Spending Thanksgiving apart, but still thankful

In the past, our family would gather at my sister Elizabeth’s house in Chicagoland to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together. They would cook a turkey with stuffing and other invited guests would bring a side dish, dessert or appetizer. It was always a great feast and very enjoyable to gather together and catch up on each others’ lives.

This year, with the Covid-19 pandemic, we decided not to get together. No one wanted to risk getting ill or infecting others with the coronavirus. My sister Elizabeth decided to send us all materials to make our own Thanksgiving centerpiece. She even wrote a poem to explain why she had send the materials and what we were supposed to do with them.

When I first got the envelope from Elizabeth at the beginning of October, I was grateful for her thoughtfulness and for her willingness to pay for the added expense of sending our package to Spain. However, I was also sad, very sad, to be reminded that we couldn’t be together. The whole idea of making the centerpiece was overwhelming, exhausting, painful. As is probably the case with you too, trying to remain positive during this pandemic is an uphill battle much of the time!

But finally, seven weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, I pulled myself together, bought some orange paint and orange rocks and got a few pinecone ornaments from the charity/thrift store where I volunteer. Today, I put together my centerpiece to show my sister that I had actually done what she suggested.

My Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Even though it’s not the most spectacular centerpiece every created, I do feel a sense of accomplishment. The four characters represent my hubby Rick, me, and our two boys. For those non-Americans reading this blog post, the colors orange, red and brown figure prominently at Thanksgiving. They are fall colors, like the colors of leaves on trees at this time of year.

My older sister, Marilee, the oldest in our family, organized a Zoom Thanksgiving get-together yesterday. So that was great, even though it was a 1 am event for me. Though spread out across the country, from San Francisco to Chicago, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and even to Saint Petersburg, Florida, I got to see my sisters and their husbands, my brother, my cousin, my nieces and nephews and our sons and their girlfriends. That was something special. So this Thanksgiving, despite our separation from family, I am thankful for Zoom and the ability to communicate face to face with loved ones.

Secondly, I am thankful we are going to have a new President of the United States on January 20, 2021. The November election was a victory for democracy and the rule of law. These last four years have been a nightmare for so many Americans, even ones like us living far away from our homes. Now sanity will finally prevail in seven weeks and maybe the Biden Administration can finally help get the devastating pandemic under control. We have no time to lose as more than 13 million Americans now have the disease and almost 270,000 have died from it as of today. We so need a leader who will take charge of the situation rather than a con artist and clown who spends most of his time since the November election lying about who won and golfing and tweeting away the day.

Thirdly, I am thankful for Twitter. This is the place I have been able to go and vent my feelings about Trump and read from others who felt likewise. We helped keep each other sane through these last four years of turmoil and pain. We even managed to laugh at times about the absurdity of a president with no government or military experience who only played a successful businessman on TV but wasn’t really successful in real estate where he had made a name for himself. He declared bankruptcy multiple times, stiffed his creditors and contractors and has been involved in thousands of lawsuits. Trump was not the person we needed to lead America, although 70 million Americans thought differently on November 3rd. That still remains a mystery to me.

I just hope and pray that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can help bring healing and unity to our bitterly-divided country. One thing I am confident about is that most Americans, be they on the left, center, or right, love our country and hopefully that is the place we can find common ground going forward.


9 thoughts on “Spending Thanksgiving apart, but still thankful

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