The smell of ironing and starching linens, is something that just takes me back. I have memories of both my mother and maternal grandmother from the time I was a little girl starching and ironing linens. The sound of the iron going back-and-forth over cloth (swish, swish), combined with the sweet steamy smell of ironing and starching.
My mother loves to iron old linens, and I do too. And also as much as I hate to admit it, there is something to be said about the look of crisp and freshly pressed anything. And I say that fully acknowledging the fact that as a child I often thought my mother was going to starch things so much we would never be able to move!
So here I am the day before Thanksgiving, and I decided I needed to starch and iron a couple of sets of café curtains and a bunch of linen napkins and guest towels.
As I stood there on this grey and rainy day and ironed, my mind wandered. Ironing is such a peaceful task, and as my mind wandered, I started thinking of holiday seasons past and those who are no longer with us.
Specifically my late father and brother-in-law. Both of them loved the holidays and loved to entertain. So it is really hard to NOT think of them at this time of year.
As I kept on ironing, my mind wandered to Thanksgivings past. Some of my favorite when I was little with the ones we spent with the Cullen family. And then as we got older, for many years my sister and brother in law took over the task.
I also took the time to contemplate many things I am thankful and grateful for.
I am thankful for my family. It is amazing how different a few years makes your life, and I love my little family unit and my home and my sweet man and my stepson.
I never was able to have children of my own, so the blessings of having a stepson is a very big deal to me.
I am thankful and grateful to be breast cancer free for almost exactly 2 1/2 years. The official 2 1/2 year mark is December 1st.
I am thankful and grateful for my friends both old and new. I have many friends that I’ve had since I was a little girl, and for that I am very grateful because I know how easy it is for people to grow apart. And in that vein, I am thankful that I have been able to learn how to let some people in my life go.
Why? Because moving from one area to another, even though I only moved an hour away (if that), has been a sometimes bittersweet experience these past couple of years. It is really hard when people who were basically in your life on a daily basis seem to evaporate over a little bit of distance. It hurts, truthfully. But I really believe in that old adage of God closes a window and opens the door.
And in the past few years, God has opened a lot of doors for me. I know some of you are scratching your head right now because I don’t usually get religious on anyone. I generally keep my beliefs and what not to myself.
But tomorrow for most of us begins a very spiritual and often holy time of year between all these holidays which occur between Thanksgiving and New Years. So somehow I think it is only fitting to acknowledge that higher power, no matter how it is exactly you believe.
As I look around, I know there are many who are far worse off than any of us this holiday season. Try to remember them.
Donate to food banks whenever and wherever you can during this holiday season. If any of the churches are having clothing drives and you have things that you can donate, I would also suggest that. We are officially in the season of warm coats, and some people go without them.
Above all else, appreciate the life blessings you have, and let the rest go. I know that is easier said than done in a lot of cases, but Thanksgiving also marks the beginning of a quite beautiful season. So believe in the magic. It does exist if you are open to it.
Thank you as always for your readership, and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!