted (by a woman who had a 12-year-old son), with divorce and re-marriage (thus, two step-sibs) and then adoption reunion with biological parents (who each had had other children), you get a veritable potpourri of family!

My biological father had left a marriage and a young son when he met my biological mother. I met that young son — my half-brother Mike — when we were in our 30s. I also met his wife Anne. We stayed in good touch over the years when I was raising children. Although Anne and Mike divorced a few years ago, I have remained very close with both of them…and it is Anne — technically my ex-sister-in-law?? — who is coming up to my mountain cottage tomorrow.

Anne Lamott, author of "Help, Thanks, Wow"

Just hangin’ with Anne Lamott!

I am wildly blessed with amazing family, and many fiercely loyal, dear friends…and for that I am so very thankful. I have also had the unique experience of navigating three years of living solitude, which has etched my blessings into bolder relief. I hope you’re with someone you love this holiday — even if that person is “just” yourself.

I’ll close by sharing a blessing our daughter Eve learned in kindergarten. It is perfectly suited to the function of a blessing as explained by Anne Lamott in her new book Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. As we say a blessing before we eat, Lamotte writes, “For a minute, our stations are tuned to a broader, richer radius. We’re acknowledging that this food didn’t just magically appear: Someone grew it, ground it, bought it, baked it; wow.”

Before the flour the mill,
before the mill the grain,
before the grain,
the sun, the earth, the rain:
the beauty of God’s will.

An Enchanted Place