“Gratitude” Earth, Wind & Fire 1975″

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

What a wonderful birthday week it has been… and it’s not over yet! We like to drag out birthdays in our family, and mine this year has been no exception. Last Wednesday, my actual birthday, found me in Williamsburg, VA for work. Walked into our meeting the first day to find balloons and flowers at my seat. And that night I was serenaded on the bus to dinner where my heavenly dessert of pumpkin crème brulee was decorated with Happy Birthday. All in all, a pretty good birthday. But of course it did not end there.

“Live your life and forget your age.”

When I walked into work Friday morning, I found my office decorated for my birthday AND Christmas! Does my team know me or what? Thrilled me to no end y’all! Christmas lights strung around my windows, ornaments hanging from my ceiling, and Santa on my lampshade. HOW FUN! Oh and some fun gifts including “Hallmark Movie Watching” socks, winter texting snowman gloves, Christmas bowls, pumpkin M&M’s, and pumpkin cake to share. Yep, they know me well! I am thankful to work with such thoughtful ladies.

“As you grow up, make sure you have… more dreams than memories, more opportunities than chances, more hard work than luck, and more friends than acquaintances.”

Celebration continued Saturday as my older daughter, son-in-law, and I cheered on our HEELS at our last home game of the season. Cannot complain about the rainy weather, as the weather has been perfect for all the other home games. Since the forecast was calling for a 100% chance of rain all day long, we opted to bypass our normal tailgate and have lunch at Carolina Brewery instead, watching football on their TV’s before heading to our game. It was Senior Day, and the team responded with a BIG win. Fun game to be a part of. Even though it rained, we stayed until the alma mater was sung at the end. I have had such a fun football season tailgating with my kids and cheering on the HEELS. Not as many wins as we would have liked, but thankful for the promise of success in the future of our football program. And hoping for a win this weekend to send us to a bowl game. It’s rivalry week in football, and our HEELS will be traveling to Raleigh to face NC State.

“In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

After the game, I headed to Winston-Salem in the pouring rain to spend the night with my sister and brother-in-law. Wanted and needed to see my mom, and wanted to see the new addition to my sister’s home – a beautiful, large screened-in porch, complete with a fireplace. It is lovely and they will enjoy it almost year round. My younger sister came over Sunday morning for my birthday breakfast and went to see Mom with me. Mom was in good spirits and happy to see us, especially since we took her to the ice cream parlor for some soft-serve ice cream, even though it was before lunch. Never too early or too late for ice cream, which ended up being my lunch since I said goodbye to Mom and my sister and headed home to Charlottesville. Spent the afternoon watching Hallmark Christmas movies while decorating my house for Christmas, including my beautiful tree. OH, did I tell you that my older daughter, son-in-law, and of course my granddawg met me at Whole Foods Thursday night to get my tree? Yep, I bought the first Christmas tree from their lot. Happy to say that my house is now ready for Christmas, and ready for my kids coming home for Thanksgiving. So much to be thankful for. My older daughter is hosting Thanksgiving at her new home this year. I’ll miss seeing my mom and sisters, but so thankful to have all of my kids together.

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”

So… birthday celebration over? Nope! Monday morning I walked into work and discovered that my team plotted to wear Christmas sweaters in my “honor”! How fun! (My sweaters start making their appearance this weekend!) And I arrived home to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers had been delivered! Plus, I still have a couple of birthday dinners on my calendar. We all need to celebrate our birthdays, be thankful for them, and not lament the fact that we are getting older. It is a blessing many do not get to experience.

“Keep calm and be crazy, laugh, love, and live it up because this is the oldest you’ve been and the youngest you will ever be again.”

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? Spending it with family and/or friends? Are you cooking? I told my daughter I would provide the turkey. And green beans and a pumpkin pie. I love Thanksgiving. Such a special holiday that does not involve presents, just presence. Lots of fun, laughter, and love. And good food!

I am thankful for so many things this year. Thankful that my children are with me this holiday. Thankful my knees are healing from surgery so I can dance with my son at his wedding next October. Thankful for my family and friends, my health and well being, and my “lot in life”. Thankful that I had another birthday to celebrate and wonderful people who made it so special. I bet if you made a list of what you are thankful for, of the blessings in your life, you would realize how rich your life is. There is always something to be thankful for. Always.

Enjoy the holiday tomorrow. Be thankful for the food on the table and the wonderful people around it, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“All across America, we gather this week with the people we love to give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives.” – George W. Bush

Best,

Leslie

PS… Did you know that about 46 million turkeys will be cooked and 55 million pumpkin pies will be eaten tomorrow? Oh, and Black Friday is the busiest day of the year for PLUMBERS! (Good Housekeeping)

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