Thursday, November 28, 2019

50 to 50: Time with Family

Day two, and it's Thanksgiving. So many things to be thankful for right now, and getting to spend time with my family is at the top of the list. 

When I was very small, Thanksgiving was getting up early to drive to my uncle's in LaGrange, where we'd get to see the last of the Macy's parade, feed the ducks by the pond, and dinner was ham and quail. 

Later, it was our family with my cousin Becky and her family coming together for Mom's cornbread dressing and Becky's potato salad. 

When I lived in DC, I didn't always make it home for Thanksgiving. But family isn't just blood -- it's also our "family of choice" which became my best friend Christy, her folks sometimes, and her husband and in-laws, where we tried our own versions of classic recipes, made a hand turkey out of pastry crust, and where I learned to love John's family's "purple junk." 

Today it was my dad, my brother's family, my wonderful guy, and the fantastic extended family that has come into our lives through my precious bonus mom. Now Marie's famous mac and cheese is on the menu, and my first batch of homemade pickles made their debut.  

But whoever is AROUND the table, and whatever is ON the table... it's the time together that I'm most grateful for.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

50to50: Day One

So in 50 days, I’ll turn 50 years old.  In honor of this momentous (for me at least) event, I thought I’d try this little experiment. Every day from now until January 16, I’m going to post about something or someone – from the serious to the silly -- that has influenced my life in a positive way over the past 50 years.

I suppose on the first day, the best place to start is at the beginning – with the people who gave me life. And wow, did I get lucky on that front, with parents who loved me unconditionally, gave me stability and safety, and supported me and cheered me on from infancy to adulthood.

Childhood friends to this day still tell me how much they loved my parents growing up. They were the ones who were THERE – putting in endless hours at the rec league for cheerleading, baseball and football practices and games; showing up for every school event. Seriously, when my little brother graduated, the county PTA council threw my mom a retirement luncheon!

Friends in college said my family was straight out of “Leave it to Beaver…” One year, their wedding anniversary fell during our pre-recruitment period. Mom and Dad were at the house helping with painting repairs and other stuff. Unknown to me, my sisters went out and got them a cake. But instead of saying “Troyce and Betty”, they changed the names to “Ward and June.” And my little brother wondered why my friends started calling him “Beave!”

We lost my mom in 2008, and I miss her every single day. But I’m thankful for every minute with them, for everything they gave me, and for this wonderful life they laid the foundation for.