October is here and in Canada that means that Thanksgiving is also just around the corner. We truly have so much to be thankful for, don't we? I remember Thanksgiving time fondly as a child. My mom would always host it, as she still does today. True to form, she would spare no expense to make sure the feast, fun and fall décor was second to none. It is a beautiful time of year and always a great time to reflect on what we are most thankful for. When chatting with friends this week about Thanksgiving plans, I shared about one Thanksgiving memory however, that I was not very thankful for that is certain! As fate would have it, it was decided that I would host Thanksgiving that year for the first time ever. To say I was stressed out was an understatement. Although my mom assured me that cooking a turkey was really quite easy, I was not convinced. She went with me to the grocery store to pick out the perfect bird and suggested that I make my first turkey cooking experience an easier one. She encouraged me to get a “cook from frozen” turkey as it would spare the lengthy thawing time and I could just pop it in the oven and be done with it. That sounded like a wonderful idea! (to me anyway) My husband who managed a grocery store at that time thought I was crazy! He said “There is no such thing as a cook from frozen turkey. It does not exist!” I assured him it was new and it definitely did exist, because I had just proudly purchased one. Truth be told, I was feeling very proud of myself and actually more confident that I just might pull this off. You know... "I am woman. Hear me roar!" Well Thanksgiving Day dawned and I was up bright and early to get that bad boy in the oven and get the house festively decorated. As I took off the plastic wrap from the turkey to my horror two words glared back at me like a neon sign of torture… THAWING INSTRUCTIONS! I thought this is not possible. I had specifically purchased a “cook from frozen” turkey!! I showed my husband as I began to cry and ask “What am I to do now?” He reminded me several times that he had told me so, yet before we knew it we raced off in desperation to his mom’s house, frozen bird in hand to see what we could do. Don’t ask me why but it appears he thought that she could be the “bird whisperer” and perform some type of frozen turkey miracle thaw, but that was clearly not happening! We went to my mom’s house next and she was just as confused as I was! She KNEW she had picked out a “cook from frozen” turkey! All we could figure was in our quest for the perfect bird, our eyes caught one a bit better and switched it. What we did not realize was that the turkeys that were “cook from frozen” and those that required thawing were mixed in together. What was I to do? This was my first crack at hosting Thanksgiving dinner and it was already a huge disaster. Right away as all stores were closed Phil announced “Get on the phone and call everyone! Thanksgiving is cancelled this year!” I knew I couldn’t do that and as per usual my mom once again came to my rescue. Did I mention how thankful I am for that amazing woman? As fate would have it my mom had two large, lovely hams in her freezer. We quickly decided to break tradition and serve ham instead of turkey that year, and all in all it was a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner after all. It just had a very stressful start. My mom even went back to the store and explained the whole stressful scenario, returned the turkey and got a “cook from frozen” one (which does exist Phil) which we enjoyed at a later date. Way to go mom! You rock! A funny story now but not so much at the time!
My daughter was setting up for her work last week for their Thanksgiving feast at a retirement home. As a perk for working there and helping get the meal ready she was promised a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. As she reviewed the menu with me my mouth was watering and she was so excited. Well somehow in all the excitement through no fault other than lack of communication, no meal was left for her. In fact there was nothing left at all. Talk about disappointing. Instead of a turkey dinner, she went home and made herself some toast. I promised I would make it up to her and pick her something up better later that evening as I do try to carry on the tradition my mom started of coming to the rescue!
Oh life is like that sometimes! We plan for something and then it doesn’t happen. My stories are very minor, but even little things like this when they accumulate can really get you down. Despite the crazy ups and downs of life there is one thing that I am very sure of. When it comes to my life, it is certainly a good one! I truly have nothing to complain about. I have so many blessings I do not even know where to start, but I will try. First I have a wonderful Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally and has given me gifts that I am able to share with the world that I am very grateful for. Next I have an amazing family, wonderful friends and supportive colleagues. I have a beautiful home, money in the bank, a warm bed, food on my table, a car to get me from Point A to B, my health and a rewarding career even despite the fact that right now we are in a legal strike position. Much of what I have just shared are basic necessities, yet many people do not have them. I do not take what I have for granted and I realize that that could all change at any given time. Life is uncertain at best, but I want to celebrate while I can. Life is never perfect, but it can still be good,
My daughter and I love the movie The Fault in Our Stars. We have watched it over and over. The storyline involves two young people who fall in love named Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster. Both are fighting cancer and met in a support group for those dealing with cancer and its side effects. Despite the somewhat sad background story, the movie is often quite lighthearted and funny and shows them enjoying their perfectly imperfect life. Throughout the movie, even at the most saddest points Augustus is known to say with a twinkle in his eye “It’s a good life, Hazel Grace!” That always touched me as it really reminded me of the value of grabbing what is good in life and celebrating it no matter what else comes with it. They had an incredible relationship and despite the uncertainty of their illnesses and treatments they lived their lives to the fullest.
I want to be a person like that. I want to leave a legacy of someone who lived a good life in all the right ways. Perspective is everything. So maybe you have ham instead of turkey or a Tim Horton’s sandwich instead of a full turkey spread, so what! You still have more than many and you are truly blessed. I wrote a little poem that my students learned at school this week called
“A Thankful Heart” It goes like this:
I want to have a thankful heart,
For I have MANY things,
Like clothes and food and friends and toys,
We call all these BLESSINGS!
I will not whine or complain,
For in Canada we are blessed,
I will have a thankful heart
For a thankful heart is best!
A thankful heart is truly best. It is always better to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t. Even writing this blog has helped me to be reminded of what I have to be grateful for. It’s a good life we have. Don’t you agree?
Until Next Time,
1 Chornicles 16:34 ~ Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever!
Little Lesson Learned: Our lives may be less than perfect, but we are still blessed to have what we do have.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015