Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019: Grateful for Framily

While I generally celebrate nature and our environment here at Pacific Northwest Seasons, this year at Thanksgiving I'm feeling especially grateful for my "framily."

Do I need to explain that framily refers to friends who are like family, or, your chosen family? Well there, I just did. :)

Granted, I bonded with many of my good friends because of time we've spent together outdoors skiing, hiking, camping, kayaking, and more. There's nothing quite like outdoors adventures to break down barriers and connect through a shared love of exploring and being active outside. 

From being stranded in a downpour in a tent for several days, to chasing and finding the perfect untracked snow to ski down together, or grinding out the miles on the trail, it all lends itself to a particular lasting camaraderie. 

But then, with some friends I share a pot of tea and just talk. It's a soothing balance to all the running around I do. I have a few regular tea friends (well, sometimes they drink coffee) who I always enjoy sharing a good conversation with across the table.

Or friends with whom I grew up, which in itself creates a deep bond if you cultivate and maintain over the years. As you get on in life, how many of your current friends knew your siblings and parents or shared meals around the table with each other's families?

 And then there are the friends who are no longer alive. I lost a few friends this year, and for their lives and friendship I'm grateful. My friend Denise, in particular, was one of those who relished a long, good, deep conversation. And she really listened, more than pretty much anyone I've ever known.

She was a brilliant, generous, loving, and fun friend. I'm especially grateful to still have a connection with her son and daughter, who have grown into equally smart, funny, and loving young adults. The three of us had dinner together after the memorial, and it was so heartwarming to share stories and know I still have pieces of my dear friend through them.

Denise loved bright, vivid colors

So life is not always fun and in control. But having friends whom you hold close in your heart, just like family, sure can help smooth out the rough spots. Such friends are something to be very grateful for. And for those of you I call friend who aren't pictured here, that doesn't mean I care for you any's mostly about the photos and I didn't have a decent shot of us (or you) to share.

So this Thanksgiving and beyond, I consider my friends (along of course with family) as indispensable to my well-being. Studies show the power of connections throughout life, and especially as we age, to promote well being.

I hope you, too, can count framily among your blessings. Will you have a family or friendsgiving? I'll have a bit of both. Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! 

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