Once Upon a Thanksgiving

Once upon a time, probably 20+ years ago, there was a Southern Living magazine article featuring a Thanksgiving table set in front of an outdoor fireplace. It was gorgeous. I had never seen an outdoor fireplace before, but at that moment decided that someday I’d love to have one.

We have been seriously working on this backyard for the past couple of years. It was completely unusable. The first thing we did was add an outdoor fireplace.

Since COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, we decided to have our Thanksgiving outdoors. Inspired by that long ago article in the magazine, I pulled odds and ends from closets and the attic to set a Thanksgiving table to made me very happy.

As the afternoon drifted into evening, the candles came to life and a warm fire built in the fireplace.

It was just three of us at our table this year, but we are incredibly thankful that our family has all remained COVID-free, that we are all safe and have our health. When you get right down to it, that’s all that is important: Family, Health, Safety.

Thanksgiving Memories

As I have found over the years, photos can spark memories. This particular Thanksgiving was, in some respects, similar to that of 2020. Our mother died in 2011, and this 2012 holiday was our attempt at gathering the entire family without her. We had agreed that it would be best to host the event somewhere other than her house – just too many painful memories. We knew we would feel a great sense of loss without her, but hoped that gathering in a new location would let us celebrate being together while honoring her memory.

Because of its significance, I wanted to be sure that I not only photographed the event but also that I created a printed copy to share with family members.

This little accordion book did the trick. It included enough photos to help us all remember being together to honor our mother, but not so many that you are overwhelmed by wading through. That’s one of the challenges of today’s digital world – it’s altogether too easy to provide too much information. An accordion book forced editing and the result was exactly right.

(I created these little books through White House Custom Color. I have used them for years and have always been impressed with their quality and customer service. )