Coronavirus · Holidays · My Thoughts · Thanksgiving

How About Pizza for Thanksgiving?

Photo by Ponyo Sakana from Pexels

Yes, it was pizza for Thanksgiving! We knew it would be a different holiday because of Covid-19 restrictions, but I had an eye procedure on Monday of Thanksgiving week, and my recovery didn’t go well, complicating the food preparation.

I had the same eye procedure two years ago, so I dreaded it, but I didn’t think anything about doing it on Monday before Thanksgiving. Last time, I recovered quicker. They drastically changed the procedure on my second eye which made it more painful and invasive. So, I spent much of the week in bed. I took serious pain medication, so I also had the effect of that to deal with, but I stopped it on Wednesday.

So, no cooking happened. I’ve baked homemade pumpkin pies for the last ten years, so that’s what I missed the most, but we enjoyed our pizza dinner and store-bought pie!

For most of my life, Thanksgiving has been a family-filled holiday with delicious food, lots of people and games. Gradually, it’s changed over the years as family members pass away and people moved away. After Mom died, it’s been mostly Lin and me.

Last year, my brother joined us, and we had a festive celebration. He loves football too, so we spent our day eating a traditional turkey dinner and watching non-stop football. On Friday, we ventured out to the new Cabela’s in Albuquerque to witness a massive amount of hunting enthusiasts out ready for the sales. We didn’t stay long.

This year, we started Thanksgiving morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and punctuated the day with eye drops for Lin and me. Lin is recovering from his second cataract surgery and had a great experience with both but still needs eye drops.

Lin & Larada wish you a Happy Thanksgiving after pizza
Lin & Larada with her sore eye!

After our pizza—really cheese breadsticks shaped like a pizza—I snuggled down on the sofa in my favorite handmade afghan—a rainbow-colored creation from my Mom’s nibble fingers. A content time of relaxation with Jesse curled around my feet!

Larada Relaxing on the Sofa with Jesse Warming Her Feet!

We watched the two football games, cheering on our teams we’d picked in a football pool Lin runs. It felt really strange not to have the third game in the evening, but we survived!

After a light dinner, Lin called me out to see the Christmas lights he’d put up a couple weeks ago on the garage—the Christmas season officially started at the Miller’s house. We also began another holiday tradition we love: we started watching Christmas movies on Amazon Prime. We both enjoy the predictable plots and the celebrations of regional traditions.

As I look back over the day, it truly was a blessed Thanksgiving Day! Yes, we didn’t have all the trimmings we normally have, but we enjoyed each other and our crazy traditions.

Jesse helping me Type!
Jesse Helping Me Type This!

As I worked on this blog post, my cat, Jesse, sat partially on my lap as I typed this out on my laptop. I didn’t think I would be able to do this post this morning. I had a horrible setback with my eye. When I got up and walked into the bathroom, the sunlight hit my eye, and I recoiled with the pain, but I couldn’t get away from it quickly enough because of the wide window and the location of the sun. By the time I grabbed a Kleenex, I had some blood in my tears—not good! I have had major pain in my eye all day.

So after this mishap, I spent the morning very low-keyed and with limited technology, but I couldn’t miss communicating with you.

I’ve thought a lot about how much the coronavirus changed this holiday for so many—the sacrifice many people made for the safety of others and themselves. My family followed suit and celebrated separately. Yes, it was different—pizza and lots of eye drops, but it’s onward to Christmas!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving this year? Was it different? The same? Let me know!


~Visit my blog post from last week:

Merry Christmas from Flippo

~HAVE YOU ORDERED A PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE FLIPPO BIOGRAPHY FOR A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR A LOVED ONE OR YOURSELF?   AVAILABLE NOW! Go to the homepage on my website and pay for it there: https://www.laradasbooks.com

~Here’s Christmas greetings from Flippo and Neeca, featuring his song, “When Its Christmas Time in Texas”: https://youtu.be/mpJCUGffU3A

ALL FOUR E-BOOK FORMATS OF FLIPPO’S BIOGRAPHY AVAILABLE NOW:

~Visit my web site for all the information you need about me and my books:  https://www.laradasbooks.com

~ Visit my Etsy Shop for 25% off individual paperback titles. Good until December 20, 2020. Here’s the coupon link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaradasReadingLoft?coupon=25OFFSANDIA1220INDIV

Holidays · Life Lessons · My Thoughts · Thanksgiving

What’s Your Favorite Thanksgiving Memory?

Pictures of Thanksgiving
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Restrictions, stay-at-home suggestions, don’t travel! This year continues to alter our reality with the danger of a traditional large family gathering at Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader!

I have a possible remedy for what we face this year for Thanksgiving! How about a trip down memory lane to happier times? I’ve had so many wonderful ones, it’s hard to identify my favorite.

During my childhood in my country town, family surrounded me on Thanksgiving Day. We enjoyed the traditional fare of turkey and all the trimmings at noon time. Dad and other sports enthusiast watched whatever football game that came on. Usually the Dallas Cowboy played on this holiday. Dad hated them and rooted for Dallas’ opponent, no matter who they were!

Thanksgiving at this table often
Our Round Table in Branson, Colorado Has Seen Lots of Games!

The rest of us gathered around the round table in my parents’ home for an afternoon and evening of unending games, laughter and fellowship! At times, three to four generations gathered there for some of my favorite holiday memories. My family has always taken pictures, anytime we were together, so that was a part of the ritual, too!

As a young married, I offered to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner in Denver, Colorado with both of our parents in attendance. My parents came up early and stayed with us. I woke Thanksgiving morning sick as a dog, so Mom stepped in and finished the preparations! I wonder if it was nerves? My mom and mother-in-law were cooking giants!

Waiting for Thanksgiving guests

A few years later, my first husband and I moved to Loveland, Colorado and again we invited both parents for the big holiday. A massive snowstorm hit, starting on Monday of Thanksgiving week, and it came down for days. We had feet of snow, and my parents canceled because of the four-hour drive north. My in-laws and sister-in-law braved the hour and half drive from Denver, and we celebrated the holiday with no game playing but an enjoyable time. It was my first Thanksgiving without my parents, so it was hard for me!

After I divorced and while I was going to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, I spent all of my Thanksgivings with Mom and Dad, at my home. We started a new tradition. Dad and Mom drove to Loveland or Fort Collins, Colorado (I moved to Fort Collins later), and we had our holiday meal at different restaurants in the area. “The Old Farmhouse” became our favorite with seating in the various rooms of an actual old farmhouse. Then the Saturday night after Thanksgiving, we drove to Boulder to attend the Boulder Dinner Theater. My dad was this old cowboy who lit up with live music and performances! We did this for the four years I attended the university.

After graduation, I taught in Denver, Colorado my first year, then I moved to Raton, New Mexico, and another tradition began for my four years there. Dad, Mom and I drove to Alamogordo, New Mexico to share Thanksgiving with my half-sister and her family. We had memorable times of good food, laughter and lots of games.

When I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I returned home for Thanksgiving yearly, but the gatherings were smaller. We still enjoyed delicious food and fun game time around Mom’s round table with my aunt and my cousin’s family. The weekend after Thanksgiving, we would go out to our ranch and cut down Christmas trees for Mom, my classroom or friends and me. Our fresh cut trees lasted so well throughout the holiday season. We also cut fresh cedar boughs—I love their delicious smell!

Dad’s last Thanksgiving was memorable yet sad. My nephew, Andy, had come to help Mom with Dad’s care after his recent hospitalization. On the Friday after Thanksgiving and a snowstorm, we drove out to our ranch to cut down trees as usual. As we faced a sizable drift to get to the trees, I told a young Andy, “See where you need to get. Punch it and drive like hell!”

His eyes twinkled with my permission to speed and with a giggled, we plowed through the drift easily, cut down our trees and created a memory we reference often!

When Ted and I got together, he had a Thanksgiving tradition I adopted, with a heavy heart at first. He regularly attended a round dance festival in Dallas, Texas that began the Monday of Thanksgiving week with the local round dance cuers cuing each night and workshopping during the day. The official festival began on Friday and lasted through Sunday. On Thanksgiving night, Ted and I would dance with a square dance club we both loved instead of round dancing.

No family, my Mom alone—the first one I felt horrible, but she consoled me and said you have to live your life! I grew to love the festival but hated missing time with Mom.

After Ted and I broke up, it was Mom and me. We shared the holiday with my cousin and her family. On Friday morning after Thanksgiving, Mom and I drove fifty miles to Trinidad, Colorado early in the morning to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. She absolutely loved the crowds and the craziness!

Then Lin and I married, and the three of us started a delightful tradition: Thanksgiving dinner out at the High Noon Restaurant and Saloon in Old Town Albuquerque. We booked our reservation for dinner around Lin’s tradition of watching football games all day. This restaurant provided a complete meal at our table for our size party then sent us home with all the leftovers! Mom loved this special place.

After Mom passed away, Lin and I continued that tradition for a couple years, but then I decided to cook our meal the last couple years. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and football dominated the day.

As, I stood at the counter to prepare the crust for my pumpkin pies, Mom joined me in my heart because I used her remarkable pie crust recipe given to her by our family’s doctor in 1953! Instead of grieving the loss of so many of my family as I moved around the kitchen, I remembered them all and the great times we’ve had.

Last year, my brother joined us for Thanksgiving, and we had a delightful time, our first Thanksgiving together in a long time.

This year, it’s Lin and me with the restrictions in place. So, yes, I’ve wondered about Thanksgiving 2020, but as I’ve remembered my previous celebrations, I am grateful for my family and the memories I will have forever!

So, my suggestion to you is take the time these next couple days before Thanksgiving, to walk back in time and remember those special celebrations and especially the people who made them so.  Then share them with me!


~Visit my two blog posts from last week:

Cover of Just Another Square Dance Caller

~HAVE YOU ORDERED A PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE FLIPPO BIOGRAPHY?   AVAILABLE NOW! Go to the homepage on my website and pay for it there: https://www.laradasbooks.com

ALL FOUR E-BOOK FORMATS OF FLIPPO’S BIOGRAPHY AVAILABLE NOW:

~Visit my web site for all the information you need about me and my books:  https://www.laradasbooks.com

~ Visit my Etsy Shop for 25% off individual paperback titles. Good until December 20, 2020. Here’s the coupon link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaradasReadingLoft?coupon=25OFFSANDIA1220INDIV