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I always say “family” when I am asked what I am thankful for. Family means so many different things, and I feel like I have had many families in my life.

There was the family I had growing up. They were a wonderful, close-knit group of silly and loving people.  We had lots of laughs as a family.  We always got together on holidays, and the house was full to bursting.  I miss those family gatherings more than I can say. We have many photos and old home movies of family get-togethers, usually at my parents’ house although we did Christmas Eve at Grandpa and Gramma’s house.  Sadly, most of my family is gone now. I miss them very much. The folks from my family that are left live out of state – Michigan and Texas, and I’m still in New York. I miss them all.

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Then there is the family I began when I married my dear, sweet Hubby.  We have two wonderful young men who still live home with us.  I am very fortunate to have my two boys.  With Hubby on the road all week long, I’d be very lonely without the boys.  The four of us are also a zany group.  I think the boys and I are a bit sillier than Hubby is.  Sometimes I don’t think he knows quite what to make of us.  I am so very grateful and thankful for my three men.  They are the glue that holds me together.  I love them all very much.

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There is also Hubby’s family.  His parents adopted me as a daughter on the day we married.  My father-in-law is gone now, and I miss him a lot.  My mother-in-law is 90 and still going strong.

Another family that means the world to me is the family of pets and critters.  I had two dogs growing up, and I’ve had one dog, several birds, several fish and six cats since I’ve been married. I still have two cats and a bird.  I also have the wildlife right outside my front door.  I consider the squirrels to be part of my family, too.  Maybe that makes me nutty, but I don’t care.  Sera appreciates me, and I appreciate her and all the others out there keeping me entertained.

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There is also the family of friends I have – folks I met at school or while working.  I still talk to High School friends on Facebook.  I try hard to keep in touch with friends from past jobs, and we get together for lunches or dinners.  That’s hard because everyone is busy, and when you don’t see them every day, you tend to lose touch.  That makes me sad when that happens.  I also have a “family” of coworkers in my current job, and I am very grateful that we all get along and work well together.

I also have a whole new family here on WordPress.  I have met so many interesting and creative people.  I get such joy out of reading others’ blogs.  I feel small in comparison sometimes because the poetry is so creative, and the writing is so eloquent.  The photography and artistry is amazing.  The friendships I have formed here mean so much to me.  Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and to yours.