Thanksgiving 2020 has come and gone. It was a very different holiday for most of us. Although many elected officials and the CDC warned against travelling, many did so anyway, willing to take the risk to be with loved ones. We were in that number, travelling to Georgia to be with our daughter Tara and her family. We just hope that our decision was a healthy one, and that a couple of weeks from now we are still COVID free.
Whereas the past two years we have seated 65 people for Thanksgiving in Raleigh, this year there were 11 of us in St. Marys, GA. Our daughter and son-in-law hosted a lovely gathering, with the tastiest turkey I have ever eaten. Tara said it was the freshest turkey we have ever had, running wild a couple of days before it graced our table. I tried to forget that, focusing instead on the dry brine that must have made its taste so wonderful!
Although our number was much smaller, Tara kept some of our traditions alive, including pasta night on Thanksgiving Eve. Sister Dianne would have been proud. She would also be proud that I mastered her Strawberry Pretzel Salad, which the children all requested. I must confess I was nervous about that and was so glad that it turned out well.
My birthday usually falls within the Thanksgiving holiday, and this year was no exception. The night before we travelled home, I was surprised with a birthday party complete with a delicious homemade cake made by Tara and the girls. The next night other family members Paula and Bryan surprised me with a birthday get together, complete with Edible Art cake. The next day, on my actual birthday, Mike hosted my third birthday celebration at the Angus Barn, which was so festive, all decorated for Christmas. The Angus Barn tradition ends a birthday dinner with a pound cake. I think this is the first year that I have had three birthday cakes!
Other than appreciating being honored by family, I wasn’t excited about my birthday this year. This is the last year of my sixth decade of life. I am amazed that the years have passed so quickly. While I am grateful for the years I have lived, I know that there are more years behind me than in front of me. I was lamenting that fact, until I remembered how fortunate I am to be alive, and to still have birthdays. The memory of a few people who passed away this year brought into clear awareness how blessed I am to be alive. My regrets of aging turned into gratitude for aging. How quickly our perspective can change. The same situation can be viewed from different angles and present us entirely different views. Regret for aging becomes gratitude for aging. And my age did not change, just my perspective. Thankfully.