Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.   And, my favorite day of the week is, of course, Thursday! I think that in the beginning, It must have been because of the anticipation of the “bigger” holiday of Christmas and the last day of the week.  But, even as an adult, Thanksgiving is still my favorite time. Whether it’s a just a quiet Thanksgiving with our little Colorado family and friends or a crazy big one with my extended family, I still just love Thanksgiving! I thinks it is truly a time of giving thanks and counting our blessings, of which we have so many. Yes, this life can be hard and difficult and trying, but i think that it is those tough times that make the blessings so much sweeter!

This year was the crazy big Thanksgiving. And, if my brother and his family had been able to be here, it would have been even bigger. My mom and dad, along with my sister and brother-in-law and their kids and grandkids all made the trek to spend most of the week with us on the Ranch. The family came from Texas and Oklahoma, as well as Denver and Kim, and most of them are much more familiar with their “city life,” rather than our rural one. All in all, there were 21 of us here, ranging from Logan, my 7 month old great-niece to my almost 90 year old father. They stayed in Trinidad at night, then came out to our place each morning to spend our days together

Thankfully the weather and cattle cooperated, so we just had the routine chores and a couple of bull calves to doctor, both with the help of a few of the great nephews and nieces. (They definitely were amazed at the size of that needle!) With our 3 ATV’s and 2 borrowed side-by-sides, we got to take them exploring, around our place and the neighboring ranch of 70,000 acres, which we currently have leased.   They got to walk among old rock homesteads whose expertly stacked rock walls are still standing after100-150 years. They looked over the Purgatoire River Canyon, astonished that our flat prairie could drop off into the deep and wide chasm, cut into the earth by the River. They took nature walks with the little ones, helping them find wonderful little treasures, while reconnecting with each other, They recycled old broken boards off of corrals, creating rustic holiday signs to take home, some even with the handprints of the little ones. Some of the younger ones even got to learn how to hunt rabbits and prairie dogs, with their dads and their Uncle Bill teaching the younger ones not only about guns, but also about our environment and how all living things need a balance to coexist.

Throughout it all, though, was a reinforcement of the love that we all have for one another. This holiday is exactly what it says it is — a time to give thanks to our Lord for the blessings that we have been given. Even when we have individually, or collectively, gone through tough times, we know we have each other and our Savior. So, if you take a few minutes to read this first blog, please take a moment to reflect on the blessings of your year and go forward into the Christmas season with a sense of peace and comfort.

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