Tag Archives: Thanksgiving Day

A Virtual Thanksgiving

A Virtual Thanksgiving

We often associate Thanksgiving with food. Turkeys, stuffing and pumpkin pies dominate at grocery stores. Families tend to have their favorite traditional foods. When I lived in Canada, I usually served meatballs along with the turkey. Apple nut stuffing, sweet potatoes and a mushroom green bean casserole rounded out the meal, along with a Jello mold. The two main desserts were pumpkin cheesecake and apple crisp, along with a variety of dainties.

The last time I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner in Winnipeg was back in 2013 when I had returned from Mexico to have knee surgery. Kyle and Krista came over. Kimmy was living in Ontario and unfortunately wasn’t with us. Kyle teasingly complained that I had cooked way too much food but as I recall he was quite happy to take home a substantial care package. I had even baked rosemary bread that year instead of having stores bought bread rolls.

Now that food has been discussed, it brings me to a more important aspect of Thanksgiving, that being the people we share the day with. Over the years, my friends and my children’s friends often graced our table back in Canada. In Mexico I often shared Thanksgiving dinner with people who came from countries other than Canada, USA and Mexico. I cherish the memories of our friendships and relationships.

Many of us will be celebrating a virtual Thanksgiving in 2020. Designations of Code Red have drastically altered plans. But perhaps this is an opportunity to focus on the true meaning of this holiday. Think back to the early colonists who were thankful for a bountiful harvest and for their rustic homes to shelter them from the harsh elements.

I am thankful that I am alive and well. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my many friends who have become an important part of my extended family. I am thankful that I have found a safe haven here in Leavenworth during the pandemic.

I am also thankful for everyone who takes the time to read my blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!



The election is over but it’s not over. The virus didn’t disappear. The land borders are still closed. You can go into a store to buy weed and booze but you can’t go into a store to buy a toy for your kid.

I used to feel like I was living in the twilight zone. But that doesn’t even describe it anymore. My body is confused because I’m not in Mexico. Joints tend to stiffen up in colder climates. My brain is scrambling to adjust to a completely different lifestyle that seems to keep changing every day.

I get it. Life will never go back to what it once was. I need to adapt. But just how can I possibly adapt when change seems to be my new daily routine?

Governments are presenting us with confusing and ambiguous rules to follow. The new restrictions are being interpreted differently in every town and county in this country. It kind of reminds me of the way INM functions in different areas in Mexico.

I’m Canadian. But right now I’m glad I’m not in Canada. Things are just as complicated up there and I already have too many complications in my life and don’t need any more. Finding somewhere to quarantine and to live is just a tad overwhelming to me at the moment.

I had actually hoped to be in Winnipeg right now. My son turns 40 this week and I really wanted to be with him. He is deeply disappointed that he won’t be celebrating in Vegas as he had originally planned. It has also been more than ten years since I’ve been with him on his birthday.

Thanksgiving is coming up this week. Most people I know are forgoing the large family dinners and the usual travel for virtual Thanksgiving celebrations.

I for one won’t be breathing a big sigh of relief when 2020 finally ends. Who knows what lies ahead in 2021? I’m not a pessimist but right now I’m struggling to be optimistic about the future.

Focussing completely on the present seems to be the healthiest choice.

Who’s with me?

Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

Washington state has been shut down….. again. The first time was back in the spring while I was still in Mexico. The governor here was recently reelected and he lost no time on imposing restrictions.

Supposedly these will be in effect for four weeks. Consequently my life group won’t be meeting and the exercise classes have been cancelled. The library had just reopened a little over a week ago and now it’s closed again, as are gyms and theaters. Bars and restaurants are closed for dine in. It’s actually very similar to what I experienced in Mexico. Only the weather is different.

The big contraversy here is the restrictions imposed on the churches. Fewer people are allowed in the building due to physical distancing and masks must be worn. However singing and a band have now been added to the no-no list. Church goers are not happy.

Thanksgiving is next week. It promises to be a very subdued celebration. Zoom will be busy that day as many families have chosen not to gather in person.

And Christmas is just around the corner………

Thanksgiving in Aquismon

Thanksgiving in Aquismon

Thursday November 22nd. American Thanksgiving. This year I celebrated in the state of San Luis Potosi.

As I reflect on the blessings in my life, I am thankful that I met my new friend Bonnie on a travel group on Facebook. Bonnie is from Texas and she married a Mexican from Cuidad de Valles, a city close to San Ciro de Acosta. Bonnie has been here for a year and two months ago Bonnie’s mother Connie moved to San Ciro as well.

They picked me up at the hotel in the morning and we headed out on the highway. Here in Mexico there are two highways……the toll road and the free road. We used both on our journey. The toll road is quite high up in the mountains and the clouds resulted in a thick fog engulfing us. Unfortunately this obstructed the magnificent view so sadly no photos for this post.

Once we reached a lower altitude the fog dissipated although it was still cloudy. We drove on a road with some interesting stands selling tortillas, roasted chicken, menudo, raspados, beer, clothing and other miscellaneous articles.


As we ventured further into the jungle, the vegetation changed and the roads deteriorated. We passed several men on bicycles carrying firewood. It’s a long trek down this winding road to get to the highway where the buses come, and people walk for miles.

We finally arrived at the home of the Ramirez family, friends of Bonnie’s. Their son Ivan had a birthday on the weekend. Bonnie had baked a cake and brought along a piñata. She had also prepared a cactus salad and bought three roasted chickens for the occasion.

The idea of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for what we have, and to share with others. I was totally overwhelmed by emotion as we all stood holding hands as our hostess prayed in Spanish before the meal.


Our sumptuous feast was enhanced by the homemade tortillas prepared in the kitchen by one of the daughters. She did use a press to form them, but a fire blazed beneath the grill where they cooked.


We sat around the table and talked for quite a while. I was delighted with how much my Spanish has improved and I was able to converse as well as listen. I also translated for Connie who speaks no Spanish at all.

Word got out that a piñata was there and other children from the area began to gather. Bonnie had bought quite a few jackets at garage sales and gave them to the children and some of the adults. They were so appreciative as the little money their families have goes towards food. Jackets to keep them warm in the winter are a luxury.

The children enjoyed batting away at the piñata and eagerly scrambled for the candies once they began falling to the ground. Their treasure clutched in bags, it was now time to enjoy the cake Bonnie had baked. It was delicious!


Shortly after, we began our drive back to San Ciro. Once again we encountered fog. Some three hours later we arrived back home.

I think about the Ramirez family. They have so little themselves but are so giving. The family of six live in one room. They sometimes sleep outside on hammocks when it is hot. The kitchen is in a separate building. There is also an outhouse which I did not even attempt to visit. Connie wanted to buy them a fan. Instead they asked if she would buy them a blanket instead, as the nights get cold during the winter.

I am blessed. I have been given an opportunity to travel and to experience life in a way that would not have been possible had I remained in Canada. The material things I used to consider as necessities now mean nothing and have no place in the one suitcase I take on my travels. The treasure I have found here in Mexico is priceless although it cannot be measured in terms of monetary value.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated this weekend. American Thanksgiving is celebrated on November 24th this year. But why do we only celebrate Thanksgiving at these two times of the year? Shouldn’t we be thankful every day of our lives? Why designate only these two times to get together with family and friends when there are 365 days in a year?

When I lived in Canada, I always looked forward to having the family over for dinner. I only have two children, but somehow getting them together on one day in one particular weekend was always a major feat. They had so much else going on in their lives that always seemed to take priority over time spent with family.

I loved the aroma of the turkey cooking in the oven. I always prepared my favorite apple stuffing from scratch. I would bake a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. I had a special tablecloth and always made a centerpiece appropriate for this holiday. And I always crafted a holiday wreath to hang on the front door. I always encouraged my children to invite their friends. I even recall one Thanksgiving when my ex’s entire card group were invited.

In 2010, just before I left for Mexico, my daughter Kimmy made Thanksgiving dinner. That was the last time we were all together………Kimmy, Kyle, Krista and myself as Kimmy has also moved away from Winnipeg.

I returned to Winnipeg in 2012 for surgery. This time dinner was held at my son’s new home although I had prepared most of the food ahead of time. Kyle, Krista and I had a lovely dinner and evening together.

In 2013 I returned to Winnipeg again for surgery, and this time I was blessed to enjoy two Thanksgiving dinners, one with friends and one with family. The first was out in Warren with good friends Karen and Chad, their son Josh and Aunt Mabel. First we went to the rink to watch Josh skate before heading back to their home for dinner.

The second dinner with Kyle and Krista I had at the home I was renting. My son accused me of preparing way too much food, but I’m glad I did. After all, who knows when we’ll ever be together again on Thanksgiving? I’m usually in Mexico although this year I’m in the USA.

Because I’m in the USA, the big day here is Columbus Day, not Canadian Thanksgiving. I actually recall a few times when we would head down to the USA for the infamous Columbus Day sales and dine at a Mexican restaurant instead of indulging in the usual turkey and fixings.

What will I be doing tomorrow on Canadian Thanksgiving Day? I will not be shopping at the Columbus Day sales. I will not be having a turkey dinner. I will be with my Life Group from church at our weekly meeting.

I am determined to be thankful every day of my life for all the good things I enjoy. I have my health, my children and my friends. I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I live in a lovely town. 

I wish all of my Canadian family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving, not just for tomorrow, but for every day of their lives. We are truly blessed.

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.