If you know me, you know I’m all about travel and exploring the world. That’s what this blog is about. Hubby and I love to travel as much as budget, time, and responsibilities allow. We have so much fun, that much of the time, I don’t even have time to blog about it.
Over the past 13 years since I started keeping track, we have taken around 60 trips, whether long weekends or months long journeys. Someday I will calculate the mileage and I’m sure it will be amazing. We have another dozen trips in the planning stages and a seemingly endless list of cities and countries we want to explore and then go back again and again because we meet such wonderful people and make great memories.
Having just changed homes (yet again), we are home for a few months before the next adventure. One of our grandsons recently asked, “Grandma and grandpa, why do you keep moving?” Hmmm…probably terminal wanderlust. In his 8 years of life we have been in 5 different homes. He and his brother especially enjoyed our big forever home with the huge dodge ball friendly basement and yard that was really too much for us to worry about. Now we are in a condo that Goldilocks & big Bear says is “just right”. Finally we have a home that can sit unattended when we travel the world.
What is the segue way to Thankful? This is the time of year when Being Thankful is always playing on my mind. I am so thankful for where I am in my life. I have an amazing husband who enjoys the same things I do (24/7…but that is another story). We are retired and can do what we enjoy – particularly travel. We enjoy good health for the most part. We have lovely friends, and most importantly, we have healthy, happy children and grandchildren, most of them close by. What more could you ask for?
We also have a brand new cozy home to come back to when our wanderlust is temporarily satisfied.
Not everyone is so lucky. Living close to the city, we daily encounter people in need on the street. Every year we typically donate to our favorite organizations, but these everyday reminders of humans in need make me more thankful that I can help a little, particularly at this time of year when we encounter so much overindulgence.
Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving . Many organizations that you donate to have matching donations on that day so make sure to put Giving Tuesday on your calendar and remember your favorite charities this holiday season (November 28, 2017).
Besides monetary donations, the MacLennan’s like to give back on a personal level whether it’s volunteering or sometimes adopting an elderly person or children off a gift tree. This year we are collecting scarves, hats, and gloves to keep in the car (because it gets pretty darn cold here in Chicago). When we come across those less fortunate, we will hand out something warm to wear with our donation, as well as some days a bag of something to eat like Subway and fruit. This requires planning ahead, so I’ve marked a few days on the calendar when I think we will be out and about in the car, so we can pick up food in advance. Another day we plan to bring a holiday meal and some wish list items to a local homeless veterans shelter.
We have a great deal to be thankful for, and have a wide variety of favorite organizations. This is not a shameless plug for our favorites – I just wanted to share our list so it might jog your memory for ways that you might give back or pay-it-forward.
Chicago Blackhawks Special Hockey
We Grow Dreams
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Operation Support our Troops
Midwest Homeless Shelter for Veterans
Toys for Tots (it’s a great tradition to get your children involved in choosing toys for the less fortunate & bringing to a donation center as a family)
Chicago Scots Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care
DuPage County Convalescent Center (Adopt-a-Resident)
DuPage County Animal Control Foundation
WTTW (When we are not traveling, I love to watch Masterpiece, Doc Martin and a ton of their shows. Outlander & Game of Thrones are a given but we need Public Television!)
Church: of course that’s your choice and it’s personal to us all
I hope that you, your loved ones, family and friends, are warm and safe, healthy and happy this Thanksgiving and Holiday season. If you are as blessed and lucky as we are, consider paying it forward on Giving Tuesday to your own favorite organizations or finding a way to make contact with those less fortunate and pay it forward.
We continued to be very blessed, very lucky, and very thankful! Sending good wishes from our home to yours, Happiest Thanksgiving to you xo