This is a photo taken on the last Thanksgiving I had with my family in North Carolina. They may disown me for posting this picture, but it does have good memories. I am not in the picture of course since I was the one taking it. I was all packed up and ready to head out west the following day.

We all met at a restaurant in Fuquay Varina called Golden Coral. You may have heard of it if you live somewhere back east. They specialize in all you can eat buffet style. And let me tell you, it’s a spread. I could never eat my moneys worth but some people have no trouble with that. Speaking of all you can eat, my sweet nephew, the younger one, loves to go there and enjoy the buffet. What a great guy he is and will always be special to me.

As a family we would usually gather at my home or my younger brothers home who lived in a coastal North Carolina town. He was not able to be there that year. It’s been 14 years now since that last Thanksgiving. I have many tales I can tell around and about the holidays but I’ll save a few for other blogs.

I did in fact leave the following morning with a close friend and my two cats, Tobe and Simon. The Monday prior to this day, Simon slipped out of a window at a friends house who was caring for my boys before we left. That rascal did not show back up until the Friday morning after Thanksgiving because after many attempts with salmon, chicken and tuna, he must have been waiting for the turkey. And did he ever enjoy it! Oh my yes.

That week while Simon was missing was difficult because I knew I was dealing with potential weather heading to Colorado Springs in November and was dedicated to leave that Friday. But my Simon was in the pet carrier the next day with Tobe after being given the all clear by his veterinarian. Whew! Close call but much relief.

Back to that Thanksgiving. It was bitter sweet as I didn’t know when I would see my family again and of course I did not know I would travel further west at that time to Oregon a few months later. On that day, we had a great leisurely meal and no one had to cook or clean up which is always a chore. On previous Thanksgivings I would often entertain and insisted on cooking lasagna for an Italian Thanksgiving since I am not a fan of the traditional turkey meal. But my family sure was. My siblings would be sure and contribute the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes (I do like those) and corn pudding.

Take time to enjoy the memories or make new ones for yourself. You may not have family nearby so even if it is just you, do something special for yourself. Holidays can be a tough time for some and I am no exception. Make it special for you and be thankful. I had a lot to be thankful for that Thanksgiving as I headed to my new life and adventure with my furry friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

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