Gratitude.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and even though I try to be grateful throughout the year, I still find myself overwhelmed with thanks this time of year. So I’m postponing our Canadian vacation recipe for a special Thanksgiving treat.

Even though, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, there have been many things this year that have snored the mango, there are so many more for which I am thankful. It goes without saying that I’m thankful for Mike, Mr. N and Miss A. I thank my lucky stars for their health and happiness every day. I’m also thankful for my wonderful friends, neighbors, mentors, co-workers and of course the many friends I have come to make through this blog. My life is richer with each passing day.

I’m also grateful for our kitties – especially the old guy helping out Miss A here. And of course I’m thankful for the amazing family vacations, couples getaways and day trips we’ve had the good fortune to take. I’m thankful for the many opportunities that have come my way – many of which I was not even expecting. And I’m even thankful for those challenging situations this year – without them, we wouldn’t be where we are or who we are.

This year though, my thoughts of gratitude have turned to my extended family. My grandmas and grandpas, my aunts and uncles, my cousins and of course my mom, dad and sister. The many get togethers, holidays, birthdays and celebrations we have all enjoyed together. Even the random Saturday afternoons just hanging out.

As many of you remember, my Grandpa passed earlier this year, and he and my grandma are especially on my mind this week. We spent many of these celebrations and lazy days at my grandparents’ house. Not to mention we spent most Thanksgivings there as well. Their home was full of comfort, warmth, love and family and I’m thankful for all the memories we made in their house on Pearl Street.

We recently said goodbye to my grandparents’ home – their home of more than 40 years. They raised their four children in this three-bedroom bungalow and later laughed and played with their eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. It was their only home I ever knew. And it was a home away from home.

And so this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my memories. The memories, the love, the lessons, and the gifts that Grandpa Bill and Grandma Pat brought into my life.

These rooms may seem empty…

But that’s not how they’ll be remembered…

Thanksgiving Day 1988.

I’m also thankful that my mom, the kids and I had one last morning, just visiting before we had to say goodbye. We brought coffee cake, one of grandma’s favorites, and I fried up some bacon – because the house just didn’t seem right without the smell of bacon in the morning. We walked around, told stories, cried and felt at peace. I’m thankful for that.

But most of all, I was thankful for the sound of Mr. N and Miss A’s laughter coming from the front porch. They were playing “boat,” a game of imagination that I’m sure my cousins and I played long ago on Grandma’s porch. Listening to their laughter was the perfect way to say goodbye to a home that played host to so much joy.

And I thought it also quite perfect to make Grandma’s apple crisp for dessert tomorrow. This recipe was passed down to my Grandma from her mom, my Great-Grandmother Lucy. I tweaked the recipe slightly, but my Grandma’s note still rings true, “Serve a la mode or as is. Delicious either way.”

I think it goes without saying, this is a 4 spoon treat all-around.

Thank you for sharing this little trip down memory lane with me today. I’m feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, joy and love. I have much to be thankful for – including all of our readers, commenters and friends. Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Whether you’re celebrating the holiday tomorrow or not, may you all enjoy endless love, warm memories, lasting health and true laughter.

And “Pops”, happy birthday! While I miss you every day, it’s only with a smile that I think of you.

Print this recipe: Grandma Pat’s Apple Crisp

32 comments on “Gratitude.

  1. Kristy – this is a wonderful post. Love the old – funny colored photos. I’ve been waaaay behind in my blog reading lately but today had a few spare minutes. I’m glad I found my way to your blog today – memories with smiles- that’s my way too! As we move into the Christmas season I always try to remain thankful for all I have and for the memories. Merry Christmas!

  2. spicegirlfla says:

    I’ve been so behind in my reading and this post reminded me again that all the busyness in my life cannot ever compare to time spent with family and friends. You brought tears to my eyes with this; how special that you were able to put this together and create such a memory. I love that you spent the last day in your grandparents home filling it with the aromas of cooking memories.

  3. Caroline says:

    Such a beautiful post, Kristy. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a home with so many memories. But you had some wonderful ones there that you’ll always remember. Your apple crisp sounds incredible! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. xx

  4. So many memories are made this time of year. Thank you for sharing your’s! :)

  5. Kristy, how beautiful and sweet. You have such an amazing heart and your such an amazing mom and wife. Blessed to know you. Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving. Your memories make me reflect on my own memories and it brings me to tears! thank you

  6. There is nothing like children cooking. Your photos of your daughter are priceless – and then – is that your mom or grandmother laughing just above the Thanksgiving 1988 photo? What a lot of love, thankfulness and memories all wrapped up here today. :)
    V

  7. Norma Chang says:

    A very touching post, thanks for sharing. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  8. It’s so hard to be without those we love at holidays and always. What a touching post to your grandpa. And you are so right…we have so much to be thankful for. Your beautiful children are definitely two giant blessings. Hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving Kristy. That apple crumble looks absolutely scrumptious!

  9. Leah says:

    a beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

  10. rsmacaalay says:

    Very nice story, now you made me miss my grandparents.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Hi Kristy,
    What a wonderful post! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  12. Najihah says:

    A beautiful and heartfelt entry. May your family and you be well, always. :)

  13. Awh this is so touching…

  14. Ah Kristy…, what a beautifully written story. For some reason, I didn’t receive an email notification of this post ;( – I’m so glad I dropped by to discover this generous account of life, memories and gratitude. A real gift. You have put together a beautiful tribute to your Grandparents and their home on Pearl Street (cosmically enough, the boys paternal grandparents spent their last years in a home on Pearl Street! Just a little further away ;-)). Love the thought of Miss A and Mr N’s laughter wafting from the front porch – making the circle complete. Your photos tell a powerful story – so many precious memories gathered over a lifetime of years… Goodbyes are really tough. Your grandma’s apple crisp is the perfect celebratory note. Warm Hugs to All of You and a very Happy Thanksgiving too!

  15. Karen says:

    What a lovely post…the gratitude that you feel for your family shows through you words and memories.

  16. This post made me all misty-eyed.
    Aww…

  17. Kristy you brought tears to my eyes..you reminded me of my time in my grandparents house. I can almost hear my grandmother singing and making cookies, my grandfather listening to the news on his old radio..and me and my brother are running in and out of the garden excited about every little plant/ animal/ bug we see…

  18. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    You write beautiful stories all the time and this is no exception. It shows a lot about you when you fried bacon in the house for one last time. :) And it’s beautiful how you shared both empty house and before picture with full of happy family moments. I love grandma’s apple crisp recipe!

  19. It is so nice that you have the love and support of your extended family to carry you through the difficult times and to share in the joy of life’s happier moments. Your walk through memory lane brings back many memories of happier times for my family too Kristy. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  20. marilyn says:

    I’m saving room for that apple crisp. Just made the celery stuffed with peanut butter for Mr. N and Miss A. As you know Nana is not a great cook but I can pull off Thanksgiving dinner. Can’t for you all to arrive and make some more special memories. Much love, Nana and Papa

  21. Charles says:

    Oj, what a beautiful post Kristy – so wonderfully written and truly made me feel that someone was chopping onions nearby (that’s a manly way of saying my eyes almost spring a leak)! Happy thanksgiving to you and your family – I know you’ve had some tough times throughout the year, but I know that you’re stronger as a result from each one. I hope you have a wonderful day, and thank you for sharing the delicious looking recipe too, and the photos – They remind me of photos and memories from my childhood and from seeing photos of my wifes’ family too – such precious things to hang on to!

  22. I, too, have tears in my eyes for your family. There is a feeling of deep joy here, but of longing too. What a gift those years in that special home have been. What a fitting tribute and farewell for the memories and love in the time spent there. Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.. as I know you will. xx

  23. sallybr says:

    I did not expect to start my Thanksgiving day crying, but you know what? Those were good tears, I think I needed to let some emotions pass by me today. You simply opened that door.

    One of the great things of blogging was finding so many people that feel like friends, even though we never met in person. You have a gorgeous family and I hope that for many many years the mango will sleep smoothly without making a sound! ;-)

    Thank you for a beautiful post!

  24. What a sweet post. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  25. Kristy thank you for your heartfelt words. Memories are the little things that will always stay with us. I never had grandparents growing up but I have seen what a remarkable impact that my parents have on my own children. Grandparents are like little angels that are never forgotten but hold special places in our hearts. Take care, BAM

  26. Eva Taylor says:

    What a beautiful post Kristy, and such a lovely story to read. And thanks for sharing such a great family recipe, apple crisp is sure a favourite of ours, à la mode or not!

  27. Kristy, what a beautiful and heartfelt post. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family. :-) Mandy xo

  28. Dawn says:

    Kristy – what a great post – I am thankful for your blog, one of the few that I read. I miss my grandfather’s as well, and my grandmother – my other grandmother is still hanging on, but has not been doing well recently. I am thankful she is not giving up though!

  29. Eha says:

    Thank you for allowing us to understand you and be with you at this upcoming family time : somehow you have made us part of your family too . . .

  30. Kristy, You’ve brought me to tears. But they are happy tears. Honestly, although I am a grandmother and not a young mom, I could echo your words so closely. My heart is also very full with gratitude for my family and the abundance of love in my life. You’ve expressed all those emotions so very beautifully! But when you got to your grandparents…wow! That strikes so close to home. I don’t care how many years go by, I miss my grandparents terribly! And I sometimes dream of being in their home again. What wonderful photos, and wonderful memories shared. Bless you and yours, Kristy. Have a lovely day tomorrow! oxo

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