Thanksgiving was this past weekend here in Canada, it’s one of my favorite things about fall but at the same time it’s like a third wheel in my Fall love affair. Normally I am living all things Halloween and then like an uninvited guest Thanksgiving shows up half way through the party. I do however love how there is an atmosphere of peace and calm in the air, although I know literally it’s not true, I feel like the world is standing still. Most don’t have to work at their jobs, retail included; everyone has those five minutes they so desperately want and need; to just relax, to visit their family and friends, to just be. This year for us has been a challenge it has tested our patience as a family and most certainly as a couple. I wasn’t feeling it, Thanksgiving, Fall in fact just felt like a distant memory that I once knew existed. I had made plans, nothing as big as in the past but half out of habit and half hoping Fall, Thanksgiving, would be our renewal for this year, the universe knows we needed that, but it almost passed, like the blur this year has been. I have been enjoying a few things off of my “FALL BUCKET LIST”, we are not quite empty nesters but what I like to call an in transition family, so things have been enjoyed differently, and many things crossed off because they won’t exist this year, if ever again. The weather up until a few days ago has been too hot to count as Fall, so I struggled to “feel” the return of my soul mate, but then like the many simple things in life I got my moment.

As parents of four you know the time will come when you’re no longer that family of 6, but rather just parents of 4. With our children ranging in ages it had always been my hope that our lives would be filled with little ones in the form of grandchildren and this “in transition” phase wouldn’t last so long or feel so bad, however it seems like I blinked and here we are, in transition, in limbo. This Fall, this Halloween, I found myself not knowing what to do with myself, the lists of requests from the kids for those need to have costumes made by mom didn’t exist. We also lost a lot of our stuff (Halloween and otherwise)in a flood this summer and I just didn’t feel like starting over, no point, I felt like those memories washed away with the flood, starting over seemed pointless, the kids are grown up and wont enjoy any of it anymore anyhow I thought to myself. So here I was, Thanksgiving a few days away and wondering if this year would be blank in my collection of memories, would it feel forced and like that uninvited guest at a party, would I learn to lock the door and hide away in the future to ignore it? Then our oldest sent me a message, we already knew he was coming home with his girlfriend of many years and I was grateful and happy for that, but this message was simply “hey mom, are you making your pumpkin cheese cake?” I wasn’t quite honest with him I must admit, I replied ya I have all the stuff going to make it Sunday ( as dinner was going to be Monday). What I didn’t tell him was that I had the stuff but had bought it weeks earlier, out of habit because after all it was Thanksgiving and I always make it. So I paused and a half smile came over me and my heart half  filled. Around the same time our second youngest asked,” hey mom you’re making sausage stuffing balls for thanksgiving right?” I was honest with him and said, no, probably not, but then realized I don’t want them to feel like I do, like Thanksgiving has moved out of our home like a grown up child.

As much as I might think that they are too old for things, or have grown up and moved out and on,  no matter how many times they have told me in the past how crazy I am for having our lawn decorated 10 weeks before a holiday, that decorated lawn, pumpkin cheese cakes and sausage stuffing balls are like DNA in their existence, without any of it it’s like an empty chair at the table, unlike the uninvited guest, that empty chair creates an emptiness. So we had our dinner, pumpkin cheese cake and sausage stuffing balls included, and there where no uninvited guests or empty chairs polluting our memories.


I hope everyone had or will have a good Thanksgiving and if you needed (or need) a simple thing to bring a smile to your heart I hope you found (find) it. I hope you had (have) no uninvited guests and no empty chairs. Please find below a recipe card with my pumpkin cheese cake, I have been making it for close to 20 years, found it in a magazine, have made modifications to it as the years have passed, have made it every Thanksgiving and Christmas and have had to share the recipe with those who’ve had a slice. Enjoy, maybe it’ll be part of your Fall bucket list for years to come.

Click on the card, it will open in a new tab, right click to save. It is sized to a 4×6 so when printed it can be tucked in a recipe book nicely (mine is actually a little photo album, works perfect)


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