Hi Friends!

It’s such a tender moment in time as I sit at my keyboard on Thanksgiving morning 2020. For the first time ever, our family will be celebrating this special day Together-Apart. We have chosen to stay physically distant now so that when we gather again, no one is missing…

My sweet husband and I are enjoying Thanksgiving with just the two of us for the very first time. It will be a poignant, quieter, reflective kind of celebration. We are intentionally blending some of our favorite holiday traditions with some new, non-traditional plans. Who knows? Today may be the beginning of some new Thanksgiving traditions!

As the cranberries simmered last night, I lovingly paged through Susan Branch’s Autumn book, savoring the memories of all of our family favorites. Countless times through the years, my brothers would say, “This is really delicious. Is it a Susan Branch recipe?” 🙂

As I set our Thanksgiving table for two, I intentionally chose different linens, place settings, and candles. Making a few new traditions will make our longtime family traditions feel even sweeter when we can gather safely again.

Later today, we will gather via Skype for pumpkin pie and favorite family stories. This is an old, family tradition that made each Thanksgiving special while our parents lived in the Arizona sunshine. Virtual gatherings continue to warm our hearts, even though our parents now live in a beautiful, senior community just twelve miles away! The blessings of technology are sure to be a part of so many family gatherings across America today!

Thanksgiving isn’t just one day for me though, it’s my way of living every single day! The Gratitude pages in my bullet journal are filled with the many blessings of 2020 for our family. It has been a truly difficult time for us. Yet, so many of our blessings are the doctors and nurses who have helped us during this very challenging year.

I am especially grateful for the doctors and nurses that have taken such wonderful care of me over the past eight months. Over time, my ophthalmologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, my primary care physician, and many technicians helped and advised me after sudden double vision and a loss of depth perception made every minute of daily living quite a challenge for me. Two weeks ago, my wonderful surgeon performed eye muscle surgery and eye muscle adjustments that seem to have solved my vision problems for the moment. 🙂  As I rest and heal from surgery, I am savoring the many blessings of good health! I am really looking forward to driving again after so many l-o-n-g months!

One of my special blessings happened last weekend when we visited the beautiful, grounds of the Theosophical Society. Walking meditation on the spiral labyrinth has always felt very meaningful to me. When we attempted to walk the labyrinth in October, I couldn’t even walk the path. My double vision caused the stepping stones to jump all around me, without a visible path to follow. My sweet husband had to lead me out of the labyrinth… heartbroken.

Last weekend, it felt so easy to follow the stepping stones! With each step, I counted my many blessings for the past several months. I can’t wait to share the happy news with my eye surgeon at my next checkup! For me, it was the ultimate eye test… and a perfect, little outing on a sunny, Autumn day! 🙂 I will always treasure that small moment that felt like such a huge milestone!

During life’s most challenging times, there are always things to be thankful for. Sometimes, we have to look really hard to find the blessings, both large and small. I am so grateful for all of the front line healthcare heroes, the dedicated teachers, the essential workers in the food stores, the hardworking volunteers at food pantries, the mail carriers and delivery workers, friends and neighbors who offer a helping hand, and the artists who continue to inspire me.


My friends, YOU are definitely some of favorite blessings!  Thank you for taking the time to visit and read older posts from the blog archives. Most of all, thank you for joining in the conversation with all of your thoughtful comments. Your comments are my very favorite part of this blog! You teach me and inspire me every time you share your thoughts.

Although we must patiently be physically distant for a while longer, kindred spirits can stay socially connected in so many ways. I have been writing lots of letters over the past week. (So many friends wrote back right away!:) ) It was such a joy to hear all of their family news.

I will try very hard to write more regularly here in the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to visiting all of my special blogging friends, too. It feels like blogging is such an important way to stay connected during this moment in time. We need one another more than ever right now!

Today we remember all of the precious lives lost due to Covid as we worry what may happen next. We think of the terrible economic challenges facing so many families and businesses. We look for ways to unite and work together to solve our many problems. We wait for the vaccines to be ready. I remain hopeful.

The spaces in our togetherness often allow us to grow in new ways, take actions toward change, offer us time to create, and to just pause… breathe… and count our many blessings.

Please stay safe and healthy, my friends!!

Warmest Thanksgiving blessings!

♡ Dawn









14 thoughts on “Spaces…

  1. Jim and I have been together for over 25 years and this is our first Thanksgiving alone. Over the years we have hosted Jim’s children, their friends, my mother and our grandchildren and their friends. I had planned my fantasy dinner on the porch. I actually began thinking about this a few years ago when the ever increasing temperatures in November in West Texas led me to throwing open the windows and turning on the air conditioning to offset the oven and stove top cooking and a houseful of family. With Covid, what a perfect time to have Thanksgiving on the porch with a forecast of 75 degrees. And then Covid shut it all down when one of our inner circle had a friend with Covid and had to go into quarantine. Never to be defeated, I threw that fresh turkey I ordered in the freezer, bought a turkey breast and scaled down the menu for two. We didn’t eat on the porch, but I set a lovely table with candles and silver. I am still thinking that we may have pumpkin pie with whipped cream on the porch this evening by candle light.
    And I am wondering what we would have ever done if all this had happened before FaceTime, Zoom and Skype.
    So today I am grateful for technology! I am grateful for medicine and doctors and nurses and scientists, who have made our lives better in a time of trials. And I am grateful for good health and safety. And I pray for those who are suffering more than ever before. I pray for those who have lost loved ones, for those in the hospital, for those who are alone.
    Happy Thanksgiving and let’s all pray for a better year in 2021.

    • How nice to hear about your Thanksgiving celebration in Texas, dear Chris! Setting a lovely table for two makes the holiday feel extra special. Truly a special time to treasure! Pumpkin pie on the porch by candlelight sounds magical!✨
      We enjoyed a nice Skype visit with my parents. Such fun to laugh together and share stories! Technology has been such a blessing during the time of Covid! I’m hoping that you and I can both be there for Susan’s next virtual book talk in December. I’m registered. We can all squeeze into her kitchen.😉I’m really looking forward to it!
      After our pumpkin pie tonight, I can officially turn on the tiny, white Christmas lights on the front porch railings and turn on the Christmas music! Small moments that celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season for us!
      Sending warmest hugs across the miles to you and Jim!
      Be well!💗

  2. I am so grateful that our paths crossed so many years ago. You are a lovely human being. Bless you and yours.
    Enjoy your blend of new and old traditions. Like friends, one is silver, the other gold. Love forever, Anne

    • You are one of our most special blessings, dear Anne! It really has been a long time. We should plan a virtual visit very soon! I think of you every day, my friend. I know your traditions will feel very different this holiday season. Were you able to take a walk along the ocean today?
      I so enjoyed your long letter, Anne. What a blessing that you were able to visit friends for such a wonderful change of scene!
      We’re going to start writing Christmas cards this weekend. So, another letter will be on it’s way to your mailbox soon! Sending our love and big hugs all the way to California!💗

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. We celebrated with dinner for two as well, and it was definitely our first time doing that. Space and safe are words that have taken on an added meaning as we work our way through this pandemic as we wait for a vaccine. I was very sorry to hear about your vision challenges this year. I can’t relate to your particular issue, but the only doctor I see on a regular basis is my ophthalmologist. It has been one of the most challenging years of our lifetime, I will be glad to see it in my rear view mirror, but there are still a lot of things I’m grateful for. Have a wonderful holiday season and here’s to everyone in your family continuing to be safe and well.

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, dear Judy! It felt good to do our part to help keep loved ones safe. It’s frightening to think of how the numbers could skyrocket in the coming weeks. Our nearby hospital is setting up white tents in its large hallways to treat an expected influx of Covid patients. The vaccine can’t come soon enough!
      Heartfelt thanks, Judy! My vision problem developed quite quickly and it took time to get appointments with specialists. I called to schedule surgery right away when all of the testing indicated the need for surgery. The scheduling nurse asked me, “Are you superstitious?” She explained that my surgeon was completely booked through the end of the year, but he had openings on Friday, the 13th. So, I grabbed that date, knowing that it would be my LUCKY🍀day! Such a blessing!
      My time in the garden this summer was quite challenging with vision issues. So grateful for every hour spent in the garden though!
      Thank you for all the good wishes, Judy. Hope your family will stay safe and healthy, too! Will you head for the sunshine or stay at home this winter? Hard choices during such a challenging time! Thanks for always being here, Judy!💗

  4. Oh dear Dawn, I somehow have missed you having had surgery. Please know that I am so glad to hear you now are better. The gift of sight is truly a blessing. Having had vertigo in the past, I know you must be glad to have your world in better focus. Do take care of yourself.
    Your Thanksgiving sounds quite similar to ours this year. We are trying our best to adhere to the guidelines from the CDC. Our Skype meeting with family was enjoyed while having dessert like you. Susan Branch’s Apple Cranberry Crisp was our choice this year, though we left out the cranberries. Though the times are trying we are thankful for our many blessings. I count you among those blessings, my friend. Take care and stay safe! xoxo

    • Huge hugs, Martha Ellen! 💕 The surgery was only two weeks ago and my healing is going well. I only told a few friends in advance. John has been taking extra good care of me, driving me everywhere, and took vacation time after my surgery to help me. He is a true blessing in my life!
      So glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving, too! Susan’s Cranberry Apple Crisp is a family favorite here, too! So yummy!!
      I promise a long letter very soon, dear heart. Hope you, Grayden, and Samuel stay safe and healthy. Thank you for always being such a special blessing in my life! 💗

  5. Hello dear Dawn. So happy to hear of your surgery success. No more having things dance about – must have been very disconcerting. I’m glad you’ve had John’s support through this. As if COVID and other things in the States were not enough!

    Hoping there’s a major shift and coming together for the greater good.

    We’re very lucky here in New Zealand, though it’s easy to get complacent.

    I’ve just been in Wellington visiting family. On my way back and looking forward to getting back into my garden. Someone laughed at me today for having a tray of seedlings on my passenger seat 😂
    If i’d left them at home they wouldn’t have got watered. What else was I to do? Have some very healthy zucchini seedlings ready to go into the garden. Going to try growing those ones that are really long and curly. They’re said to taste wonderful.

    I’ve been thinking of you. Wonderful to see your gorgeous photos. I really must get back to my writing. Thank you for sharing your story and connecting with us all. I so value our friendship and connection. Stay safe and enjoy your new sight.
    Much love and big hugs my friend ❤️

    • Happy Thanksgiving, dear Vicky! Our special friendship was on my heart as I counted my blessings yesterday.💕 I am so grateful to have the surgery behind me. The sutures in my eye are still very uncomfortable, but they will dissolve over time. I do special eye exercises now to help the muscles. I’m walking up and down stairs now with ease! So many blessings!
      Vicky, I’m so happy that you had family time in Wellington. I love your traveling companions 🌱. Who knew that your new camper would become a ‘greenhouse’ on wheels? (If our blog friend, Judy, reads this, she will LOVE it, too!) Gardeners will completely understand!😊 While John is working remotely from our dining room, his ‘co-workers’ are tiny hydrangea plants that I am trying to propagate in the sunny windows over the winter! I know just how much you look forward to being back in your garden!
      Vicky, I hope you can make time for your writing soon. You have so many wonderful stories to share! I’m so happy that you played a role in the New Zealand election process. Your wonderful Prime Minister will continue to lead with wisdom and compassion!
      Sending my love and greetings from my family! I cherish our friendship, Vicky. Stay safe and healthy, dear heart!💗
      Happy planting!😊

  6. Dear Dawn,
    I’m so relieved your eye surgery was successful. What a scary time for you. I have renewed hope for the future and the vaccine. May the rest of the year be warm and wonderful for you and your family.

    • Oh, thank you so much, Karen! My heart is filled with the very same renewed hope. I’ve thought of you so often with all of he challenges our California friends have faced this year. Please stay safe and healthy as we navigate the coming months. Warmest holiday hugs, Karen!💗

  7. Happy Thanksgiving, Dawn! I’m glad to hear of the progress with your vision! It was a much quieter, but just as lovely Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and photos.

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Carol! Thank you so much for your good wishes. I’m so happy that you stopped to visit today! I think of all of my special library friends and miss you all dearly. 💕 Hope that you and your family are all well. We all just have to stay strong and stay safe a little while longer. After widespread distribution of the vaccines, life will slowly return to a new normal. It might even be a simpler lifestyle!
      I thought of you, Carol, as I decorated for a quiet, cozy Christmas this year. I displayed a few cherished decorations in new ways. Everything else is still tucked away. I wonder if I will miss all of our traditional decorations???? This seems like the perfect time to try ‘cozy minimalism.’😊
      Sending warm hugs across town! Be well, sweet friend!💗

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