Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Pardner!

Genuine period couple
Kate and John R. G. Clemmons
In the true Old West, I doubt Thanksgiving was the big deal it is today. In my opinion, it was a day of giving thanks to God celebrated with friends and family and not that much different from their usual Sunday dinners. No Black Friday sales for which to plan (I have my list), no GardenRidge Thanksgiving sale (of course I’m going), no television football (thank heavens, my husband doesn't watch football!). Just giving thanks with family and friends. Wait—it’s sounding better and better!

Here are just a few of the things for which I’m grateful:

A grateful bird!
First, I don’t have to kill a turkey, strip off the feathers, clean the bird, and then cook it. If I did, turkeys everywhere would be grateful, because my family would eat cheese sandwiches. Seriously! I'm a writer, not Martha Stewart or Paula Deen, remember?

Our two daughters are joining us for dinner. This is a big thing for my husband and me. The eldest has been seriously ill and almost died from a physician's misdiagnosis and treatment, and both daughters have had health problems this year. We are so grateful they are both alive and well enough to have dinner with us and that each lives within easy travel distance. Here’s the catch. Each daughter has two dogs. 

Our Webster, a
precious guy
  What a wild time it is to have our Webster (a black Shih Tzu), plus our eldest daughter's Amber the elegant white standard poodle and Sandy the eager red Australian cattle dog, our youngest daughter's Brendan the gregarious black chihuahua and Findley the amazing black Shih Tzu whom we love so much he’s the reason we adopted Webster.

Findley, cancer survivor
 Findley has just recovered from a lengthy cancer treatment for which the vet credits our daughter's care with saving Findley's leg and probably his life. Another reason for thanks!

A bit of a problem at our family times is that I have two cats and Sandy finds them irresistible—and I don’t mean as companions. LOL We play trading spaces with big dogs and little dogs and cats during the visit. It starts to resemble a circus. And now in the center ring, I mean the family room . . . My husband and I don't care; we enjoy having out daughters visit us!

Everyday, I get to write in my little pink cave of an office on a nice computer with me wearing whatever I choose to wear that day at whatever hours work for my husband and me. I admit I’d hoped to be highly paid for my writing and to make the NYTimes bestseller list by now, but let’s not quibble about small details, okay?

Our church's sanctuary
last Christmas
I give thanks that I live in a country in which I can worship God as I choose and attend any church I wish—or none if that were my choice—and no one can force me to do otherwise. 
Wonderful friends at the church we attend accept me as I am and pray for and with me.  They know I'm, um, shall we say, a crazy writer and probably pray for me more than I know. LOL During times of trouble they've encouraged and supported me, brought meals, called, sent cards, hugged me, and cried with me. During happy times they've rejoiced with me.

Writer Friends
Terrific writer friends online and face-to-face encourage me. They nurture me, cheer me when I’m feeling down, laugh with me, and talk writing until we are exhausted. Having writer friends who understand what writers face and experience is such a boon. Writing is a solitary profession—we writers need other writers to give feedback and support. And to meet frequently for group therapy! And chocolate.

So not my car!
As much as I love tales of the Old West and writing about hunky cowboys and strong western women, I’m grateful I'm alive NOW. I admire the men and women who were pioneers and I respect all they endured. But I love air-conditioning, hot showers, cell phones, Kindles, electricity, and modern appliances. Not that I dislike riding a horse or buggy, but I’m so grateful I have a nice car to drive where I wish.

Hubby and me--
still in love after
all these years
Last but definitely far from least is for my crazy, eccentric family. My sweet husband supports my writing habit by helping out whenever he can with household chores, troubleshooting computer problems, and supplying whatever I need—or simply want. He tells me he loves me every day and the amazing thing is that he means it! He is and has always been a wonderful husband and father who puts the welfare and happiness of his wife and daughters way before his own. In my opinion, I'm the luckiest of women!

 Our sweet daughters are kind and compassionate toward others, and work to help the downtrodden. They are thoughtful toward my husband and me and willing to lend a hand when we need help. So maybe they treat us as if we are slightly decrepit and senile, so what? You say we are? Hey, watch it!  Remember old age is your age plus fifteen years.

What more could I ask for? Nothing. Well, other than that NYTimes bestseller thingy, right?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from all the Sweethearts of the West!


  1. Oh Caroline, what a beautiful post. You definitely have nailed down the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Thanks for reminding us--and bless little Findley, I'm so glad he's doing well.

  2. CAROLINE--this post began my day. My husband is gone down to the "meeting place" to have coffee with his buddies, so I have an hour all to myself.
    I thank you so much for being a good friend, a wonderful co-hort in our endeavors, and a support system when I need one for certain things.
    I am truly grateful I met you.
    I envy your holiday, for we are alone on Thanksgiving--kids too far away and none of us travel on holidays. We just remember those family times we had in the Spring and Halloween.
    Thanks for sharing your life with us--Celia

  3. Caroline--what a beautiful Thanksgiving post! I agree with you about being glad to live in today's world and not three hundred years ago :-) I'm glad to hear your family is on the mend and your daughter's are doing better. I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for the reminder about what's really important in the grand scheme of things--Family!

  4. Thanks, friends, for stopping by to comment. I love each of you!

  5. Carolyn,
    I love the photo of your Clemmons ancestors. It's wonderful to have photos of family like that one.

    I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and now you're sitting back and relaxing. :-)


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