Thanksgiving...  The word itself has so many meanings, whether literal or those conjured up from experiences.  I remind myself that it's a holiday with a long history, dedicated to a show of gratitude for the bountiful harvest.  It dates back to the late 1700's, and was made a national holiday in the United States in the mid-1800's.  With the large stack of advertisements that arrived with today's newspaper, the commercial side of the holiday seems to overtake its intent.  Despite that, it's definitely a time when people in the U.S. travel to spend time with friends and family to give thanks.

That aspect of the holiday was my inspiration for today's set of images.  Virtually all of our family members live quite a distance from where we live, so travel is required for us to visit one another.  It changes the dynamic of our interactions.  Unlike when I was growing up, we don't just drop in for visits or make a call to meet to do something together as was the case with my grandparents, aunts, and uncles.  We're less in touch with the trivial details of day to day life, so we need to establish a rhythm to interact with each other when we're guests or hosts, which can be challenging.  In the moment, establishing that rhythm can seem extremely daunting, but in the larger scheme of things it's pretty trivial.

One of the many benefits of retirement is having time to be able to do things that were more difficult while I was working.  We've had the opportunity to visit and host family members on many more occasions than while we were working.  I selected a set of images of my family, made last year during our visit for Thanksgiving to my sister's home in Minnesota.  A few, including the image with this post, are snapshots - quick images I make to remember details.  The others present the members of the families attending - my sister's and mine.  I'm very grateful that everyone is healthy and active, and that I have opportunities to spend time with them.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The kitschy table favors at our family gathering in 2013 were enjoyed by all!!

The kitschy table favors at our family gathering in 2013 were enjoyed by all!!