Giving thanks

Oct 10, 2014 | 2 comments |

Although Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in England, Canadian Thanksgiving, marked this year on October 13, has always been a turning point in my year. A time to stop and reflect, gather with family and friends and give thanks for what the past twelve months have brought.

As a child, white-haired relatives ringed my parents’ dining table, talking about people and places I knew only by name.

Other years, we’d drive three hours north to my dad’s home town, taking part in community suppers where trestle tables groaned with the bounty of a prairie harvest, and farmers in John Deere hats talked about tractors and hockey.

As an adult, new Thanksgiving traditions have joined or replaced the old.

Out went pumpkin pie and in came chocolate brownies. Thanksgiving dinner is now Sunday lunch, either at home or in a village pub. Sometimes we eat turkey and sometimes we don’t.

But we always call Canada, although those relatives who were so much a part of my childhood now live only in loving memory and fading photos.  

As I prepare to celebrate this Thanksgiving with Tech Guy and English Rose, family and community remain constant. So too does remembering my blessings, counting them like beads on a string.  

This year, one of the things I give thanks for is you, my blog readers.

Thank you for connecting with me and supporting my writing journey. 

Thank you for telling me what my writing means to you and sharing your stories. Stories that have given me a glimpse of your lives and families.

So whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I wish you time to reflect this weekend and give thanks.

I also wish you the blessings of family and friends and everything that brings you joy.

Even if it includes pumpkin pie. 


  1. Susanna Bavin

    You always paint such vivid word-pictures, Jen, of your growing up years in your native Canada. It’s good that English Rose is growing up with a mixture of English and Canadian traditions. That must make it easier for you to be over here at times like Thanksgiving.

    How nice to have a special time when you reflect on your life and pick out the good parts. Best of all, you then thank the people who have helped you. How lovely to let people know they are appreciated. That can make such a difference.

    All this and chocolate brownies, too. Perfect!

  2. Jen Gilroy

    As I’ve lived in England for many years, I now consider myself blessed to have two homes and two sets of traditions. One of my favourite English traditions is Bonfire Night. I love fireworks – watching, not setting them off!

    Thank YOU for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It makes such a difference to me.


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