Counting our Blessings

I took only two photographs at Thanksgiving dinner last year and this is one of them: Mom and Dad, at the table, in their usual seats, with two of Mom’s homemade pies: cocoanut custard and pumpkin. Ours will be a quiet celebration this year, our first without Dad. It’ll be Mom and my sister and Seth and me. There may have been more than the five of us last year; I really don’t recall. The year before that, we were all in Illinois, seated at a table for 17. Thanksgiving is like this––you never know year to year what it might be like.

Even though it is just the four of us, Mom and Marietta, my sister, have been cooking up a storm and they’ll be roasting a turkey that is just shy of 20 pounds. We don’t know how to cook small in my family. There will be leftovers and plenty of them.

We gather and we will certainly remember those who are not with us, but we will gather and appreciate that we are there for each other. For us, it’s been a year mixed with good and bad, a year that helps us truly appreciate our blessings. And so we give thanks for them and for each other. And I give thanks for you, too, for being with me on this journey each year around the sun, for reading every now and then and for letting me know that you do. I can’t thank you enough. From my family to yours: Happy Thanksgiving.



24 thoughts on “Counting our Blessings

  1. Marjorie Hollis says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. It’s hard when you’ve lost a parent and go through the first holiday without them, but it does make you treasure the people you are with all the more.

    Thank you for giving us so much to think about in your posts. I always am delighted when I see an email from Convivio Bookworks.

    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    Sincerely, Marj Hollis

  2. Ester says:


  3. Guy Icangelo says:

    Give them all a hug from me! Happy Thanksgiving, John.

  4. Dee says:

    Thanksgiving. No matter where we are. No matter who we are with. No matter what we eat. This is a day for remembering times passed. Remembering loved ones, some who may be with us, some who are not and some who never will be again. A day to recall all the funny and not so funny mishaps related to Thanksgiving. Don’t stress – We’ll get through it, we always do. It’s going to be a great day, so enjoy!

  5. Doreen Thompson says:

    Much love to all of you! You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  6. anne macfadyen says:

    Thanks for the love brimming over, may it continue with many more feasts.
    Grateful for your writing.

  7. Cousin Rie says:

    So beautiful John. You make me cry. Happy and sad tears.

  8. Carol Todaro says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Seth, Mom and Marietta!

    Carol T.

  9. daria wilber says:

    What a wonderful photo of your folks! I know your Dad is in your hearts and memories today.

    Thank you for The Book of Days. I am always delighted to read it.

    Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!


  10. Paula Marie Gourley says:

    My warm thoughts to you, Seth, Marietta and your Mom. Wonderful memories of your Dad and the groaning table!
    Here, the celebration is small – only my niece and nephew this time, but many presences of those far-flung and the ones who are held in sweet memory. Love and gratitude binds us all.


  11. Geoff Quadland says:

    Hello John,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Thank you so much for your writings throughout the year. They give me a warm and contented and peaceful feeling every time I read one. They provide a perspective which is easy to overlook in this modern high tech world. To me, the content of your writings is very important to my living a happy, fulfilling life.

    A Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year to you and all of your family!

  12. Arthur J Williams says:

    John, what a wonderful photo. And I’m sure you loved those pies. And I can’t imagine you not eating all of them.
    And all the best for a belated Thanksgiving wish.

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