|Photo: A crowded freeway on a rainy day|
John and I, along with our youngest daughter, drove to California for Thanksgiving at the invitation of our middle daughter. Our oldest daughter flew down to join us. Unfortunately, our sons' schedules prevented their attendance, but hopefully we will see them at Christmas.
1. I'm thankful for family.
As a snowstorm was forecast for Wednesday, we decided to leave on Tuesday after work. Despite delays through Arizona due to road construction, we made good time and actually didn't stop for the night until we were almost to the Nevada/California border. Wednesday's traffic was similarly manageable, at least to the hotel. Picking up our daughter from LAX was another story entirely, as the roads leading to the airport were completely jammed. (And by that, I mean that each time a traffic light turned green, ONE car at most could go through. We spent over an hour just going around one block.) Fortunately, our daughter's flight was delayed. By the time she disembarked, we were about a half-mile away. We told her to start walking toward us. We crept forward about a block in the time it took her to reach us. She hopped in the car, and once we turned away from the airport, we made better time.
2. I'm thankful we all arrived safely.
On Thanksgiving, we were expected to arrive at our middle daughter's house at noon, so John and I and the other two girls decided to head to Disney California Adventure Park for the morning. It was pouring down rain. (Apparently that happens during a flash flood warning.) John offered to drive us closer to the park, go buy ponchos at the 7-11, park the car back at the hotel, then walk to meet us.
3. I'm thankful for John's thoughtfulness and chivalry.
Though holidays are often very crowded at Disneyland, rainy days are often drive people away. On Thanksgiving morning, the rain won out, which meant that we were able to ride just about everything we wanted to in a space of two hours. (Those we missed were down.) I must say (although I've never had the procedure done) that "microdermabrasion" came to mind while riding the Incredicoaster in the pelting rain. As you can see from the photo below, our oldest daughter found a way to shield herself from the elements.
|Photo: John and I smile while riding a roller coaster in the rain. Our daughters sit in front of us. One is not smiling and the other has pulled her poncho's hood completely over her face.|
4. I'm thankful for fun times with family.
As I knew that our middle daughter has her hands full with her little ones, and was wanting to cook some Mexican dishes for Thanksgiving (as well as serve traditional Thanksgiving foods), I had offered to help with the traditional part of the dinner. However, I wasn't sure how that would work logistically, until I remembered that grocery stores offer pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinners that just need heating-up. I placed an order ahead of time, and just picked it up on our way to our daughter's place.
5. I'm thankful for deli and bakery employees, who cooked so many dinners for the convenience of others.
Oldest daughter, not wanting to burden middle daughter with having to accommodate the plant-based eaters in our family, even made vegan tamales, froze them, and flew them in her carry-on luggage. (I did bring other vegan dishes in a cooler, too.)
6. I'm thankful that members of our family are good about accommodating differences. There is room at meals (Thanksgiving or otherwise) for turkey-eaters, plant-eaters, tamale-eaters, etc. and no one puts down the choices of others.
Two of my granddaughters have birthdays around this time of year, so I brought a few presents for them. They each received a dress, a book, and a small toy. I handed them the boxes with the dresses first. One of my granddaughters opened her box, looked inside, and asked, "This is a present?" She was not intending to be rude; she was truly questioning her understanding of the word "present." My daughter was embarrassed, but I assured her it was OK.
7. I'm thankful for grandchildren.
After dinner and birthday presents, we sat down to play a game. Middle daughter had requested that we play Settlers of Catan. Oldest granddaughter sat between John and I and watched, and the younger grandchildren played nicely in the room while the adults played the game. John won (as he often does!) but we all had a good time.
8. I'm thankful for games that we can play together.
The original plan was that we would all meet up at Disneyland the day after Thanksgiving, but due to the weather and other unforeseen circumstances, that wasn't going to work for middle daughter's family. I did miss sharing the experience with my grandchildren, but the park was very crowded on Friday, so it probably wouldn't have been very fun for them. Hopefully they will be able to pick a less-crowded day to use their tickets.
9. I'm thankful that, although initially disappointing, things work out for the best.
Very early Saturday morning, John dropped our oldest daughter off at LAX, thankfully with no traffic jam like Wednesday night, then returned to the hotel to pick me and our youngest daughter up. We left early enough that we were able to arrive to our snowy home by late afternoon/early evening. It was a whirlwind trip, but enjoyable.
10. I'm thankful for John letting me sleep while he drove to the airport.
How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was soggy and today my phone and my computer don't seem to be communicating well as I try to upload photos, but you know what? I can still be thankful! I hope you will join me and others who take time each week to count to ten: Ten Things of Thankful!