Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Dear Friends

Two years ago, my husband's 99-year-old grandmother came to live with us. We soon found out that she loved to host family parties, and the minute one celebration was over, she was eager to start planning the next one. Every party we had was more fun because of the joy she took in planning, preparing, and cleaning up afterwards.

The best holiday of all was Thanksgiving. After our Labor Day gathering was over, she wanted to know when everyone would be coming again. When she heard it was Thanksgiving, she wanted to start planning, right then and there. Normally, we don't deviate much with what we have and do for Thanksgiving, so I wouldn't have started thinking about it for months. However, if Grandma Alice thought it was fun, then I would start planning Thanksgiving with her nearly 3 months in advance. And we did. She went over the menu at least once a week with me, discussing the traditional things and suggesting new ones. She scrutinized the recipes, helped create the grocery list, and planned the decorations.

When the time came for the huge grocery shopping trip that Thanksgiving always entails, Grandma Alice wanted to be part of it. Although going to the market was one of her favorite activities, I usually included her when I only had to pick up a few things, as she was in a wheelchair and it was easy to have a basket in her lap for those items. But she was so excited about Thanksgiving that I decided I could somehow manage to push her wheelchair and the grocery cart. I'm still wondering how I managed, but from scouring the produce department to helping pay for the groceries, she loved every minute of it. By the time we returned home four hours later, she was exhausted, but too delighted to even take her nap. Instead, she wanted to chop cranberries, celery, and nuts. She wanted to make bows for decorations and fold the napkins. She enjoyed every moment of creating what turned out to be the most memorable Thanksgiving my family has ever had.

Grandma Alice passed away last summer, but having experienced last Thanksgiving with her, I realize that not only was I more engaged in the planning and preparation than in years before, but so was the rest of my family. I'm grateful for the wonderful gift of coming together and celebrating that she gave to us.

Not only do I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, I wish you opportunities to be thankful for the experience of any joy, enthusiasm, and anticipation in the planning and preparation -- and maybe even in the clean up! Sort of like having little thanksgivings within Thanksgiving.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

Midsummer 2009

Early Summer 2009

Late Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Early Spring 2009

Winter 2008

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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