I am so thankful. Today as I sit in the warm house while it’s cold and rainy outside, I am thinking about how I had such a nice Thanksgiving holiday with my family. The kids came home from college and they were so happy to be able to take a break from school and to eat some good food! They were talking about what they wanted to eat and they were excited about what I was cooking. All three kids helped me cook at some point, rotating in and out of the kitchen. My son who is 23 hates cheese and he even cut the cheese into cubes for my macaroni and cheese. My daughter who is 19 laughed at him. Macaroni and cheese is one of her favorite dishes. She cleaned the collard greens for me. My oldest daughter shelled pecans for the pecan pie. My husband ran to the grocery store repeatedly, getting things that we forgot. Teamwork makes the dream work! We had a good time, relaxing, eating, and talking. As I get older, I am so thankful for the time that we have to spend together. I often say that I realize that life goes by in different stages. It’s so true. I write about being an empty nester or a semi-empty nester as I now like to call it, but I know that this too is a stage of life that I need to enjoy. I use the term semi-empty nester because my children are not completely out of the house yet. My 26 year old daughter is back at home. My 23 year old son is  in college but that means that he still comes home for breaks and for the summers. My 19 year old daughter is in college closer to home but I see her more because she is closer to home than my son and her schedule isn’t as rigorous as his. I was talking to a lady at my dentist’s office and she was telling me that her mom cried because none of the kids and grandkids can go home for Thanksgiving this year. There were sports tournaments to attend, one brother has a new girlfriend and he was going to another town to eat dinner with his girlfriend’s family. Another sibling had recently given birth to a baby and wouldn’t be traveling. As I listened to her tell me about her mother, I understood. It made me think about the different stages of life. I left the office grateful that I have kids that are looking forward and are able to come home for dinner this year. I really wanted to cherish and enjoy every minute of it. I know that it won’t always be this way. Those are things that I didn’t really think about when the children were young. Now, after the youngest child left for college, I think often about things like this. I try hard to be grateful for every day, every moment.

November was a great month. My birthday month and Thanksgiving! My husband and I went to the Historic Oak View County Park and gathered pecans.

Instructions of how to pick a good pecan

Pecan Grove

A Bowl Full of Pecans

My husband humored me and took some pictures of me. He usually snaps one picture and he is done LOL. He is learning ya’ll! He took several pictures and even paid attention so some details! One time we were kind of near the road and he told me that the traffic was in the background and suggested that I turn in a different direction. I was impressed!! He let me take two selfies of us together. LOL, he often tells me, when I want to take more than one or two pictures, “that’s enough”. LOL. He was good at picking the pecans and laughed at me. I was tired after gathering pecans for what he says was five minutes! It was hard work! It was late in the season and there weren’t that many pecans left. We had to look hard and work hard for them! We would find one and it would have a hole in it which meant that a worm had most likely destroyed the pecan. We found a lot that we had to throw back to the ground. My legs and back were so sore from bending down to pick up the pecans. My thighs were so sore from sweeping my legs back and forth feeling for the pecans. Many had sunk into the ground or grass and you really had to feel for them. I ran into a lady that told me that she visits frequently to pick pecans and she told me to return in the morning. It was windy and it was going to storm that night. She told me that more pecans would fall. I tried to get my husband to go back the next morning because he had told me the same thing but he refused. LOL! He told me that he would buy me some more pecans! LOL!! I was sore the next morning so I didn’t argue 🙂 I did enjoy our time together and I had so much fun gathering pecans for the first time. I sent the kids pictures of us at the park and they thought the pictures were cute.  Funny when your kids think you are cute. Again, this is a different stage of life.

Me with the pecans that we gathered

My husband and I taking a selfie!

After we finished gathering pecans, we walked around the park and looked in some of the historic buildings and the old house. As we walked around, we saw a lot of photographers taking pictures of families. It was a beautiful fall day for taking pictures. Some families even brought their dogs. I hadn’t even thought of that location for taking pictures. I would love to go back and take pictures. Our last family picture is old. It is time for an updated picture. The site was a farm for close to 150 years. There is a lot of history there. There is plenty to see on the tour stops. If you are local to the Raleigh area and you love history, I encourage you to visit. I want to go back so that I can finish the tour.

Family Farm House

The pecans that we picked were used to make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. It was delicious, well the second one was. LOL! I am never afraid to say when I mess up. I’m human. I don’t know what I did but the first pie was runny and the bottom crust was stuck to the pan. The family ate it though and it did have good flavor. They didn’t want it to go to waste. The second pie was the right consistency, I used a recipe that I found on Allrecipes and the pie was delicious.

I was a little sad when I had to take the kids back to school but they will be home in a week and a half for Christmas. There will be more family time and more things to be thankful for.

I hope you enjoyed your time with your family and friends. Here is a link to the park website if you would like to learn more about it. Historic Oak View County Park

Here is a link to the pecan pie recipe that I used. I’m sorry that I don’t have a picture. They cut the pie and ate it really fast! I found the recipe on the Allrecipes website. Tip: mix the cold water with the cornstarch before adding to the rest of the ingredients.

Until next time friends! Be Thankful.

XOXO,