Happy Thanksgiving

Shannon's granddaugher, Kiyah

Shannon’s granddaugther, Kiyah

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving!  It seemed to take a while get here but oh… there’s nothing like “Turkey Day”.

The last couple of weeks were incredibly hectic and challenging at work.  I had put in a long stretch (about 12 days), working on days off for those who didn’t come in.  It was also stressful because at about this time last year, Dad passed away… In a few days, it will have been four years since Mom died… It’s difficult to believe it’s been that long but the blog posts prove it!

But despite the personal sadness at this time of the year and the holiday rush, there have been a lot of blessings to reflect upon.

Along the way I prayed many times to ask God for wisdom handling Dad’s estate, selling the house, etc.  There is little I would go back and change.  Later in the year, an amazing deal came through on a gently used mobile home; the kitties and I have a comfortable, safe, affordable dwelling.  There is also the fast food job with a lot of new friends who I consider sort of an extended family.  It never ceases to add a little excitement to one’s life!


Shannon, one of the best friends from work!

Part of the fun at work is a gal named Shannon.  She’s a manager trainee and one of the coolest folks to work with.  I often cook the breakfast shift and we “manage” to have a lot of fun along the way.  It’s all about choosing to make the job enjoyable.  Shannon knows I’m 1/2 mile away and will come in at a moment’s notice… and, of course, will try to mooch a burrito.

Shannon’s family invited me over for an African-American themed holiday spread.  It was delicious!  I met her children and grandchildren… cool kids.  Her granddaughter, Kiyah, really seemed to like me and wanted to be held.  So did Gonja, the tiger striped girl kitty who knows a pushover when she nuzzles one.

1_Food from ShannonWith a belly full of turkey, greens, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, yams, and macaroni, it was time to say goodbye and go home and work on readying the van for an upcoming trip.

The Mr. Heater Buddy is back in place on the van door and the plan is to strike out and camp somewhere – with or without electricity.  I’m will again be heading north but this trip will have a slightly different focus…remembering Mom and Dad.

4_JesseAs always, I’ll do a little fishing, but it will be nice to take some time to look through family pictures and recall the good times, watch a favorite movie, enjoy some warm tea or cider, etc.  Such a celebration is what they would want.

The cats know something is up.  Serena is interested in the van activity and even slept in it while I was cleaning today.  But the cold is difficult for her and she’s likely going to stay home with Jesse, guarding the Christmas presents… and the furnace vent.  The spoiled cats often take turns curled up over it as you see in the picture.  Last night they both polished off a lot of roast turkey.  Oh, to be that spoiled!

Watch for some fun pictures in a few days.  It will be fun to see some snow and maybe check out some new places… and bring home some trout.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope the readers had a fun Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed time with the family members.  For a person whose small family is mostly deceased, I can tell you that there is nothing more important than your loved ones.

Take care and have a wonderful holiday season.

Bradford, Serena, and Jesse James in Jones County, Iowa


About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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6 Responses to Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Pleinguy says:

    Sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Family and friends are important at this time of year. Hope things continue to be good for you.

    • VanTrekker says:

      I’d forgotten how nice it is to feel like somebody cares… hugs, warm food, wanting me to visit. Camping is fun but oh, humans can be enjoyable companions on rare occasions… 🙂 I hope your Thanksgiving was a pleasant one. 🙂

  2. Jo says:

    How nice to be included in your coworkers family Thanksgiving. that little baby sure had a lot of food on her plate LOL I told my great grandson today he ate like a chip monk. I don’t think he knows what that is.

    Hope you have a nice get away.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks Jo. It was a lot of fun and the company was sure nice. Some days I wish there were kids and ultimately grandchildren. I’ll get your great grandson had a fun time! My little family never speaks but at 3:30 Serena woke me up, did not like her cat food, and I had to cook her some chicken… Some days I think kids might be easier. 🙂

  3. Meg says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Brad!