As I have matured throughout the years I have become very fond of Thanksgiving. As a child, our small family sat around the table and enjoyed an overcooked turkey, canned cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, canned green beans and packaged gravy. It was always delicious (except for the green beans) and I didn’t know any other way to celebrate that day or any other way of cooking. Even back then, when I had no physical involvement in the creating of the meal, I viewed that day as being special. The house always smelled amazing. We all seemed to get along, tread lightly and did our best to enjoy the meal.

As I became an adult, married with children, my Thanksgiving morphed into a daylong celebration at my in-laws with young cousins playing on the floor and the adults all trying to pull the dinner together. Those Thanksgivings were wonderful. I didn’t have to clean house because we were going somewhere else for the day. My only requirement was to get my children ready and presentable.

As years rolled by, that Thanksgiving event withered away due to divorce and in-laws being obligated to dine elsewhere with their families. Pretty soon after the dissolution of that dynamic, my husband Dan and I took on the task of having family at our home. We have done Thanksgiving every year for the past 25 years or so. In the beginning, it was hectic and chaotic. My husband took it all in stride with the cooking. I on the other hand was in charge of cleaning, grocery shopping, decorating table logistics done. If you ask my children, you will hear the same story. I was a force to be reckoned with a couple of days before the holiday. A raging lunatic. It wasn’t fun for them, I am sure, and yet they managed to tolerate me, took assignments well and managed to love me in spite of my need for everything to be perfect.

We have had many people cross our threshold on Thanksgiving Day. Some family, some “orphans” as we liked to call them, all very important to us. There is always room for one more. The past few years have changed a bit due to deaths in my family and although it is just one day, I will still miss their presence. I will keep in my thoughts this year some of my dear friends who will celebrate Thanksgiving without a parent or sibling whom sat at their table the previous year. It’s a tough first year…. Yet, there are reminders all around me and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the so many gifts in my life. I have broadened my circle to close friends who have become like family to me. Some will grace our home this year, some will not. If I had my way (and I don’t) I would have all that are near and dear to me at my table next week. That is asking a lot and they will be missed but will stay close to my heart.

In addition, to family and friends this year, Clifton Heights Inn also has guests who will join us at our table. Perfect strangers upon arrival, friends as they depart. I am so looking forward to next week. The once known as “chaos” has turned into treasured time with my children all involved in the cooking and preparations. Next year, we will add one more to the table, our first grandchild. How VERY thankful I am for all of the people in my life and for the future little one coming February 1st.

Wishing the best to you and your family as you make preparations for next week’s holiday. If by chance, you have no where to go, give us a call. There is ALWAYS room for one more. Blessings to you.

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