Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the day, we need to pause and give thanks for the wonders in our lives. Our friends, our families, our health. Let’s think wider than ourselves, and lend a hand where needed. We are headed into a crazy time, and it should be about so much more than shopping. We can be the change we want to see, we can make a difference in one life at a time. Nothing is too large that we can’t approach it a piece at a time. May you have joy, love, and peace throughout the coming season…and beyond.

An Attitude of Gratitude

Today is a day for giving thanks, and I have much to appreciate in my life this year.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A Thank You to Dale Anne Potter from Canada, who got me involved with the Laws of Attraction and Abundance. I have had an amazing seven months, almost to the send of my second season, and life has been very good. I am excited to move to another level of personal and professional goals.

Another online Thank You to Alyson Stanfield and Art Biz Blog, whose newsletter today is about thanking the people who have helped you along the way – Alyson’s books have been extremely helpful in getting myself organized and moving to the next level of business.

A Thank You to state retirement and social security. It’s not a lot, but it’s more than many people have, and I can spend my days as I wish, without the stress and pressure of the public, day-to-day classroom.

A Thank You to my students, who continue to write me and tell me that I made an impact on their lives. Your words are more precious than you can know. I ran into Juanita at the mall, and we just hugged. It’s nice to know I’m missed.

A Thank You to the marbling and sewing muses, who are helping take our art to the next level. It is such joy to be able to create art whenever we want to. My sewing skills are improving, thanks to online classes, books, and a great tutor in Suzan.

A Thank You to our friends in Cornville, who give us a place to get away and great friendship and new experiences. Ahead for us this year: Road to California, Thread School, and Photoshop World!

A Thank You to my foster son, who sends me Mother’s Day cards and is  such a fine young man – and a responsible loving uncle!

A Thank You to the apartment muses, who have landed us in a quiet, barking-dog-free environment, complete with pool and hot tub. It’s cramped at times, but we have been able to organize a very functional studio in not much space.

A Thank You to my close friends from high school, college, Hawaii, Phoenix, and Vermont. We have been through some interesting experiences together! From nude beaches on Maui (way before the hotels) to giving mumps to a group of sailors to a pretty wild 25th birthday party for a friend – complete with hula – to visiting a KFC one Halloween dressed as Big Bird…’s been a great ride!

A Thank You to the internet, for wonderful cyber buddies, for the ability to run a web-based business, for learning and online classes, and for the continued wonderment of everything there is out there to learn, and do, and see. My curiosity is finding wonder all over the place – from the tear-jerker YouTube video to a sewing technique to hilarious math videos.

A Thank You to always wanting to learn and rediscovering my passion for history. It is an amazing time in American history, and I look forward to the growth of the younger generation as the new movers and shakers, bringing this country back on an even level.

A Thank You to the vision muses for enabling me to still be able to do what I love, even as the vision begins to decrease with age.

A Thank You to my wonderful husband, as we celebrate our 36th Thanksgiving together, starting the year my dad died. We can make art together, travel together, and just enjoy life together.

Life is Awesome!

Thanksgiving Thoughts

What a glorious day yesterday! It was probably one of the best Thanksgivings ever. The weather was perfect – breezy and low 70s (one of the reasons we love the desert!) and great friends around. We started with a brunch with our friends who are now coming down here from Sedona each year – yummy – and then talked business for a while – web sites, fabric lines, and the like.

Then we headed to the movies – made a last-minute change and saw Old Dogs. Hilarious!!!! ‘Course, I love Robin Williams, and it was nice to see Travolta in something not incredibly intense (more Vinnie Barbarino-ish). The “king” sequence was hilarious, as was the mixed-up pills and golf game – loads of laughs.

From there we went our separate ways for a bit, me to a really nice nap, and then back together to go to our second family. This is probably our 10th year doing this – a small group this year – only 40 or so. We know most of the people now and enjoy talking and catching up with every one. We all chip in food – Dean makes his amazing crab mousse – this year people were awaiting our arrival and literally snagged the mousse out of his hands.

Betty is the matriarch, and an absolutely amazing woman. She’s the lady I made the quilt for – which proudly resides on her bed. Five of Betty’s six kids were in attendance, and we caught up with Colin and Julie – Colin spent the summer in Alaska as a guide, and Julie’s stories about his return were priceless (and quite racey!). They are getting ready to leave for a 25-day river rafting trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on Wednesday. Julie’s having computer withdrawal symptoms already – trying to make sure everything in her business is handled before she leaves connectivity for nearly a month!

Emmie is mom to Karen and Maryann, and she was telling the story of growing up in Germany during World War 2, losing her dad in battle, and eventually emigrating to this country. She still rides horses and helps as a volunteer with TROT, with handicapped children. Amazing lady.

Gary and Maryann and their two boys Nathan and Anthony were here from San Diego. The boys are so tall and absolutely gorgeous young men. We picked Maryann’s brain for additional places to see in San Diego when we go. Found out Maryann lived in the Bronx – I spent two years on Staten Island, and she knows where Brewster is, where my grandparents worked as a caretaker on an estate. Then her hubby Gary was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, and I spent ten years across the river in South Joisey, so we’re practically neighbors!

Lots of laughter, lots of stories, great food – sure beats the times we’ve been alone or some of the times growing up. Today we’re headed to the quilt store (but of course…), Mexican food for lunch, and then reservations for Kartchner Caverns and the Big Room.

What an absolutely wonderful few days so far!

PS – I need to keep my camera with me all the time – I would have loved pics of our spread!

The Day Before – I Miss My Dad

For the last 34 years, the day before Thanksgiving has been very tough, making the rest of the holiday season a rough one. In 1975 I had Wednesday off from the school district – never happened since…I was able to fly to Ohio a day early for Thanksgiving vacation. I had dinner with my dad, and on Wednesday my mom and I were out shopping and stopped for lunch – at the same restaurant my dad was eating lunch. We joked around and Dad went back to work. Two hours later he had a massive heart attack at the office and died. He was 49.

The day before Thanksgiving is always filled with him. Some years it’s easier than others. He went so quickly, but I had been able to see him before he died. Along with his death is one of the additional hard things I have had to deal with – my obedience and fear of my mother. My brother was scheduled to fly in with his fiance that Wednesday night. My mother instructed me to go pick him up and not say a word about my Dad until he was home and she could talk to him.

Quite a difficult task for Daddy’s girl – ignore the fact that the most important person in her life had just died so my brother would have an easier time of it. I was always obedient, so I did what I was told – plus I was afraid I wouldn’t be loved any more if I disobeyed (yeah, lots of baggage to carry around, even then…).

We got back to the house and walked inside to a house full of people. My brother wanted to know what was going on. My mother then said “You didn’t tell him?” I was a really lousy daughter….

For some reason this year is going to be particularly difficult. Maybe it’s my own realization of mortality, maybe it’s the fact that my mother died in August – don’t know. But I find as I grow into more of a unique person, I miss my dad even more. There were so many things he never saw and I could never share – with a parent still alive who didn’t care. I was talking one time about our upcoming gallery show in Scottsdale and her comment was “Whatever.”

Whoa – didn’t think there was this much in me for so early a morning. Maybe it’s finally time for all this to get out of me – the “good daughter” child of an alcoholic.

Sorry for burdening everyone – but my cyber friends are very much family to me, and evidently this had to get out. I will be spending tomorrow with friends from Sedona at a 60-person gathering with our second family here in Tucson. People I really care about who make the day special, and for that I am really thankful.

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