What Thanksgiving means to me

My definition of Thanksgiving has changed over the years. Growing up, it meant that my maternal grandmother's house was a busy place. We spent a day or two cleaning the house and getting everything ready for company. Shopping was done a week ahead of time and we were all pretty stressed by the time the big day rolled around. My definition of what Thanksgiving meant to me during that time of my life was stress and tears. Frankly, I loved seeing family but hated the holiday.

Later on, the definition of what Thanksgiving means to me took on a positive note. The holiday was spent with the extended family coming to my house. My husband and I found an easy way to do the meal and still did the shopping a week ahead of time. Some dust might have remained on a bookcase or upper shelf but I could live with that. Meal preparation was easy. I was dubbed "the Crock-Pot Queen". Turkey and dressing went into the oven. Ham went into one crock-pot and the green beans, potatoes and gravy went in others. I was relaxed. Our daughters, friends and family (and even the dogs) seemed to have a good time.

Now, the definition of what Thanksgiving means to me has changed again. One daughter could not come home and the other brought our great son-in-law and their dog. The day was mostly spent in the kitchen with everyone pitching in. I miss my daughter but am proud of her for what she is accomplishing.

I'm sure that in a few years the definition will change again. Either grandkids or granddogs will come along. The house may get a little nosier and my husband and I will become older.

No matter how the definition changes for me there is one thing that will always be the same. I will always be grateful for what I have and for my family and friends. Without them, my life would be meaningless. When it comes right down to it, isn't that what Thanksgiving is supposed to be?