Thanksgiving Week in North Okaloosa County means hunters hoping for a prized kill, students sleeping in ó my sympathy to parents! ó and football games with friends and family.


Thanksgiving Week in North Okaloosa County means hunters hoping for a prized kill, students sleeping in ó my sympathy to parents! ó and football games with friends and family.



Not to mention a full feast and counting our blessings.



I have mixed feelings about the week. The best way I can explain this buffet of emotions is PPF: past, present and future.



Remembering past Thanksgiving gatherings helps me prepare for this year's celebration. For example, I know which foods to not serve certain relatives, which relatives should not sit next to each other and which topics are safe to discuss.



However, remembering loved ones who wonít be at the family gathering can be distressing. My two best friends and my grandparents, A.B. and Karoline Howell ó always with me in spirit ó wonít be at the table. This season makes me miss them even more, along with other loved ones who have moved on in one way or another.



Which brings us to the present.



Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what and who we have or have had in our lives. A person must be thankful for the bad and good in his or her life. After all, how would you be able to recognize the good without enduring the bad?



After rushing around cooking, baking and accommodating everyone, I sit down and take it all in: my blessings. The loved ones, the weather, and even the burnt whatever-I-know-Iíll-over-bake.



I enjoy the moment and reflect. Life is too short not to enjoy it. And one day, Iíll look back and miss most of the things going on right now.



Which brings us to the future.



Throughout this week, Iíll make notes of things I can do differently next family gathering, and which traditions to keep.



Warm wishes to all. Happy Thanksgiving!



Amber Kelley lives in Laurel Hill. Send news or comments to Hobo.homefront@gmail.com or P.O. Box 163, Laurel Hill, FL, 32567.