When I was growing up, our family lived all over the place. While my brother stayed closer to home, the sisters scattered to the East and West coasts.
Thanksgiving and Christmas were always big for get togethers, but sometimes we spent Christmas on our own in Oklahoma.
Thanksgiving was almost never without family.
We had a fair amount of extended family in the area, mostly on my father's side, and since his step-mother (Aunt Smidge, who was ACTUALLY his aunt...long story) still lived in Duncan, we would often gather there for a day or two of golf (if warm enough), gin rummy, football, and too much food.
Uncle Joe, Aunt Dean, Aunt Francis (Uncle Don died in an oil rig accident in the 50's) and most of the cousins would congregate, and these were some of the most special times of my childhood years. Uncle Joe was a real character, and my cousin Tully fancied himself to be a bit of a gin rummy shark.
I am so thankful that I was fortunate enough to have a lot of family around during those holidays.
I am equally thankful that I am fortunate to have family around now. While my bunch is still scattered about, my inlaws all live within a 25 minute drive and have there own family-based Thanksgiving Day traditions.
I'm really thankful for a great batch of mashed potatoes.
I am thankful that I was given not only a second chance to get the marriage thing right, but also to experience parenthood.
I am thankful that, no matter how many places I've landed, that I've managed to make good friends who add value and depth to my life.
I am thankful that the night before my father passed away, I was able to tell him how much I loved him and how much I appreciated what he tried to teach me, and that some of that had weighed on my recent decision regarding a new job.
I am thankful that the night my mother passed away, I was able to tell her how much I loved her, and watch one more OSU football game by her side, which the Cowboys won (I like to think for her, whether they knew it or not).
I am thankful that my parents taught me perspective, to value the right things in life, and to take responsibility for my actions.
I am thankful I have a spiritual center to my existence.
And boy, am I thankful for football.
Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without it. The entire weekend used to be incredible.
During the 90's I lived for Thanksgiving, as that was often my only chance to watch Barry Sanders.
I am thankful that I get to write and converse about sports via technology. It is a great outlet for me, and keeps my wife from having to fake interest in my sports stories.
I am thankful that I am an OSU Cowboy. Thankful for the Orange and Black, for Pistol Pete, GIA, and that I don't have to wait anymore in a resigned fashion for the annual thrashing by OU. Thankful that my brother and I got to share the moment when OSU won their first outright conference championship by demolishing the Sooners. Thankful that I get to watch what could be the best basketball team in the history of the school. Sorry the kids don't get to spend the holiday at home, but if they can't, I'm glad I get to watch them today at noon on ESPN2.
I am thankful for this life.
Please share some of the things you are thankful for in the comments, and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!