In Digital, Food and Drink, Memory-keeping, Seasons, Traditions
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We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~ Thornton Wilder

On Thursday this week, those of us living in the United States celebrate Thanksgiving. My husband and I will make our way to central Pennsylvania, where we’ll celebrate with my parent’s, my uncle and all of our dogs. Sometimes our group expands if we have a visiting guest or friend who’s alone, but since my sister moved abroad, this is our group.

Forever on Thanksgiving Day, The heart will find the pathway home.
~ Wilbur D. Nesbit

As a child, we’d travel to visit my mother’s family in Pittsburgh, and I have so many fond memories of those times. Where we are now only five at our table, back then, my Nanna somehow found room for upwards of thirty family members all cooking and cleaning, sharing and caring, watching football and probably drinking too much, and definitely eating too much, but what I remember the most – what I’m most grateful for – is the feeling of love when I recall those times. I can still feel the bustle and excitement in the kitchen; I can still hear the laughter pouring out of each room – my Uncle Persch had the most hilarious high-pitched laugh, it still cracks me up to think of it today; I can still smell the coffee at the end of the night from my Nanna’s tall percolator coffee pot; and I can still feel that tight squeeze in my heart when I relive those moments.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~ W.J. Cameron

Although today our numbers are small, there’s still the hustle and bustle as we prepare our meal, along with loads of laughter when we discover what this year’s debacle will be (last year we forgot the cranberries). Delicious aromas spread through the house, while football entertains us as we cook. We enjoy martinis and wine, and there’s definitely more food that we could ever eat! In between the cooking, we take the dogs for a walk stretching our legs, and if we’re lucky, we’ll have a beautiful sunshine-filled day like we enjoyed last year, which also happens to be perfect for taking pictures.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
~ W.T. Purkiser

Last November, my “big” camera was available for photographing memories as they unfolded, since I left it sitting on the kitchen countertop, resting on the dining room table and around my neck when we ventured outside. I plan to do the same again on Thursday, and although I might not be as swift with my DSLR as I am with the phone in my pocket, certainly my photos felt longer-lasting, more deliberate – more thoughtful – when taken with my trusty 50mm lens. In fact, capturing these moments felt like a bit like a homecoming reminding me of the years I entrusted my 40D to capture the love of holidays over ten years ago.

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.
~ Robert Caspar Lintner

I love that I can look through my storage drives to relive last year’s Thanksgiving. In my mind’s eye, I can still see those Thanksgivings in Pittsburgh as a small child, and this year, I’m hoping to peruse old family photos to see if I can find any pictures taken from that time to see if my memories live up to the moments that were captured on film.

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious, may your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!
– Author Unknown

Perhaps like me, you too, have holiday memories that tug at your heart, and isn’t it wonderful that we as photographers are the visual memory keepers to preserve and document these special times? Even though I don’t have children, I like to think that someday someone – maybe my niece and nephew or my Godchildren – will enjoy seeing how this branch of the family joined together to give thanks. How do you capture the holidays, and what are your cameras of choice?

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Until next time
~ Holly


  1. I just love Thanksgiving, the colors, the smells, the awkward conversations! ( I’m not even kidding about that last part!)
    And of course, I love pie piled to the sky with fresh whip cream. <3

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Holly. These photos and words are perfect, but that photo of the orange leaves kills me!! It’s incredible. xoxo Deb

  3. A little teary over here, Holly! Such a beautifully descriptive entry, I could feel – and smell! – it all. x

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