Happy Thanksgiving sans Turkey from Cow Country

Though Europeans love a party, Thanksgiving is truly a unique North American celebration. Since it is not a holiday here, it was just another day for me to lecture students, grade papers and attend unproductive meetings.

On T-day, I arrived home from school after eight to an empty house, so no turkey this year, but no pity party for Patty. I am filled with gratitude! With a live in French chef I eat well all year round.

Every November with or without the big bird, I take time to count my blessings.

1. Family – remain loyal for the long haul

2. Friendship- sustains the spirit in hard times

3. Frenchman – my life partner keeps me grounded in reality

4. Freedom- to speak my mind, wear what I want and circulate without restraint

5. Airlines –despite glitches in air travel, flying allows me to soar between worlds

6. Internet- instantly connects me between continents, cultures and time zones

7. Children – offer hope for the future and fill my heart with joy

8. Readers – follow along, offer comments and give my musings meaning

9. Ball games – basketball, football, volleyball, handball, tether-ball, love ‘em all

10. Books- hardcover, paperback, e-books…books in any shape or form

11. Summit Lake- where sacred waters restore my soul

Summit Lake, Wis.

Summit Lake, Wis.


Happy Thanksgiving weekend.  Safe travels. Slow down. Reflect in gratitude.

What tops your Blessing List this season?

Posted in humor, inspiration, relationships.


  1. I’m 2 days late in saying so, but Happy Thanksgiving, Patti. We are truly blessed, don’t you think? Will you be in the midwest over the Christmas holidays, by any chance?

  2. We just got back from our family gathering in central California for Thanksgiving. We go to Visalia every few years and when we do, we stay several nights; some bunk at my brother’s house, some in hotels. The best part of the tradition is our Friday walk. We load up a bunch of sandwich fixings (turkey!) and leftover pie, etc. and have a picnic “in the Sequoias” (http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm) which is, amazingly, only an hour from my brother’s house. We have done this so many years that it’s very nostalgic. This time I am grateful that my mom was able to walk a bit (broken leg last Feb 28) and that we weren’t still grieving over losing Dad 3 years ago. His last big outing was to this place. Love and best wishes.

    • What a great idea and fabulous place to gather to celebrate your roots. I am sure the memories you have created through the years keep the spirit of your dad alive. So glad your mom is back on her feet especially after breaking her leg on my birthday (such an inauspicious day!-ha)

  3. Hi Patty,
    Another beautiful post,evoking my own reflections of my many blessings. This year we all gathered to honor my Dad’s memory at his anniversary Mass today.After Mass, we gathered at his favorite spot, Denny’s ,for brunch.We saved a place for him at the table and shared many happy memories. We knew he was smiling down on us! Father Pat assured us that the Lord was taking good care of him, making sure he was enjoying many Heavenly feasts( which would make him very happy!) So very comforting.

    • I am sure it was a touching day and what a wonderful way to honor your dad’s memory with his anniversary Mass and meal at Denny’s. Though we always miss our loved ones who have passed on, we are so lucky to have created so many memories while they were alive. You are doubly gifted to be able to capture those memories in words. I can’t wait to read your memoir!

  4. So thankful for friends like you and wonderful family. It was an odd one this year – the first in many years when I did not cook as hubby and I left for Japan the day after and we couldn’t have a house full of leftovers laying around that long. But we spent the day with family in a lovely revolutionary war era colonial inn in Concord, MA full of ambiance, good food and love. I thought my turkey, pies and stuffing were better but am grateful to have the opportunity to do it all up right at Christmas time with the WHOLE family.

    • Ditto for me buddy. I am not surprised your home cooked meal was better than the colonial inn! I still have fabulous dinners and wonderful memories of the Thanksgivings we shared together in France.

  5. An abundance of blessing! Thanks for the reminders, Pat. No turkey ? Don’t fret, neither did I. Just plenty of family love, cornish hens and seconds of everything to go around:)


  6. New to your blog, I wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving! I just read you previous post about not being center stage in your children’s lives once the get older – agh, I’m sure you are right but that makes me so sad! That just makes me want to grab them in a big ol’ bear hug 🙂

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