a relaxing thanksgiving day




It’s dark outside.  The house is alive with the sounds of guitar as my son (not sure which one, because I’m in my room with the door shut) practices.  The football game is on mute.  Rich is reading, Sarah is upstairs with Grace playing and no boys are allowed in with them.  I’m still smiling that Grace has a sister (they are 10 years apart) to have girlie time with.

I have on windpants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and sneakers.  Hair up in a messy pony tail.  We just ate a light dinner, a big tossed salad, because we are still pretty full from Thanksgiving feasting.  I plan on eating a piece of pie later on tonight.  I ran 2 miles this afternoon, so I could. 

There has been a lot of damage to recover from, because of hurricane Sandy.  New York and New Jersey were hit hard and as a result, the insurance company my husband works for had to deploy workers from other states to help with the increase in insurance claim volume.  These folks have been working overtime, away from their families, for weeks now.  Because it was Thanksgiving today, and these people had no place to go for a family-style meal, Travelers hosted an event for them.  The purpose was to bring the “Travelers family” together and thank the men and women who have been helping the victims recover after hurricane Sandy.  When Rich mentioned it to me a few weeks ago, and said we had been invited, to help host, we decided that it would be fun to go.  (I didn’t have to cook!)

Actually, I did miss, even though I didn’t think I would, putting the stuffing and bird in the oven this morning…those smells! and the anticipation of a huge homecooked meal! 

Instead, it was all a hustle and a bustle, getting ready to get out the door, but finally, with two apple pies in tow, we were on our way.

Sarah noticed geese up in the sky as we were driving and I had just enough time to point my camera UP through the glass of the sunroof.MA



At the event, we all sat at a big round table together.  I got to meet a lot of the people Rich works with.  Everyone was so nice.


Does this next picture make anyone else, any other mama, nervous?  Hmmmm?

The children were most impressed with the drink bar.  They could walk right up to the table and a nice lady would give them any soda they wanted.

There were NO spills. 

A couple of boys passed around glow sticks as a gift to all the children, which was another big hit.  Oh, and the name tags that they got to wear.

I thought Caleb was amusing, as he socialized with the men.

I had bread pudding and a piece of absolutely divine pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.  Seth wanted pie “like Caleb” but didn’t like it.

Caleb had two pieces of pumpkin pie and dropped a third on the floor as he tried to balance it with one hand.  Rich was mortified.

Jacob had a piece of my pie and said “Good grief, yours is the best pie here, Mom.” 

It was my Grandma’s recipe (I will share!)

The most touching part of the day was when they showed a video on the big screens (here on the screen is the football game, can’t miss that, right?).  The offices that sent employees to Connecticut each made a little video saying THANK YOU and they were all put together to make a presentation.  They were very creative and there was a lot of laughter and a few tears as the audience watched.  Even I got all teary eyed and I didn’t know anyone in the video except my husband, (’cause I’m a softie like that.)

It was good to think of all the people who sacrifice family time when others need help.  Not just insurance people, but all the other workers around the US.  It was good to say THANK YOU on THANKSGIVING, in a real and tangible way.  We talked to one man who was away from home for 21 days.  A lot of others were gone for just as long. 

I wasn’t sure how to dress and ended up with a knit turtleneck w/short sleeves, a jacket, black slim corduroy pants, and gold wedge sandals.  Make up and a ponytail.

I never dreamed I would spend a holiday with Travelers, as for years I felt that Rich devoted enough time there as it was. happy  But, as the days go by and life settles down I have come to appreciate and love the work he does.  We had a lot of fun today.  I’m not saying I’d like to do it again, as it would take another catastrophe to bring us together, and I really missed my mom’s good cooking and seeing my dad, brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews.

Everyone at Travelers loved the kids (SEVEN?  DID YOU SAY YOU HAD SEVEN CHILDREN?) and when we stepped outside to take one last, and hopefully, good picture of the children, a man got back out of his own truck to run over and take one of the 9 of us.  I think his name was Steve.

When we arrived back home I went for a little walk outside around the ponds and down to the chicken coop, so I leave you with these nature pictures. 

I’m thankful for home and pine trees.

I’m thankful for the glowing reflection of the trees in the water of the pond.

I’m thankful for little nature surprises.

I found fluffy white feathers and had to go count the chickens.  (none were missing, *whew*)

A gray, very gray, girl with a dark head~ blends right in our very gray ground in the chicken yard.

I am thankful for my flock of hens.  Soon they will start to provide me with wonderful eggs.  Please?

After my walk I had a long bubble bath and the children took naps.  It’s been a relaxing day.


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. -melody beattie

Happy Thanksgiving!  


0 thoughts on “a relaxing thanksgiving day

  1. Happy thanks giving to you…as I read all you write I am most appreicative of the little details you include…about your husbands work and the dropped piece of pie…missing your moms cooking, getting teary eyed during the presentation (that would so be me!) and not being sure what to wear:) And then the quote at the end…gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. How fitting for us busy mothers..wives…women!!! Life isnt perfect and we dont always feel we have everything under control…but oh how good we have it!!

  2. Thanks Shanda for sharing your wonderful Thanksgiving. I cooked for half of our family -6- The other half is on vacation with family in South Carolina. They called in the afternoon. During the time of my tumor I could not do the meal. It was fulfilling to stuff and roast the turkey and prepare all the rest of the meal. You have a beautiful family.

  3. Thankful for you and your family Shanda! I am sure your children were a blessing for those needing a taste of family. I love that Caleb was off socializing. Yes, spills and such would make me nervous too. I can still remember as a child being excited to have whatever special drink I wanted when my Grandmother would take us to the club after going out on the boat. We went from 7 to 12 people for Thanksgiving…and that was nice, it is good to have the big dinner to share. David even came to the table and ate a whole plateful We were thankful for that as in the AM he couldn’t eat. Nick, Alicia, and the babies Skyped us from Colorado at desert time and we were able to pass the computer around so everyone could visit.

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