I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating with family this week.  There were many opportunities to Taste and Smell at our house even though it was a totally different Thanksgiving.  We were divided by a large window — we ate outside and Joel, Danielle, Ansel and Zoe ate inside.  Curt hung a plastic divider in the stairwell so I could be upstairs cooking and the kids could be downstairs playing with the model train.  We set the food in between in the doorway of the French doors on the deck.  Ansel loved getting to drink his cider in a stemmed glass and Zoe enjoyed playing with the pilgrim salt and pepper shakers we were given as a wedding present 42 years ago.  They had fun eating and we had fun watching them enjoy their food.  We had to talk loudly to be heard but I told Danielle it was just like if we were inside but at the two far ends of the table! Ha!

We had a 2 hour chat with Nick and Greta in Paris.  During the chat Nick made his first cappuccino with a little help from Greta (an amazingly artistic barista). It was fun to be a part of their day and to see Nick develop a new skill.  He was quite proud of himself.  They are cat-sitting for a friend that just finished renovating a 3 story loft home.  A kitchen that is full of all sorts of cooking toys!  A big upgrade from the teeny tiny apartment they live in that has a hot plate and a toaster.  We had sent them a Thanksgiving box and when I heard they would have an oven to use I sent a pumpkin muffin mix.  They had them for their Thanksgiving breakfast.  We will definitely add pumpkin muffin tops to our Thanksgiving menu from now on.

On our pre-dinner hike Ansel and Zoe had a gnome to add to the gnomes on a Hobbit Trail near the house.  I think we have found a new family tradition to add to our Thanksgivings.  We will take a Hobbit Trail hike before Thanksgiving dinner and then, hopefully by next year, we can end it as we always have with  a big family ping pong game called Round Robin by the Jacobsons and ‘Roundy Town by Greta’s family.  Nick was so surprised when he went to the big 3-day Hippensteel Thanksgiving event and got to play ping pong there as well.  Of course he did let them know that the proper way to play the game is to use our rules! 😉

It was a very different Thanksgiving for sure!  The important part was that we had time to enjoy family conversation and see each other.  

I hope you are able to find some fun activities to add to your family traditions during this completely different place in time and have some special memories to add to your thankful list for next year.

Some of the things we took for granted will be treasured blessings post-covid.

In the book I read the children last week one of the pages held such a different meaning for me than if I had read it a year ago.  I have always loved our walks on the beach and holding hands as we walk but now “Give thanks for the ocean, Give thanks for the sand.  The sweet, simple pleasure when we’re holding hands.” means so much more to me.  I look forward to walking the beach with Ansel and Zoe next Thanksgiving and holding their hands.  I will always remember to be thankful for our times spent with family. 

~Teacher Janice