Holidays to Remember


The thing I love most about writing to this blog is the opportunity to tell a story. I never intended for these stories to be very personal. The challenge was simply to put the reader in my shoes as life’s events unfold.

Sometimes the words flow effortlessly while other times pages of words are written, erased, re-written, and erased again. Even if I am fully committed to a particular topic, I can find myself asking my husband repeatedly, “How do I begin?” Such was the case this week.


There have been almost three years of stories posted to this blog, and my husband has reviewed each one before I will hit Publish. It didn’t take long for me to realize he wasn’t interested in melancholy, and he was quick to point out that no one wants to hear sad.

This week I had intended to describe holidays at our house, which more often than not include a calamity of one sort or another, such as when our dog ate three pounds of corned beef right off the kitchen counter, or when the oven quit working and we cooked our Thanksgiving turkey in a toaster oven.

We cooked the turkey in a toaster oven for Thanksgiving in Ecuador.

Our holidays also include my husband and I following the treasured recipes passed down from my Mother; recipes requiring the practiced skill of knowing precisely the quantity of a pinch – and how to produce moist, but not soupy cornbread dressing.

Although Thanksgiving is all Thanksgiving at our house, the next day is all Christmas, which was when I realized how far my husband and I have come in just one year.

“Christmas” took over the house.

It was the day after Thanksgiving that I unpacked Christmas for the first time since our move. I had shopped the after Christmas sales with my Mom and sister last year and packed new treasures away, their price tags still attached. Many of these new decorations were “mountain-inspired” . . . completely appropriate for a life in the mountains.

One year ago we had no expectation of falling in love with a lovely, old home, leaving the life we had known for so long in the mountains, and moving to a new city. And, we never dreamed we would find ourselves facing cancer. Life is uncertain to say the least.

The last time I wrote to this blog, we were waiting on a phone call that would determine our next steps. Just before Thanksgiving, the news arrived that the sentinel node was clear, and as quickly as my husband’s cancer seemed to appear, it was gone.

This left us with an unusually special Thanksgiving spirit; a fresh perspective on thankful.

A holiday to remember, indeed.