I like tradition. I like the pomp and circumstance and the routine of it. On Thanksgiving, I like hauling my great-grandmother’s china out of the china closet, carefully washing it with my mom, polishing the silver (pay no attention to the tarnished tea set on my buffet please) and setting it all on the table. I look forward to the newest iteration of my dad’s “Mr. Potato Head” he makes out of the mashed potatoes every year and I have inherited my mother’s penchant for forgetting to put the brown n serve rolls in the oven until we sit down to dinner. At Christmas I know to duck and cover the second my dad and my brother delve into their stockings because my mom buys them some sort of fighting toy every year and there is a battle to see who gets theirs out and in working order first … and who fires the first shot. One year it was helicopters and the battle waged until my brother’s helicopter drove my dad’s into the ground. Yup. Christmas at the Blanchard’s.
This year will be only the 4th year I have not been at my parents house for Thanksgiving. It is bittersweet for me, but also somewhat of a victory. I am the daughter that ALWAYS goes home for Thanksgiving. I leave work early on Wednesday, drive down to Las Cruces, spend the weekend, usually read several books, get some guilt trips, and drive home 10 pounds heavier because I have stress-eaten my way through every pie in the house. And did I mention my parents don’t drink? So it is quite rare that I can find a drink at their house to assuage the guilt trips? (The nearest bar in only a mile away, but I am pretty sure I am WAY to girly to go there alone.) This year, I am looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with friends, watching the Macy’s Parade (I always cry at it, don’t ask me why) watching football (my Pats are playing the Jets), eating WAY too much and in all likelihood, drinking a little too much. Then continuing my weekend by going to a couple of parties, getting to fly Blew and having a nice evening out listening to one of my favorite local singers. But to make up for my absence at Thanksgiving, I will be spending a long weekend at home for Christmas. Very long.
But I digress. This is the week we all take a step back from our normal lives and tell the world what we are thankful for. Facebook is flooded with people posting what they are thankful for every day, it will be the topic at school and at most tables on Thanksgiving.
So I thought a good topic for this blog would be what I am thankful for.
My family: I have a pretty awesome family. I have parents that love me, a daddy that spoiled me within an inch of my life, a brother that will come to help me at the drop of a hat and aunts, uncles and cousins that make me feel loved and cherished from thousands of miles away.
My health: Not so very long ago (OK 7 years ago) I was told that I had a choice: Have major back surgery or be in a wheelchair by the time I am 30. Obviously I chose the back surgery and after a pretty long recovery, I defied the doctor and got my pilot certificate the year I turned 30.
My friends: I have the best friends. My friends are the kind of friends that would get upset at me if I had a flat tire at 3am and didn’t call them. The kind of friends that want to hear about my lousy day and make me laugh about it. Usually over a bottle of wine. Over the last year I have lost some friends, but the friends I have gained in return more than make up for those that turned their backs on me.
My divorce: Not so much that I had to go through it, but thankful that I have made it through an entire year of being divorced. I have hit a lot of milestones and anniversaries this year and I am thankful that they are all past me. And thankful that I managed to get through all of them with some semblance of grace. Including running into my ex father in law at Fiesta and managing to have a civilized and even fairly pleasant conversation with him.
I have a ton of other things to be thankful for, balloons, beagles, good whiskey, bad TV, amazing boots, fun sandals, my green eyes, good skin, push up bras and the fact that I have an amazing hairdresser that keeps my hair red. But that seems a little shallow to warrant separate paragraphs.
My Country: One thing that always sounds a little hokey, but is ALWAYS true, is that I am thankful I live in the United States. Almost every day I read news articles about how women in other countries don’t’ have the right to make their own healthcare decisions, women that can’t vote, women that can’t show their faces in public, women whose lot in life is to be taken advantage of and abused at the hands of men who deem themselves more powerful. I am thankful that I could grow up riding horses, wearing t shirts, painting my nails, going to college and driving my own car. I am thankful that I live in a country that doesn’t bat an eye when a woman flies balloons, wears her heels too high and her shirts a little too low cut. I am thankful I can work for a woman owned company and own my own house (no matter how much I bitch about it.)
So I am lucky. I have a lot to be thankful for — including that I have a family that gives me the benefit of the doubt when I tell them I want to stay home for Thanksgiving. Even if it means missing Mr. Potato Head.
I will console myself with extra helpings of my amazing stuffing and pumpkin cream pie. And maybe some wine. And no, I am not cooking the REALLY important stuff. If I were, it would be more like Snoopy’s Thanksgiving Dinner. Which would be totally awesome if he added Diet Coke to the menu.
Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!!!! (And I am really thankful that you read my blog!!!!!)