Change

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou. I like that quote.

This Thanksgiving will be the second year without family. When I look back at a long line of Thanksgiving celebrations, it always included family. Many wonderful years, it included a garage cleared out for tables and chairs that was filled with happy, laughing people. It’s that kind of celebration.

Do you remember that song “Just the two us, we can make it if we try, just the two of us”? I keep letting that roll around in my head as we talk about our dinner plans. Turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes from our garden, broccoli cheese casserole a family favorite, cranberry sauce just the way my Mother-in-Law made it, and dessert – small portions, just the two of us. 🙂

With three Covid vaccines and one flu shot, we’ve started the lists for heading south this winter. There are always multiple lists when you are going to be gone three months. This year will be the only year one special couple won’t be there. They have other obligations this year. Special friends are hard to find, you miss them when they’re not in their usual spot, and the winter experience will definitely be different.

I’ve been doing social media and website updates for six years now for my Master Gardener group. As of December, I’m handing it off and taking a break from daily checking and posting of Instagram and Facebook and two blog posts a week. It’s been fun, I’ve learned a lot, but it’s always good to mix things up.

Fall is getting ready to transition with multiple nights below freezing. My outside chores are finished. Last week, I planted up three containers with tulips and hyacinths. Although the shed seems to be pretty tight, I put makeshift covers on them to try and deter any winter visitors from snacking.

I also like holiday decorations and usually sneak them in prior to Thanksgiving. I know it’s early, but I can’t help myself. It’s a mental thing – it gives me a boost.

With the time change and the dark evenings, I pulled out some tiny LED fairy lights to put in a couple of carafes so we have a little sparkle.

Here’s hoping your week and your Thanksgiving plans are full of sparkle. ✨ Stay well.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Family, New England and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Change

  1. And so we adapt as creatively and as gracefully as we can. Love those fairy lights. If it pleases you to decorate early, then go for it. Nobody is going to fine you for putting things up before Thanksgiving. 😉 Would love to see your recipe for the broccoli casserole, if ever you are so inclined. Six years is a good amount of time for extensive volunteering. You’ve done a great job, and I have always enjoyed the posts on Master Gardener. Good luck getting ready to head south and reconnecting with special friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You nailed it – creatively and gracefully as we can. I will email you the broccoli casserole. My sister-in-law always brought it so when I make it I think of her and all those big gatherings. Good memories. Yes, six years was a good amount, and during those years I owe you a HUGE thank you for following along and making comments. I could not put into words how much I appreciated that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Murphy’s Law says:

    Our Thanksgiving plans mimic yours. Just the two of us. I’m ok with that. The passing years, the pandemic, people moving away, the inevitable deaths, and the busy lives of our younger generation have all conspired to change what used to be “tradition”. We have to go with the flow or get stuck in the mud!

    Love your twinkle lights. You’re right, they’re very festive. It’s so good to hear you talking about plans for SC again. You and Dennis really love that community and I know it was hard to stay home last winter. So sad that some folks won’t be joining you, but life seems to get in the way of everything. Pack them in your hearts and take them along with you.

    Isn’t the Lamb’s Ear a terrific plant! Hard to resist touching it. I had a few, but then I was told they’re poisonous, and I was concerned about Murphy deciding to sample a few leaves. They are now in my friend’s garden!

    Enjoy your list making for SC. It’s for a good cause….your sanity! 🤗
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s right – things change for a multitude of reasons and we all keep moving. Thank you for that wonderful thought – pack them in your hearts and take them along with you. I will do that. I love the color of the Lamb’s Ear, and this one is nice because it stays low to the ground. I’ve divided it over the years and place it here and there so when I look out I can see a different color here and there in the landscape. That right, too, the lists make the packing and moving in easier.

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  3. I love your twinkly lights in the carafe!!

    We’re hoping the weather is good enough to get over the mountain to see the boys, Baby Girl, The Handsome Surveyor, and the girls may pop in too. Our son and his fiancé are coming too.
    I have been asked to bring for the feast my bread dressing, pumpkin pie, and this year I’m going to try making my Mom’s chocolate cream pie, though I bought a graham cracker crust because my pie crust isn’t nearly as good as my mom’s.

    Safe journey south to your winter home, and Happy Thanksgiving…in case I don’t get a chance to tell you later in the month. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy you are going on your winter trip this year! I understand why you are ready to hand off those volunteer duties. Six years is a long time! Enjoy your time in the sunny south!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Hric says:

    Judy enjoy your break. And enjoy Thanksgiving diner as many times as you need to. It does not have to be just one day. Stay well !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy says:

    I am thrilled that you are headed south for the winter! It’s a happy place for you all.
    I am glad you are going to enjoy a break from those volunteering jobs. 6 years is a great run!
    And perhaps a zoom session on Thanksgiving with family members … it can be fun too.
    And those bulbs hibernating is amazing in your shed. But the best is the twinkling lights. … I too have added some, it brings me joy!
    Enjoy a new week my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have a wonderful break in warmth! And have a beautiful Thanksgiving. Last year, it was just the two of us and it was strange, but we made it work. This year, we’ll be at our daughter’s with her husbands parents as well, so seven of us, and I’ll take it! Our son goes to the in-laws this year.
    Still have to plant my spring bulbs….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Judy, I think the ability to adapt to and even initiate change in one’s life at this stage of the game is commendable. Besides, kicking and screaming never changed a thing, right? It is great that you are getting back to the Carolina’s for the winter. I’m sure you will pack lots of pretty handmade gifts for all your functions.

    We are adjusting our mindsets to the announcement from Malcolm’s mom that she won’t be traveling with us to New England for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are disappointed but understand her desire to avoid cold weather. We should have paid attention to her lack of enthusiasm when we booked the trip so many months ago – oh well. We are learning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s right, some times it just is what it is. 🙂 I’m glad you’re having a Thanksgiving adventure but imagine it is tempered with Mom wanting to stay at home. I remember my Mother-in-law late in life always enjoyed going with her kids to visit someone as long as they would bring her home that evening so she would not have to stay overnight. I didn’t quite understand it, but as one matures traveling is not as much fun as it was and is more of a hassle. I hope you all have a lovely day and that your New England trip is fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. swesely says:

    Change or be miserable – an easy choice for many of us! Vaccines mean we can risk my hubby’s aunt, younger son, DIL and grandson joining us for Thanksgiving this year. It should be an extra special day, because their daughter is due to have her 2nd that day! She and her little family continue to isolate, as her first is not old enough for a vaccine, so we’re thankful for social media and zoom!

    Enjoy your holidays, and the Carolinas.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oddment says:

    I’ve had holidays for “just the one of me,” and I learned it wasn’t the end of the world. As you say, we adjust. As for decorating “early,” there’s no such thing. Time is what we make it at a certain point, and a few years ago I started putting my candles in the windows before Thanksgiving just because I wanted to. Just because. Meanwhile, I try to be realistic about the sense of loss that is inevitable at this time. I don’t pretend that it isn’t there and I try to honor it. I am so very happy to hear that you are headed south. A beautiful ocean awaits, and your friends will be in your heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, it is not the end of the world. It is actually a 24 hour period just like any other day. A person could order pizza, binge watch their favorite show or read a really good book and probably be pretty happy. 🙂 This week, I saw one tree with lights up in a condo and a house totally decorated outside – rocking the lights. 🙂 Thanksgiving is kind of a heavy day when you consider all the things you are thankful for but also all the things that have changed or loved ones lost. I like your use of the word, honor. Perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Helen says:

    It’s definitely been interesting but thankfully we are all finding ways of staying connected even if we can’t be in one room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Technology has certainly helped stay in touch with folks we care about. I’d never heard of Zoom before this all started. 🙂 I’ve even gotten a couple of hand written letters. Now, those are a real treat. Stay well, and I hope your holiday is a happy one.

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  12. germac4 says:

    Glad to read you are going south for the warm weather even if you are not able to have family with you for Thanksgiving before you go. Everything changes, especially since the pandemic. I did four years of very time consuming volunteering when I first retired and I’m glad I did it then, it can be such a commitment…and you’ve done six years!
    Happy thanksgiving and enjoy your trip south and I hope you are keeping this blog going, I always enjoy your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only thing we can count on is change, that is for sure. 🙂 I love my volunteer time, but one thing that has influenced my decision to scale it down is that the ladies I worked with and enjoyed so much have adjusted as well. Several have moved out of the area, others have scaled back, and it’s a whole new crew which makes it a different organization. I will still put in more than enough hours to stay certified, but can step back from daily obligations. Seven days a week for six years is a long time. 🙂 I’m hoping that scaling back there will give me more opportunity here.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan Antion says:

    You handle your preparations like a master planner, Judy. Your work is done at home and you have moved on to planning the trip south. I am very happy that you will be able to go.

    We’re not sure if our daughter will join us for a small Thanksgiving celebration. I hope she can. I still have outdoor projects, but they are all winter prep related – setting snow stakes, picking up leaves and moving a couple outdoor items out of the way.

    I’m also glad to read that you’re handing off the social media responsibilities. Time for a break from that and a chance to let someone else gain the experience. It sounds like an easy excuse, but it is experience worth having.

    Enjoy the brighter mornings, until they too go dark again as we move into winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fingers crossed Faith can join you for the holiday. I pulled my snow stakes out this weekend and have them ready to go in. We also just had our generator tuned up. Yes, you are right, it is an opportunity for someone to gain social media experience especially someone younger. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from doing it and can take that with me. Happy fall projecting, and I’m guessing Maddie is enjoying her morning walks this week 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Joyce says:

    I’m glad you’ll be enjoying the beach, the sunsets, the crafty ladies, and the turtles-on-the-log again! As for holidays, I’ve been telling the girls to go ahead and enjoy the in-laws while grandpa and I have ourselves a merry little Christmas and/ or Thanksgiving alone. But somehow we always end up either here or there anyway. This time it’s going to be 18 of us (the Texans are coming!) here and the anticipated cleaning and cooking and table setting is already taking a toll on my mental health! I’m grateful for them all, but at my age, it’s hard to be the gracious hostess I was in years past! I’m going to be vocal about the help I’ll need in the kitchen, though, instead of just “sucking it up” as I have in prior years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You gave me goosebumps with the Texans are coming. Full house, and all that hugging that will be necessary!!! Yes, maybe you need a list and assign dishes so you don’t have to do all the cooking. As far as cleaning, it is pretty funny. Most of us probably keep a fairly clean house all the time, but then when company is coming we start looking in corners, light fixtures, and all around to spot a speck of dust or a single cobweb when in reality they probably wouldn’t notice. The older I get the more I enjoy an invite so I don’t have to worry about that cleaning, but I sure do envy you all that grandchild hugging that will be necessary. I hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever!

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  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Change is good, as they say. I’m glad you will be able to get away south this winter, you’ve worked hard and deserve it. And handing over the MG postings, I bet you’re wondering ‘What took me so long?’ 😀
    Your garden tools look so well cared for… puts me to shame. The best I seem to do is scrape off the excess dirt. My spouse is much worse, but we won’t go there. 😉
    I finally got my last bulbs for winter forcing potted up just this afternoon. My pots are similarly fortified against mice. I don’t worry about the muscari and narcissi, but the tulips would be gone in a heartbeat.
    Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Handing over the MG postings has been on my mind for a couple of years, but the issue was I couldn’t figure out who would take it over so I kept going. This time, it’s a handoff with best wishes regardless. 🙂 I love my little shed and do keep it fairly clean. Now, my hand could sure use sharpening. 🙂 Yes, tulips seems to be lunch food here so if I’m going to go to the trouble, I don’t want them eaten. Crazy the lengths we go to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I know what you mean… I just spent a couple hours digging and hosing off dahlias… now after they dry, I divide and wrap them in newspaper to store. I keep reminding myself how beautiful they are to keep me from tossing the lot! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope you enjoy your trip and your hiatus from all the platforms. Stay safe and make lots of new friends!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We usually have a small T-giving dinner most years also, often just the two of us… and that’s OK. If friends happen to show up – or we get invited to join someone else’s dinner – great!, but we are just as happy to spend a quiet evening enjoying cooking and eating whatever we decide to make.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Two is good, and you can have a relaxing day on your own schedule. I got my turkey breast today so that is checked off my to-do-list. I’m also looking at a few recipes and figuring out what I can do ahead. Life is good. Take care, and I hope you have a lovely day. I know one thing – your weather will be warmer than mine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. We still are a family of five for holidays, but I don’t do the cooking myself anymore. I do a massive amount of cooking all the time, so if others take over on the holidays, that’s fine. I wish we could head south too. Garry hates winter and has for as long as I’ve known him. But we can’t. Send warm pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Holidays can be lonely. Glad you are already making plans to keep it a fun celebration.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh, your poor hydrangea. Ours is relishing the rain and warmer days we’ve been enjoying and are covered with beautiful flowers. Best wishes for Thanksgiving, I know it’s a while away but it’s nice to have things to look forward to, even if it’s just the two of you. Lovely that you have the anticipation of that journey south too.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. BERNADETTE says:

    Judy, I will miss your posts but it sounds like a lovely break.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ally Bean says:

    Our Thanksgiving feast will be size appropriate, too. Just the two of us has such a nice ring to it. Made me smile with your attempts to keep winter visitors from snacking. I can understand why you’re moving on from your volunteer duties, change is good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have that song stuck in my head, and it pops up on and off. It does make me smile. 🙂 I can’t grow tulips in the ground because the squirrels and chipmunks devour them. Daffodils do okay because they don’t like them. Even trying tulips in a container is a challenge because of how creative those guys are about getting to food sources. Yes, I’m ready to hand it off, but so far no takers. I may have to embrace tough love. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m glad that you’re able to return to your southern winters again. That’s progress, in no small part to the vaccines as you correctly point out. We talked about maybe hitting the road for Thanksgiving this year. But once we saw the headlines about infections up north, we decided it was better to stay close to home again. I like your quoting of the song; that’s how it’ll be for us two also. Better to be safe! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know a lot of folks are sick of hearing about Covid, but the reality is hardly anyone here is wearing a mask anymore, and our numbers are higher than January 2021, hospitalizations and deaths have increased, and the outbreaks in facilities increase every day. We’re still wearing masks and a couple of times I have been the only person with one. Oh well, it doesn’t bother me to choose better safe than sorry. 🙂 Stay well. Isn’t it about time for a dose of humor from your keyboard? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. So glad you are able to “go south” for the winter again, but sad that the family is unable to share Thanksgiving with you for the 2nd year. I feel so blessed to have spent the afternoon with a couple of granddaughters and mooched dinner from my daughter after dropping the kids off. I do enjoy the time as “just the two of us”, but delight in that family time…right before and after a trip away. Our days are numbered, and I take every opportunity. My sister has kids who refuse to get vaccinated, and have had covid in the household a couple of times. They think they are “beyond” the need for the vaccine. She told them she will see them “in the spring, but not without a neg test.”. It is really bisecting families, and they are missing out on her company. 😦 I hope your advance planning for the garden brings you beautiful blooms next spring.

    Liked by 2 people

    • An afternoon with your granddaughters must have been fun and brought many smiles. I bet you missed them all while you were cruising. Yes, approaches to Covid are certainly diverse. The topic itself is almost like talking politics or religion. Who knew a vaccine would be so polarizing. Stay well, Mary, and enjoy your family holiday gathering. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. It’ll be just the two us for Thanksgiving too. We celebrate Thanksgiving here in Cornwall, UK to be ‘with’ my sister in Hawaii and my brother and SIL in Atlanta. We use their recipes too. One year we were in Atlanta at the right time to be able to celebrate together which was very special. I don’t know when we’ll be in the US again even though we too have three shots and our flu shots.
    Stitching Grandma mentions relatives who won’t have the vaccination. One of our daughters is also refusing ……….
    Have happy travels south. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope your family recipes will make your celebration special. Yes, it is interesting how strongly various people feel about the vaccine. Conversations on the topic can get as heated as political topics. Everyone has a right to their own belief, but then it requires others to make choices about being around those who choose not to be vaccinated. It’s not an easy situation. Our numbers are off the chart in the wrong direction. 😦

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  26. bikerchick57 says:

    I may be home baking cookies this Thanksgiving, but not sure yet. I’ve already spent an afternoon listening to Christmas music and may work on putting up a tree this week. It’s early, but it kind of feels right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Annie says:

    Our lives seem to be paralleling one another in one way. I have been doing the newsletter since 2004 for my Virginia garden club and always enjoyed interacting with many members. But I have tendered my retirement from that role as of June 2022. I often wonder if my resignation is pandemic related like so many who are resigning from jobs now. Oh well. We will gather with one daughter and family for Thanksgiving but, alas, my Virginia siblings have decided not for the first time in memory. Some are vaccinated, others are not. Bewildering! Have an enjoyable Thanksgiving and happy packing for your trip to warmer temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love volunteering and will continue to do so, but I’d really like a break from the same job. Although, I’ve been told so far they have no volunteers to replace me which then puts me in a bad spot. Hope they can find a replacement for you so you can go on to other things. Yes, vaccine or no vaccine is bewildering and not a good conversation piece. Happy turkey day to you and your daughter and family.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Karen says:

    Last year it was just the two of us but this year we are driving down to our son’s home. Each year I bring one or two sides for Thanksgiving. This year, they couldn’t be happier because I’m making corn casserole. Other than me, no one in our family is big on green vegetables. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Your Thanksgiving sounds cozy and I know gratitude will be on your plate! Last year we had no family, but cooked a joint meal and sat outdoors on the deck with neighbors…a memory I won’t forget. This year, fully vaccinated, we will venture forth to one of the clubs for dinner…not the same but definitely a step in the right direction away from isolation!

    Liked by 1 person

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