Being thankful, I've been reading, leads to improved health and happiness. So I've been thinking about the things I'm grateful for, (since I'm definitely in favor of good health and happiness). Certainly I have had a lot of Gratitudes (kind of like Beatitudes, I think) this Thanksgiving time of year.
First, I am so very grateful for all my friends. Friends pick me up when I'm down, share my joys and share their joys and sorrows with me. This year, once again, friends shared our Thanksgiving meal with us. I love having people here for Thanksgiving and our kids often cannot make it. So we have friends who come each year. Thank you Millikan family! Here they are at the table. And here are Gina and Linnet posing in the swamp, during our traditional walk-after-turkey-day-dinner, teaching us that we should never be too old to enjoy splashing through the water in rubber boots.
I am also thankful for our great children, their wonderful spouses, and the delightful grandchildren they have given us. This year our California kids spent Thanksgiving with our Washington kids (who have a horse ranch and are stuck at home like we are), then took the train south to spend a few days with us. I am so glad the cousins who live so far apart were able to spend time together. Kestrel and Cedrus' mom took these photos of the boys together. Ian was thrilled to have his young cousins visit. And they, obviously, adore him.
Of course, grandparents are always thankful to have their grandchildren visit. We picked up Steve and Munazza and Kestrel and Cedrus from the Amtrak station in Portland and took them for a short visit with Steve's high school chums Ingrid and Brad and their three children. Kestrel and Inez are almost the same age, but Kestrel was shy. Inez isn't! And all kids love silly Johnny.
Home here on the farm, Kestrel and Cedrus were eager to make apple cider with Grandpa Johnny the way cousin Ian had done a few weeks ago. I was thankful the weather cooperated and stopped raining long enough to do it! But it was cold enough for snowsuits.
Kestrel rolls up his sleeves to wash apples................... Cedrus drops apples into the grinder.
Kestrel liked turning the press... and tasting the cider!
Cedrus rescued the "baby apples" and kept them safely out of the grinder.
The boys also helped Grandpa split wood, gather eggs, and feed the goats. Kestrel watched Grandma milk the goats and feed the horses (but no one seemed too interested in helping me clean the barns.)
Kestrel and Cedrus enjoyed checking the trail camera and seeing what animals had come overnight while they were sleeping. Sometimes, it was fun to be a silly animal in front of the camera. Here are we all. Can you see Steve's fangs? Cedrus wasn't at all sure about this nonsense.
Surely this Thanksgiving season has given me enough things to be grateful for to keep me healthy and happy for a long time. Once I rest up. Holidays are fun but seem to get more exhausting the older I get. Here's hoping I can keep putting on my rubber boots and splashing through the puddles with friends and family for years to come.