Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanks Giving and Reflections

Up here in Canada it is Thanksgiving Day and as you all know I have much to be thankful for so I won’t bore you with listing them all off again. My family isn’t having a celebration dinner this year, not on the day anyway. I have been extremely sick lately, that is why I haven’t been posting or commenting much, I have been flat-out sick in bed. It started with a sore throat, moved to a head cold and now has settled in my chest. I do worry a bit because I have had pneumonia several times in my life along with bronchitis and once you have had either one you tend to get it again and I am not one to sit still for long and think I can just “work through it” which is not always the case.

Plus my brother’s job, which is absolutely HUGE has to be finished this coming Thursday and seeing as my son is site foreman they are both working this weekend to get the job done.

Two weeks ago my brother had asked me to cook a lunch for the crew on Friday and I had said sure, thinking I would be over this flu and I want to help out as much as I can.  With subtrades there was probably 40 people to feed and my brother requested my Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I worked for 2 days cooked the pork in the slow cooker, making potato salad, coleslaw and marinated peppers plus a dessert. Now I don’t have a stove, well I do have a stove but I haven’t been able to buy propane for the stove for over a year. My heat is electric and being alone I don’t consider having a stove a priority and have gotten by using my microwave, crock pot and an electric pancake griddle, so cooking for 40 presented a bit of a challenge but I got it done and was struggling with this dang flu the whole time.

My brother also hired a chef to do barbecue ribs on the barbecue and my son messaged me after the luncheon that all the guys thought my pulled pork was better than the ribs which was nice to hear because I was worried. When you cook for that many you want it to be good. I was really pleased I pulled it off. I made up a no bake dessert using a graham crust, pudding, cooking apples and thickened them added them to the pudding, mixed in some Cool Whip and sprinkled the top with graham crumbs. The potato salad was red and yellow potatoes and sweet potatoes and really tasty if I say so myself. I had  a bunch of peppers given to me by the neighbour lady and used my blowtorch (left from my scrap hauling days) to “roast” the skins off of them and made a marinade. I heard my brother telling the chef that the peppers were delicious and the chef tell him he didn’t make them, I did! The pulled pork turned out quite spicy but every bit of it and the coleslaw were gone.

I had a rather eye-opening experience while serving this lunch. An ex boyfriend of mine is doing some work for my brother, he had I have remained friendly, we dated for about a year, about 20 years ago. I saw he was leaving just as I was bringing out the food and asked if he wasn’t staying and he said he was vegetarian now. I told him to have some salad and dessert, take some home for his girlfriend, so he took me up on the offer and then we stood talking for a while. He said to me,”Now this is what you should be doing full-time.”

I said, “Oh no, I don’t like to cook THAT much.” my face must have shown my confusion and I could see the confusion on his face.

Then I remembered; I used to love to cook. I was a wonderful cook and entertainer. I used to cook for 30 + people all the time without a second thought, (mind you I always had a fully functioning kitchen and all the serving dishes and large pots etc needed to do it). When he and I dated I always cooked lavish meals, I loved to plan meals, I never followed a recipe and could pull a meal together at the drop of a hat any day of the week because I kept my cupboards so well stocked. When I met the wospos I was a great cook, he used to rave about the meals I could throw together out of seemingly nothing, and then we spent the major part of the next ten years without a kitchen. I realized that anyone who knew me 15+ years ago still views me as this fantastic cook.

For the first few years without a kitchen it really bothered me, cooking and being a homemaker had been such a huge part of me but I adapted and I learned new talents, like painting. After the wospos and I split I was afraid I had forgotten how to cook but obviously I retained some of my cooking skills, the thing I didn’t retain is my passion for it. I can do, I can enjoy doing it on occasion but it is not a something I define myself by any more.

It was an Aha moment for me. I used to show my love for people by cooking for them, I entertained to make friends, cooking and feeding people was who I was; but we all grow and change, my ex is now a vegetarian. People who haven’t spent time with me the past 15 years really don’t know me at all now, sure the basic me is the same but so much of what I thought was important and I couldn’t live without means nothing to me now. But in their place other things have become just as big a part of me, I am even more passionate about the things that are important to me like my blog, my education, helping others, my son, …………..things that really matter.  Who wants “She made a mean pasta sauce” on their headstone? I would much rather have, “She made a positive difference in the world” on mine. The whole time I was cooking lavish meals I was feeling inferior and like I wasn’t living my purpose but I didn’t know what my purpose was. Maybe a person’s purpose changes as they age. Maybe being step mom to 4 kids was my purpose at that time, maybe running a daycare was my purpose for that period of time in my life and now my purpose is to raise awareness about domestic abuse. I just know I have stopped wondering what my purpose in life is and knowing that I have helped someone have a better future is a lot more gratifying than knowing I cooked a good meal.

I had taken Kato’s ashes with me with the intention of spreading them at the river where the wospos and I used to take Kato because this job is very close to where wospos used to work. I went to the river but the tide was in, the river feeds into the ocean; and I couldn’t get to the spot we used to go. I left to go to another spot on the river where Kato and I used to go almost daily behind Amix. I drove past where JC used to work and they are gone, closed. The company had been around forever and all the trucks were parked but the company was gone. Then I went to go the other location and the roads have all been changed and I don’t know how to get there any more. I tried to find another park Kato and I used to go to and once again I could see the road I needed to take but now the new road totally bypasses it and I couldn’t go there either.

In five short years, everything has changed. I stopped going down to that area because I didn’t want to run into the wospos and in that time it has changed so much I hardly recognized it. There was a day I knew the whole area like the back of my hand.

There was a day I could remember exactly what it felt like to kiss the wospos, I could remember the feeling of being in his arms, there was a day I ached for him to hold me. I thought I would never be whole again, that I would never find “me” again.

As much as we want things to stay the same, as much as we don’t want to let go of what we know and we think we can’t survive losing what we have……….everything changes, the world, our world, the people around us. We lose pets, lovers, ourselves but every time we lose some thing we get something in its place, who knows it might even be better than what we had. But we have to know when to let it go, when it no longer serves us to cling to something and be open to accepting what is waiting to take its place. It takes courage to let go of what we know for the unknown but if we don’t we stagnate and we will never grow, we will never be better than we were we will never have better.

So this Thanksgiving I am thankful for change, I am thankful for all the wonderful things that have taken the place of those things that made me who I was because they make me who I am.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all with love.

My Headless Friend

Taken Thanksgiving 2012

Just wait until my teeth are fixed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My headless friend is a really good friend who drives transport and was in town Monday so a few of us met for coffee. I met my HF when JC and I were living in WalMart parking lot, he had seen JC’s tractor and had come over and said hi. JC called me saying I had to come to the Best Western and meet this cool guy he’d just met. My HF is quite simply one of the nicest guys I’ve met, he is Christian and can quote scripture like no one I have ever met besides JC’s mother but he isn’t pushy about it. And of course seeing as HF was Christian JC was also. All of a sudden JC was all into going to church, saying Grace every meal, and HF became his best friend immediately. (I found with JC he was the same with his male friends as he was with women, he became fast friends with guys immediately and would be calling them constantly, doing them favors, giving them gifts, taking on their views and beliefs and almost idolizing them. But something would happen, JC would screw them in a deal or they would accuse him of stealing or he would start jerking them around, not showing up etc and they would get angry with him)

I didn’t want to post HE’s face without his permission but I like the picture and Lou had requested a picture of me in my skinny jeans so there I am in my skinny jeans trying to stifle a smile. By the way, I am finally going to get the last of my dental work done this Friday so there should be smiling big time in a few weeks. Wooohooo

I had a really good weekend, one of the best I’ve had in over two years. My mom emailed me on Saturday to see if I wanted to go out for supper Sunday. She picked me up and we went to the Dewdney Pub and had a really excellent turkey dinner. My HF called Saturday to see if I wanted to get together on Monday with him and 2 other guys. So Monday afternoon I had a good couple hours visit with them and then went to visit another friend. She had mail for me from the trailer park and there was a cheque from the coop for me for $125.

My weekends are usually so depressing and long weekends even worse but I felt great. I gave myself a French manicure, talked to my son, my cousin, text messaged my contact list to say Happy Thanksgiving, JC’s sister Denise dropped in on my blog and commented on my post ” Poverty is For Other People” saying it was really well done. I was so touched her took the time to comment.

None of that is that special, do you wanna know what made it really special?
I didn’t talk about JC all weekend except in casual passing. HF asked if I had talked to him lately because JC never returns his phone messages or emails and I just said, “No but his step dad called me the other day to see if I’d tslkrx to him because he isn’t returning their calls either.” I am no longer the “go to person” when anyone is looking for JC, That in itself felt great.

I talked about what I want to do with my life, my new career ideas, my blog, my dogs, but not JC!! You know why I didn’t talk about JC? Because he doesn’t matter any more. He does not control me or consume me any more. I look at a picture of him and feel ill at the thought that I actually loved someone who was capable of the things he did. I don’t know who that woman was who allowed a man to treat her with such disrespect, who thought her life wasn’t worth living because he said so. As we were parting my HF yelled after me as I walked to my truck, “Hey! Carrie, you looking really good!”

I laughed and said, “thankyou! Wait until you see me with my new teeth, I’m gonna be HOT!” and I meant it.

Now I just have to get out of this damn trailer and I will be able to truly move on. I’ll fill you in on my career plans another post when I get some things lined up but I am excited.

Oh! And out of the blue my camera on my phone just started working again! Go figure! Things are looking up, could it be true that when you cut the evil out of your life it makes room for the good to come in? Stay tuned to find out. 😉

Thankful For The Memories

I used to love all of the traditional holidays, and as much as I love Christmas and the decorations I think my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. It was my favorite because you got the big turkey dinner, the family get-together and none of the commercialized gift crap.

I started a tradition at my Thanksgiving table that as we ate we would go around the table and everyone had to say what they were thankful for. It didn’t matter what had gone on in someone’s life they were still expected to come up with some thing.

Years ago before Kris was born Victor, my 1st husband had lost his brother in a tragic fishing accident. They had been fishing and drinking out on the lake in early spring so the water was extremely cold. The boat flipped, there were three of them and only two life jackets. Victor was going to swim for help, he was the most physically fit. Don was a big guy, couldn’t swim and was panicking so they got him in a lift vest first. Victor’s brother, Micheal,  was wirey and probably weighed 75 – 100 lbs less than Victor and had the other life jacket on. They decided Victor should stay with Don because he was stronger and could keep Don from drowning and Micheal would swim to shore for help.

Michel and he argued about the life jacket, Victor wanted Michel to wear it and Micheal wanted Victor to wear it. Micheal agreed to keep it on but he swam a ways and then turned and threw it back to Victor.

They waited and waited; it wasn’t that far to shore; but it was dusk and they couldn’t see if Micheal made it. Finally after calling out and not getting a reply Victor left Don and swam to shore. He ran down the road calling for Micheal, nothing. Then a truck came by and they hadn’t seen any one.

They got Don out of the lake, but they had to drag the lake the next morning and found Micheal, he had drowned only a few yards from shore; they figured he had succumbed to the cold. Victor had a horrible time dealing with his brother’s death and at the reception we had at our house after the funeral he ran off down the street so consumed with grief I imagine he was trying to out run it.

I went to go after him and my older brother John (a weight trainer, who was solid muscle) stopped me and said he’d go. A while later I saw the most heart wrenching scene I have ever seen; coming across the front lawn was my brother with tears running down his face packing Victor in his arms like a baby. He packed him into the bedroom and tucked him into bed.

That Thanksgiving my mom was cooking the Turkey and she thought it would be too painful for Victor to say what he was grateful for so she didn’t do it. When we got home Victor said,”We didn’t say what we were thankful for this year” I told him my mom didn’t think we should because it would be too hard on him. He said,”But I’ve been thinking about what I was going to say for weeks.” I told him to phone my mom and tell her.” So he did. Micheal loved the thankfulness thing and would have been proud of his brother.

Another favorite Thanksgiving was while I was living at Cultus Lake. It was a fall similar to this year, very warm sunny days and brisk cold nights. The salmon were spawning, the crowds of summer had left until next year, the lake was like glass and the full time residents were out walking enjoying having their lake back. I wasn’t going to do a big dinner, my mom and step dad were on vacation, my cousin had plans, it was just Kris and I and I was quite looking forward to not having a house full. Then my brother called and asked if he could bring a date for Thanksgiving dinner.

Me: Oh! uh! sure! See you tomorrow, whenever you get here will be fine.

I jumped in the car and ripped down the hill to buy a turkey. There was no time to thaw a turkey so I had to spend the extra money and buy a fresh one. It was bar none THE best Thanksgiving dinner I have ever eaten or cooked. I kept it simple, Brussels Sprouts in a cream sauce, home made stuffing, no sausage, or nuts; just good old fashioned bread stuffing with fresh herbs from my garden. mashed potatoes, sweet potato broiled with brown sugar glaze, corn, and my favorite casserole of broccoli, cauliflower and Durkee onions. I had everything prepared the night before so it was just a matter of popping things in the oven.

I put the bird in the oven and walked to the lake, stopping to have a chat with my girlfriend Tina on the way. She joined me for a glass of wine on the dock. It was such a beautiful day, so warm I decided to take a dip in the lake with my clothes on,and was just going up to the house looking like a drowned rat when my brother pulled up with his “flavor of the week”, a gorgeous model. I got changed and we went for a long walk, played in the playground.

My brother pushed me on the merry go round until I couldn’t walk and thought I was going to be sick, then we wandered home. I had no idea how long to cook a fresh turkey but before we even opened the door we could smell its deliciousness. Dinner was flawless and we ate until we had to undo our pants moaning and groaning asking each other,”Why do I always do this?” They stayed the night and I sent home leftovers for both of them. It was a glorious day.

This year I am thankful I have memories like that; so many wonderful memories.

Even the last year JC and I were together; he had told me he wanted me to move out, his sister was still staying with us and his mom had given us a turkey. The bird wouldn’t fit in our tiny oven so I decided to cook it on the barbeque. As always I made my own stuffing and this time I kept dinner really simple but it was so tasty. I wrote JC and his sister each a letter saying what about them I was thankful for. It was a very nice dinner, bitter sweet because it was like the last supper but we had good conversation even though JC had to say it was nice to finally get a decent meal. I went to bed alone.

In the morning there was a letter from JC on the table for me and he had shoved one under the door of his sisters bedroom. They were nice letters; too bad he didn’t mean what he wrote. Mine was blank on the first 1/2 and he started by saying,”I have no idea what I was supposed to write above.” Then he said he needed to change his attitude and promised he was going to change, things were going to change……for the better. Two weeks later he made us miss his nieces wedding.

Ah well. I am thankful I no longer hold false hope that he will change. I recently heard he has not changed at all. I’m not surprised but it is little consolation.

I am thankful I have healed as much as I have and I actually go days without crying.

I am thankful for everyone who visits my blog, them sharing their stories has helped me more than I ever thought it would and more than they could know.

I am amazed and thankful that I have had almost 43,000 hits and almost 200 followers. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would reach that many people.

Every time I check messages and there is one that says “thank god I found this site” or “You literally saved my life” I am thankful I started the blog and I am accomplishing what I set out to do.

I am thankful my son is working and happy, although I miss him horribly.

I am thankful he messaged me yesterday and said, “Everything is going to be ok. I love you” .
I messaged back. “Why do you say that!? Are you ok?? I love you too Honey”.
His reply: Lol I was being supportive; I know you’ve had a tough couple of years.
Me: Oh! Thank you but stop it! you had me worried.

I am thankful that my puppies love me.

I am thankful that I am not sleeping in my truck.

I am thankful I have hope for a better future because last year I didn’t have any hope. And without hope life isn’t worth living.

I am thankful I laugh regularly now.

I will be thankful when this weekend is over and I don’t feel so lonely.

     HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! to my friends all over the world. Tell me what you are thankful for this year or share a Thanksgiving memory.