When I was young, I thought couple who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversaries were old.  I learned when I celebrated mine, that they were really quite  young.  I was astonished I ever thought differently.  How could I EVER have thought that?  I must have needed glasses at the time.

Being married more than 25 years to my “first love” has been a blessing.  He was the cook and I was the waitress at a restaurant I worked in while in college.  Here is some advice for anyone reading who is not yet married:  LOOK FOR SOMEONE WHO LIKES TO COOK.  I have been so fortunate because HE does all of the grocery shopping and cooking.  Really.  I come home almost every day to a delightfully cooked meal, complete with salad, meat, veggies, and an tall iced glass of Diet Coke.  He used to make desserts, too, until we both started to expand our waists…

For Thanksgiving, we have a great family tradition.  I and ten others in my immediate family, (children, their significant others, and a grandchild) go to the movies. Yes, the movies!  We saw “The Life of Pi” because several of my children are fascinated with animals. It was about an Indian boy shipwrecked with some animals from his family zoo. Everyone seemed to enjoy it because it had something for everyone.  Brooding, spiritual, philosophical content along with a cheetah jumping on animals and killing them for food.  The food chain.  Done tastefully with no blood or other sites where one has to turn their head, shut their eyes and go “EWWWWWWW”.  We enjoyed buckets of drenched in fake butter popcorn and ICEEs.  Great day at the movies for us. Great day in the kitchen for my husband, who loves to cook but likes to have a quiet kitchen, something which is rarely available to him.

We came home from the movies and VOILA!  Turkey and trimmings are on the neatly set table with the obligatory child made Turkey centerpiece.  All 12 of us sat down and had an extremely delicious dinner. My husband basked in the glory.  There is nothing better than doing something you love and getting praise for it.

I was proud of my children who “signed” (American Sign Language) for Marie, who is deaf. We signed the simple Thanksgiving prayer,and the conversations began. As a mother, there is no sweeter sight than all of my family members being happy and sharing conversation with Marie, who smiled and laughed and participated.  I think I have raised them right. I remember that every Thanksgiving and I my little heart smiles inside me.




In case readers may not know, my book was reviewed by Readers Digest:

Nov 02, 2012 11:04 AM EDT

What to Read After a Hurricane

by Dawn Raffel

Shortly before Hurricane Sandy came to my town, flooding my house and knocking out the power (which is still out), I had the good fortune to download The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane by Linda Petersen.

Her story begins not with her children but with her own childhood spent traveling the country in the backseat of her parents’ car (her perpetually restless dad had post-traumatic stress disorder from  WWII), often with very little money and few provisions. Where someone else might have seen deprivation and isolation, Petersen viewed her unusual childhood with a sense of wonder and gratitude. After marrying young and giving birth to a son who was legally blind (and who went on to earn a PhD on full scholarship), Petersen and her husband adopted four more special needs children and fostered many others.

Her honesty, wit, and terrific storytelling make this a book you want to read rather than one you feel you should read. So there I was, swiping pages on an iPad in the dark in a blackout… I couldn’t have picked a better book for putting it all in perspective.


Comments on: "I Used to Think People Who Celebrated Their 25 Wedding Anniversary were Old…I was wrong!" (31)

  1. What a soothing post. And thank you for the movie tip. I loved the book.

  2. loved this post…I could visualize everything perfectly. Tender and well-written.

  3. loved this post, so real, and warm and loving!
    Seeing a movie together before dinner…wonderful.

  4. You sound like a lovely group to be around for the holidays!

  5. What a beautiful Thanksgiving! and great advice about marrying a cook ;).

  6. Incredible post today, just beautiful.

  7. I laughed so hard at your title! It’s so true!

  8. So beautiful, heart warming, delicious:-) A Thanksgiving to be truly Thankful for and now you’ve generously passed it’s beauty on to us so we can say thank you too for the blessing of reading your inspiring words…thank you!

  9. Thank you for being such a beautiful soul. The care that you show brings tears to my eyes<3 Its wonderful that your adopted kids have a loving family to belong to this thanksgiving. Have a lovely week!

  10. aww that is so sweet.

    Love the immage of your kids signing to someone who can’t hear. I can kind of relate to that, I love it when kids describe things to me or let me feel their toys.

    regards Maria and crew from australia email: bubbygirl1972@gmail.com check out http://www.95-the-mix.com where we play lots of great music

  11. Oh you are a lucky duck!!! A Hubby that does the cooking, awesome! I too have been blessed with a son that loves to cook too. His specialty is making home-made bread 🙂 I have a hubby also, who does not mind making dinner whenever I need a day off.
    I love that you all give thanks to each other and make sure that EVERYONE is included in all things!

  12. dianeroark said:

    It sounds like you have a great husband. I know it is a lot of work with special needs children. I have 3. Blessings Always, Diane Roark http://www.recipesforourdailybread.com Visit anytime!

  13. Sounds like you all had a great day together. 🙂 Glad to read about it.

  14. I’m right there with you! My hubby hooked me with his first email “Do you like spaghetti?”

    I LOVE spaghetti!!

  15. Great advice. My hubby is a good cook too… hence my expanding waistline too 🙂 – We don’t do Thanksgiving in Australia, but I’ve kind of always thought it was such a lovely idea!

  16. I’ve been reading your blog and would like to talk to you about interviewing, and getting a copy of your ebook, but I don’t see any contact info.

    Can you please contact me? momstinct at gmail dot com

    So, looking forward do hearing from you!!

  17. My husband was raised by a single mother, and both he and his brother are great cooks. Congratulations! (27 years for us). Your Thanksgiving tradition sounds wonderful. We almost always go to a movie on the 4th of July.

  18. You are one lucky woman!

  19. Lol, it hasn’t been 25 years, but I’m starting to know what you mean. My first husband and I have been in a relationship for ten years, married for six of them.

    Most of the time it feels so much like it all happened yesterday, that we when we actually pay attention to how long it’s been, we get a mite startled — to say the least.

    Here’s to many more decades for your marriage and mine! 🙂

  20. Wait until you get to 35. They get better with each one. I always ask, “What made this work?”

  21. Congrats on the longevity. It is amazing how our perspective changes as we get older.

  22. I totally concur about marrying someone who knows how to cook…my husband is a GREAT cook and if we had to rely on me, we’d either eat Mac and Cheese for ever or starve to death 😉 Just kidding…until recently at any rate lol I always honor anyone who’s been married that long…it takes a lot of love to go through changes and ups and downs (for some, not so much for others) and stick like fly paper…it’s amazing, is what it is. Congrats to you both!!

  23. I remember thinking this as well…when you are just starting out 25 years seems like a very long time! 🙂

  24. Older , wiser ? Or just viewing the world differently….we celebrated our 32nd recently and are in total denial that it was more than 10 years ago ! Love your wit !

  25. I had to smile at this post. You and I have a long marriage in common. I married my childhood sweetheart but we took our childhood, teens and young adult years to figure it all out, and THEN we got married. That was 32 years ago! Congratulations on 25 years, and I hope you have at least as many more! 😉

  26. objectpermanenceblog said:

    Joy at the movies and joy at home—that is one fantastic Thanksgiving 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

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