April? Which way did it go?

•May 13, 2012 • 2 Comments

I struggled to decide if I have anything – even boring – to write since the last time I prattled on and on. Daily things, routine things – just that regular month thing going on. Maybe, I thought, I should just post the link to my postcards and be done with it. Then I decided that I just wouldn’t let you off the hook that easily.

I will confess that I have become a closet fan of the singing “reality” TV shows American Idol and The Voice. I didn’t watch The Voice last year and am not sure I’ll tune in again next year.

The formats are totally different and while I actually like the V’s format better, I really and truly got tired, very quickly, of Christina Aguilera’s diva persona. Her fashion choices are, at best, trashy. Her petulance over every little thing drives me crazy. It also may be in the back of my mind that she was chosen to sing the National Anthem at a major sporting championship and appeared more than just a little tipsy and forgot the words. If you’re an Xtina fan, I don’t mean to tread on toes – but she really is what in Texas we would call “trailer park trash.” What may change my mind about not watching the show is that I love the interplay with the other 3 “coaches.” It’s also the coach, not judge, twist that I like. It’s very interesting to see the celebs really work with the singers they choose for their team.

American Idol – it’s been around a long time and has a pretty good track record of finding true talent. I mean, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson? Not shabby. I get frustrated with all three of these judges. Almost every contestant is “the best ever on AI.” That lasts until the next one sings. If they never deem you as the “best,” then you’re doomed. Steven Tyler is the judge that is the equivalent of watching a train wreck about to happen. You know something bad is coming, but you can’t look away! The savior of this show to me is not a judge – it’s the producer extraordinaire, Jimmy Iovine who has sessions with each singer. He usually has a guest celeb and together, they give each singer real, tangible, and instructive criticisms and encouragement. It’s what these kids need to hear – not the, “I love you – you give me goose bumps” from JLo. The woman needs to bring a jacket to the podium; she seems to get goose bumps a lot.

Both shows are completely flawed as far as winners since the public can call in and vote as many times as they can get through. Different contestants have bigger voting blocs than others. The good thing is if they truly have marketable talent, they’ll have more exposure to producers than through any other venue. Jennifer Hudson didn’t win – but I believe she has an Oscar on her mantel.

So – you see how pathetic my April was! Entertaining – but sad. I’m still reading the John Lennon book and it is forcing my eyes open to the truth about all of the Beatles; the lengths that their managers, producers and “handlers” went to keep the escapades involving “the lads” from being public knowledge. It reminds of the “golden years of Hollywood,” when all the movie moguls made sure their stars’ shenanigans didn’t get in the gossip columns.

After I wrote about the book last month, a very super Postcrossing friend sent me an old “Beatles Monthly” fan magazine – August 1964 (Issue 13). This publication (not the particular month) is cited in the book. It is a cherished gift and just emphasizes how innocent we were – and the interviews with the guys are hysterical. I’m reading the magazine and comparing their carefully contrived answers to the Lennon book’s revelations about their true selves. None of them were angels. That’s pretty much OK with me. I wasn’t anything close to being an angel when I was in my teens and early twenties, although arson was never one of my sins. Question for you. Have you actually really listened to the song “Revolution No. 9” on the White Album? From start to finish? I forced myself to do just that and it was just painful. “Number 9, number 9, number 9….”

I discovered so many surprises in my mailbox that I couldn’t believe it! Friends in Australia sent me fun care packages including trinkets, Aussie Animals dishcloths, notepads, coasters and magnets! It was crazy-fun! Others sent me remarkable commemorative editions of cards and stamps marking the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy. I also received a card with one of the London Olympic mascot, Wenlock. Haven’t received anything with Mandeville yet! They are the most, what’s a good word? Creative? Unusual? Odd? Anyway, they are unique and the story behind them is entertaining.

The most amazing, what-are-the-odds thing happened this week. The person who is responsible for my postcard addiction, Aurora (check her out on link to “Drop Me a Line”), got to work this morning and said, “Michelle, you are NOT going to believe what happened.” Now, in our world, that could mean a lot of things, so I follow her into her office. She’s pulling a couple of large postcards out of her purse. She explained that when she was going through her cards, she found that two were slightly stuck together. Both were the same size and from the same person in Vietnam. Both had cancellation marks. One was addressed to her. One was addressed to me! Does anyone out there want to take a stab at calculating the odds of that happening? We don’t live anywhere close to each other and don’t have the same postal (zip) code. The sender is someone who sends many cards and I am 99% sure she mailed more than one card that day – not to even think about all the post offices they probably went through from Vietnam to Dallas. Aurora and I have had some ironic things happen, but this absolutely is freakish!

I loved my April collection of cards – both arriving in my mailbox and leaving my mailbox. Every day brings a reason to smile – if not laugh out loud. I often wonder what the people at my post office think when they’re sorting these cards. They cover one end of the spectrum to the opposite. It’s what keeps it fun.

I leave you with one of the best quotes I’ve run across in a while. The author was from Texas and was the most inspirational women and politician – yes, politician – in my lifetime. She’s definitely worth Googling!

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”
~Barbara Jordan

Hope you have fun scanning through my pieces of happiness – maybe with a glass of milk and cookie close at hand! Personally, I’m heading straight to the blanket and nap part!

Hugs with a cookie,
Michelle

April Arrivals
April Smiles on Their Way

Where did March go?

•April 17, 2012 • 2 Comments

We’re way past the end of March and I’m wondering just how that came to happen. I know that my niece’s daughter’s birthday flew right by me as my taxes almost did! How do you not send an adorable, blue-eyed blonde her present on time??

After an uneventful winter in North Texas, spring arrived with its full range of weather phenomena. One week the temperature is warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. Immediately after you’ve taken the blankets off the bed, temps fall to point that you go find those blankets and put them on the bed again. Repeat those steps in another 4 or 5 days. Then the rains came. I must stop here and say it would be absolutely sinful to complain about rain this year having endured one of our worst droughts in history last year. So we welcomed the rain – day after day. Then the rain morphed into thunderstorms with their magical lightening show and deafening thunderclaps (even to me).

And then we had the biggest, most feared event – tornadoes. Not one, but over 17 in the area of Texas in which I live. One caused our warning sirens to go off and radar showed it was very close to my neighborhood. In fact, the forecasters were saying it was headed right to my neighborhood. What do you do? Well, you don’t stand there watching TV! You grab the animals, a flashlight, cell phone, pillows and laptop/notebook (a new addition to emergency preparedness list) and find an inner room with no windows. In my case, that’s the closet in the master bedroom.

Cats do not like storms and especially hate your trying to get them in a little room when they are already terrified – so they decided to take their chances under the bed. Except the youngest. Sassy thought it was GREAT fun to play with mom for about an hour in the closet. Sitting in a closet wondering if your house is going to appear in the remake of “Wizard of Oz” can be very boring after a while. I was looking at the state of this little room and noticed there were heavy items looming above my head on shelves. Not good if the roof blows to parts of Texas unknown. So I take these items down and just toss them into the bedroom. Then my bedroom looked like it had already taken the brunt of the storm!

After the sirens stopped, I came out of the closet (I just had to say it), only to head back in about a half hour later because another tornado was coming at us from the opposite direction. Over the course of the day, many small communities were devastated – homes completely destroyed. Amazingly and miraculously, no one lost their life. Sassy was disappointed to leave the closet. I was not happy to put all that stuff back on the shelf. But I was aware of how very, very lucky I was that my biggest problem of the day was stowing away luggage in the closet. It was a very somber Easter for too many people.

That’s life in what is known as “Tornado Alley.” TA covers a large portion of Middle America, but tornadoes happen anywhere. We will stay on alert until late summer. Tornadoes are to us what earthquakes are to California. You know it can happen, but you just don’t dwell on it.

In between ducking the hail and tornadoes, I’ve actually done a bit of landscaping to the front yard. I used to love to garden, but lost the passion a few years ago. A friend just couldn’t stand that my planter boxes were totally empty except for a few dying strings of what was once English ivy. As a Christmas present, she came over and prepped the boxes and brought some beautiful plants. Once she finished her part, I just had to finish the rest of it! I think my neighbors believe someone new moved into the house. Now comes the hard part – keeping the darn things alive.

I have this overwhelming feeling that my summer is going to be just two things – postcards and plants! Until late August, anyway. Canada, here we come! My sister-in-law and I are going on a train/coach tour for about 10 days to some of the most beautiful country anywhere. We fly to Calgary then head west to Vancouver. She’s going to have a serious battle getting me back on a plane to Texas. I do feel sorry for her!

March brought wonderful cards and greetings from all over the globe – from friends and new acquaintances. It’s so hard to pick one for the album cover, but this month was easy. Ironically, I’m reading a fabulous biography about John Lennon and received a super, super card of him in the mail which graces my “Received” album cover. The book is Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music – The Definitive Life by Tim Riley. It’s an amazing study of what made John who he became. He was definitely a flawed man, but who of us isn’t, in reality?

I seem to be in a “Lennon Zone.” One day I was zipping through the flotsam that is Yahoo home page and glanced at the “Trending” area. Julian Lennon’s name was there. Why would he be trending? So I bit and clicked on it. I then went down an unknown path to his work, his philanthropy and his life. I learned exactly where the idea for the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” originated. Not LSD as we all believed in “the day,” but a first-crush that Julian had on a little girl named Lucy. He told his dad about her and a song was born. She was always his first love and he never forgot her even though their lives went in different directions. When he learned she was struggling with Lupus, they became close again. When she died, he and another one of her friends, wrote a wonderful song and started a foundation for sufferers of Lupus. Who knew how Julian had turned out? More like his dad than you think. So, of course I downloaded his latest album, “Everything Changes.” I like it – there is much to remind you of John and much that is strictly Julian.

There are my book and album recommendations for the day. Probably not what you expected when you took a look at my little blog, but I enjoyed sharing with you!

I hope you enjoy the cards – there’s something that going to catch your eye and make you say, “I wish I’d get one like that.” I just know it!

Hugs,
Michelle

March Marvels
Marching Out of the House!

February. What can you say about February?

•March 4, 2012 • 2 Comments

Ah, February. The month of hearts and cupids. Chocolate and flowers. Cold and miserable weather unless you live in Texas! If you have a special person in your life, I hope you engaged in an activity pleasing to you both. Hallmark Cards and your local florist certainly appreciate your business! I have taken it as my responsibility to look up and see when the Valentine card was created. It turns out that we have Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts, to thank for the tradition of a machine-printed card. I don’t know if a Howland later moved to Missouri and started a greeting card firm. Before Esther let the machines do it, handmade cards were the mode of expressing lovers’ feelings, sometimes quite racy for the era!

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to turn to a more serious subject…just for a bit.

I’ve had reason to think a lot about my cancer experiences this month. I don’t usually talk about it much here, but it seems that I’ve known so many people either diagnosed with cancer or suffering a recurrence lately and I’ve received so many cards and emails noting that family members or close friends are struggling and I just want to talk about it.

I saw my oncologist during February. We talked about how far I’ve come and how he feels as certain as he can be that my form of cancer will not return. But the path from 2007 to today was hard. It continues to be a challenge. Radiation and chemotherapy do some weird things to your body. In my case, I get angry about the aftermath, then I get weepy and I finally come to grips with the fact that it is what it is. I am unable to eat solid foods (except pasta in butter), nothing with spice – even pepper. That leaves supplemental drinks, yogurt, smoothies and fortunately, ice cream and cheesecake. I can eat chocolate if there are no nuts in it. So there are a few pluses – but what I wouldn’t I give for just one day when I could have a Southern breakfast with orange juice, a Mexican lunch with a margarita and an Italian dinner with a glass of wine. But, “if only” doesn’t get you far.

It’s a problem that every person who learns of it for the first time says, “Have you tried…?” Yes, I have. I simply lost almost all of my ability to swallow. The good side is that I lived solely on a feeding tube for over 8 months. I couldn’t swallow ANYTHING! It was one of the best days of my life when therapy eventually helped me at least drink and that very uncomfortable and bothersome tube was removed. I woke up in the recovery area and my first question was, “Did they take it out???”

I also cannot hear well. That in and of itself poses a great challenge at work, where life is all phone calls or meetings. I miss hearing song birds, children’s voices or my wind chimes. I hear certain frequencies – the annoying ones. Every squeal is painful…and I work with a LOT of women. Let’s face it – you get more than one woman in a room and you will eventually have squealing and cackling. I have to flee the premises at once or possibly face assault charges.

So, as Dr. Kerr (my “homeboy”) and I talked, I realized that things are what they are. I’m NOT going with the “When life hands you lemons…” thing. I hate that. It’s so simplistic. Cancer and your “new normal” after cancer are not simple. You are forever reminded.

Another thing that isn’t simple, either, is the spy ring I seem to be running online. (See how quickly I segued back to fun?) Really. Everyone has spy names – you know, like Secret Agent007, or Agent86 and Agent99. Surely you’ve heard of MI5 – or is it MI6?
I always seem to be posting things such as, “Barbara0527 got card from ri17.” Then Sophie54 will send a card to Dogma7911 or Lama2. And just this month I recruited Agents frosch07, Stess29, m0424647, Anne82 and epei001. Really – I feel like Miss Moneypenny! Keeping up with these characters is challenging and I quite often don’t get updates exactly right, but I love them all.

Dallas has a new bridge. Yippee. I don’t want to get political or anything, but it’s really crazy. I call it the PCV-pipe arch with cobwebs. There have been parties and fireworks and speeches this week, but I just can’t see it making the next “US Bridges You Must Visit” coffee table book. I’ll give it this much, it is beautiful at night when the lights are on and you can’t see the vast network of power poles and lines that surround it. Of course, I may be a bit biased against it because it’s taken away my best route to/from work. Here’s a short video – you can make your own decision as to whether this bridge will bring people from “far and wide” to view it.

Really exciting news for me – my wonderful, super and persuasive sister-in-law just booked two reservations for a train/coach journey from Alberta to Vancouver! We’re not going until August, and I’ll try not to bore you to death about it until then, but I AM SO EXCITED! I’ve been talking about it for around three years, and she made it happen. So many postcards to look for…

As usual, the postcards that were put in my mailbox last month were so much more entertaining than the cards I sent! I thought I was cutting back on the sending, but I don’t really see that from “Flew out in February!”

As always, enjoy the cards that I am happy to share with you!

Hugs,
Michelle
04 March 2012

February Fabulous Finds!

FLEW OUT IN FEBRUARY

One down…eleven to go

•January 31, 2012 • 2 Comments

Mindless Reflection –
Saying goodbye to the first month of the year – it’s OK with me, it wasn’t too great. I am glad to see January go. I really figured that by this time in my life, I would have learned the basic rules of friendship…but sometimes you just get reminded and the reminder usually isn’t pleasant. This month, I was reminded that the old childhood saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” is the biggest falsehood you learn. You usually realize that fact when you’re about, oh, let’s say four years old. But you can forget, as I did. Words can hurt. They can never be deleted or edited. You can’t pull them from the air. The trust is gone and although a civility takes the spot where feelings once resided, you can never backspace and undo it. To paraphrase Elton John, “Sorry seems to be the saddest word.”

On to fun things.

I enjoy the Chinese Zodiac – and love that this is “Year of the Dragon” because that is the sign I was born under. Have you ever wondered what your sign is? Check out this nifty chart.

The Asian characters in the New Year’s parades are so beautiful and frightening! Dallas isn’t exactly the hotbed for Chinese or other Asian cultural activities, so I can only image the celebrations in New York and San Francisco. Actually, the nearest thing to a cultural activity we have is the State Fair and its uncultured “Texas” feel. Oh, we have opera and symphony and a few really good museums…but there is that old cliché – you can dress a monkey up…

The kitten is now a teenager and I adore her even though I can’t find one of my bracelets. I’m sure it will show up – and why she picked the one she did will forever remain a mystery. She has quit darting into the refrigerator every time I opened the door. That’s a win for me, or maybe not. She probably just got bored with the game and my wishes had nothing to do with it! We have other games to take the place of “what’s in the fridge?” Usually something along the lines of, “Let’s see if I can get mom’s fingers to stop moving on that board…” Cats are amazing. If you try to take some time to pet them, talk to them or otherwise give them your full attention, they will snub you (if no treat is involved). BUT! If you like to read, complete crossword puzzles or type on your computer, they immediately resent the time you aren’t spending with them and climb on the book or paper or walk on the keyboard. I once read a quote that noted, “At one time in history, the Egyptian Pharaohs considered cats as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.”

My time spent on the round robins keeps growing with the groups! I was looking through the posts and happened to think, “If someone just started reading these and didn’t know what we are talking about, it could be rather comical.” It can also be very educational as people explain to you the history what some cards depict. Here are some examples – and I will admit that a few are mine!

• Received woman and spaghetti
• thanks a lot for this veggie card! I fall in love
• thank you so much for the Mice on Main card
• Becak drivers watching football free of charge… How funny is that
• Love the cheese card… how awesome is it to have a cathedral made from cheese?
• she thinks one might be a view card. Well it is a view, but not technically a view card!
• I did say a while ago I got some new and exciting cards to send.
• Well I hope to see that and impress you too!
• Love the oranges in postbox!
• a magnificent postcard depicting Rita Hayworths grave stone
• Þëÿ, ñïàñèáî îãðîìíîå! Îáîæàþ ðåòðî, à îá îòêðûòêàõ èç ýòîé ñåðèè (áóêëåòû îò Âàñèëüåâà) äàâíî ìå÷òàþ
• thank you for the cool card with lots of portraits of men. You sent me before the same type card with women, so now I have a pair for that one, cool !
• my cards are on the way. I just hope they are strange enough, or I have to resend.
• [we] share the hippo-like feeling after the Christmas holidays
• sent a funny scene from a sausage eating contest!
• it is a Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović. About those vases she said in one interview: “We built two vases, The Sun and The Moon. One vase absorbs the light and the other reflects the light and they’re exactly the size of our bodies…. We became objects.”
• great wedding-picture, thanks
• Dominick got married?????
• Oh dear… I think that the combination of me and marriage is very scary.
• oh yes to be young again but how about someone at any age just to show some passion

The cards flow in and out of the mailbox…the fun is wondering if you’re going to be enchanted or embarrassed that your mailman saw it!!

Enjoy – and Happy Valentine’s Day for those who have that special person in your life.
Hugs,
Michelle

January Arrivals
Just left Dallas

Tidying up 2011

•January 5, 2012 • 3 Comments

You might think that a person who likes to talk to herself and her cats would have so much to say about New Year – or Old Year. You’d think there would be much to remember fondly and opine grandly upon such. You’d think! Not really. I think just about everything that can be said about New Year has been said.

There are things I dread as the New Year approaches – those really, really horrible “Best of…” lists. I never, ever agree with those lists. Best movies of the year – are you kidding? I mean did you really watch “The Descendants?” Remake “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?” Never a good idea, but I will grant you that it is easy to look at Daniel Craig for two hours. Ditto Robert Downey, Jr. Come to think of it, I rarely agree with movie critics at all, but what a great job. Watch movies for free, write about them and you probably don’t have to pay for popcorn, either. Nice deal.

The “Best Albums” drive me nuts, too, because it reminds me that I’m on the other side of the music scale and have no clue as to who 90% of the people on the list are. I have learned things, though…that by looking up some of the winners, I’ve found new favorites, so I’m not THAT old, just don’t keep up the way I used to in my youth. (And I have a young lady in Finland who provides me with new artists!)

The “Best TV shows” are the worst. Either they are on premium cable channels (which I won’t pay for) or whoever assembles the list has pretentious airs that make you think of the old fable, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” I find that if words/phrases such as edgy, ground-breaking, most interesting show in years, or breath of fresh air are used, then rummage through your DVDs and enjoy your evening.

I did add a new member to the family in 2011! Miss Sassy has lived up to her name and has represented the world of kittenhood well. There is nothing that is not explored, jumped upon or knocked over to see what happens. She’s impervious to the word NO and does as she pleases. She is also loving, adorable and totally manipulative. Here are a few pictures of the “Day in the Life of a Kitten.” One friend told me years ago that if the theory of reincarnation is true, she wishes to come back as my cat!

Sassy is intrigued by all of the postcards, which means she was really busy shuffling my cards in December! I received so many great ones. The Christmas cards range from beautifully religious to hysterically heretical! Hope you enjoy the array!

A Kitten's Day

The round robin groups continue to provide comedy, drama and sometimes pull-out-my-hair frustration. You really cannot please all of the people all of the time! And that leads me to something I have found that I love to do and that is go out and find a quote for any theme or occasion. There are the famous quotes by famous people – Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Gandhi, Confucius, Oprah (just thought I’d throw her in there) and many, many others. I love finding the odd “anonymous” or “unknown” quotes. I lean toward satire/irony more than motivational, but there have been some inspirational quotes that are less sappy than others.
Continue reading ‘Tidying up 2011’

Wrapping Up November and other things…

•December 23, 2011 • 2 Comments

In our family, today is when we answer the phone, “Merry Christmas Eve Eve!” It’s a day I traditionally spend sitting on the floor, wrapping presents and listening to music. It will be no different this evening.

There are probably thousands of blogs that will explore the meaning of Christmas, but I think I will simply give you the gift of what I consider the most beautiful song ever written.

The best gifts of the season are not wrapped, don’t have bows and don’t cost a penny. The gifts of love and friendship should be treasured every day. May you celebrate with love – however and whatever you celebrate.

I hope you enjoy the cards I sent (November’s Notes) and received (November’s Bounty of Beauty).

Hugs,
Michelle

November Notes by Postcards

November's Bounty of Beauty

Thanksgiving in America

•November 24, 2011 • 3 Comments

Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the meaning of it – taking a day to examine the multitude of invisible gifts we are given every day.  Breaking bread – sharing our bounty…that’s how it started back before we were the US.

Even if American football tries to take the spotlight, I can ignore them.  It’s a tradition the greeting card companies and retail industry have not managed to turn into a “buy, buy, buy” holiday.  That is tomorrow – “Black Friday.”  I’ve always thought that was a perfect moniker for a national day of planned rioting at the retail outlets, spending more than you have, buying things for those who won’t remember them three days later – generally getting into the Christmas spirit.  I’m not sure why we don’t consider it the American version of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.  Same goal – try not to be trampled or gored by other shoppers racing for some game or toy – or TVs for the “adults.”

The only thing I remember buying for Thanksgiving was food – wonderful fat turkeys (do NOT mention “tofurkey” to me), corn stuffing with plenty of sage, mashed potatoes, yams, green bean casserole, ambrosia…ending with the pies.  Pecan, pumpkin….oh, the pies!  I’m not sure the Native American Indians and the Pilgrims had as much food on the table – but one of the things I’m grateful for is the tradition they started.  OK, President Roosevelt actually made it a National holiday, but he got the idea from the Pilgrims and Natives – didn’t he?  There aren’t songs dedicated to the day, but I’d like to nominate, “America the Beautiful.”

The funniest story in our family’s memory is, “Mother & the Butcher” Thanksgiving.  Many, many years ago my mother shopped for her turkey at a small, local butcher shop/general store.  The owner of the store – Mr. Bodiford – lived only a few blocks away from our house.  My mother put the turkey in the oven, as she had done for many years.  There seemed to be no problem.  As the wondrous aromas drifted out of the kitchen, she would occasionally open the door to baste the bird.  Again, no apparent problems – everything was going as it always had.  It was only when she removed the golden brown, juicy main course that panic ensued.  A shriek!  “OH NO!”

What could have happened?  “I can’t believe this,” my mother wailed.  WHAT?  WHAT HAPPENED?

She goes straight for the phone and calls Bodiford (our nickname for the grocery store owner).  “YOU SOLD ME A TURKEY WITHOUT A BREAST!”  I’m sure he didn’t need a phone to hear her.  He was incredulous – what could she possibly mean?  He had to come over.

In the meantime, there are other supposedly intelligent people who think my mother got a turkey with no breast.  I guess no one checked it out.  We waited for Bodiford.  He arrived, let himself in the front door and went immediately to the oven.  He opened the door, pulled out the roaster and says, “Frances, you’ve got the bird upside down!”

She never, ever had another Thanksgiving when one of us didn’t ask her, “Does this turkey have a breast?”  I guess we conveniently overlooked the fact that not one of us noticed the stupid thing was topsy-turvey.

I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving.  When I was a young woman living in Tennessee and couldn’t make it home to Texas, I got together with other friends who couldn’t go home for whatever reason.  We called ourselves the Thanksgiving Orphans.  It was probably some of the best times I had – going to a trendy restaurant, drinking wine and champagne, laughing and dancing in the evening.  Good friends, good time, warm memories.

Our family goes in many directions at Thanksgiving now.  Kids are grown with their own families.  I am looking forward to a few days with no work to stress over, reading, catching up on some DVDs, and perhaps sending a few postcards!  It’s truly my last weekend before the reality that Christmas is only weeks away comes crashing down upon my head.  A few days before full-tilt dread and panic firmly take hold of my psyche.  But I won’t think about that yet.

Although Thanksgiving is overshadowed by the witches and demons of Halloween and the gift-driven, manic observance called Christmas, it holds its own in my book.  I love that it is a time for reflection.  Maybe it’s a time to listen to an outstanding version of “Amazing Grace,” or a piece of music that moves your soul.  Perhaps those of you in the US will spend the day volunteering at shelters or community Thanksgiving celebrations.  Perhaps you’ll watch the football game.  Perhaps you’ll have an afternoon with your loved ones.

Somewhere in there, though, you will probably take at least a moment to remember those who aren’t with you any longer, those who have an illness far greater than you think a person can bear, or simply friends in another city, state or country who quietly make a difference in your life.  Just think of them and say, “I’m thankful for their role in this drama I call my life.”

For my family and friends – Happy Thanksgiving!

Giving Thanks

~Michelle