Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome, Elaine Cantrell

I like Thanksgiving. Sometimes it seems to get lost between Halloween and Christmas, but it doesn’t at my house. Ginger asked us to think of some favorite Thanksgiving memories, but right off the bat that sounded hard to me. There are so many! I found, though, as I sat down to think, that for me Thanksgiving is associated with having the people I love around me.

Don’t get me wrong; I have an entire list of things to be thankful for, especially this year. For one thing, and it’s a big thing to me, I have a lung condition that has responded beautifully to treatment. I’m able to do things now that I haven’t really felt like doing in years. The doctors say I’ll probably improve a little more too! So, yeah, that’s really something to be thankful for.

I’m also thankful that for now at least all of my family members have kept their jobs. In today’s economy I know that isn’t always the case.

My sister who lives in Alaska is coming home December 14th and visiting until the middle of January. I haven’t seen her in five or six years now, so I’m thrilled and so very grateful about that.

I’m also grateful that my last book, The Best Selling Toy Of The Season, has done well. It makes you feel good when that happens.

Uh oh. The list of things to be thankful for keeps getting longer and longer, but like I said before, for me Thanksgiving is about the people I love. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories happened about fifteen years ago. For a time my husband worked out of state while I stayed in South Carolina to keep the kids in school. I’ll never forget how my heart surged toward him when he walked in the door on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. He had a big box with him, and when I opened it I found a little decorated Christmas tree. I had mentioned that I needed something to put on the dining room table during Christmas, and when he saw the little tree he liked it and got it for me. I still use that tree even though it looks a little ratty now. It was really cold that year. I remember how he brought the cold in with him and smelled like fresh, crisp air. I remember how the kids swarmed over him too. He had three full days with us, and since it was the beginning of the holiday it seemed like we’d have forever to be together.

I felt pretty much the same way when my son came home for Thanksgiving when he was in the military. He was stationed in South Korea, and we hadn’t seen him in oh, maybe nine months or so. When we picked him up at the airport he looked so trim and wonderful it brought tears to my eyes. That particular Thanksgiving does have one sad memory associated with it. My son’s dog, Bonnie, had cancer, and we were trying to wait until he could get home to see her once more before we did what we had to do. He did get to see Bonnie, and I think he felt better about her death because he got to say goodbye.

Other Thanksgiving memories? My step-sister, whom I love, baking two turkeys without telling me. I baked one too, and we only had sixteen people coming to dinner. My granddaughter jumping up and down and begging to get the Christmas tree out so we could put it up next day. My grandson throwing a roll at my husband. (He was only two.) My father refusing to eat pumpkin pie because he didn’t like it. He admitted he’d never tasted it. My mother getting miffed because my mother-in-law’s turkey tasted better than hers. My husband and I getting our picture in the paper because we went shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We had a list which impressed the photographer. (Yeah, that was a crazy thing to do, but we had fun.)

Okay, I’m getting nostalgic here so this is a good place to stop. I hope each and every one of you has a beautiful holiday season surrounded by the people you love. And if you’re in the market for a Christmas story let me put in a plug for The Best Selling Toy Of The Season. You can get it at or at Amazon.

Thanks, Ginger, for the invitation. I love coming here.

Elaine Cantrell

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