It is funny how life and what is really important never really changes all that much. When I was a kid we used to spend every Sunday at my Grandma's. First my Dad's Mom, where I had a lot of cousins and we would play and run around and have tons of fun. It was generally a very relaxed atmosphere with plenty of aunts and uncles and children and food. Sometimes we played outside and sometimes we played in the basement, but we always played the entire time. It was always loads of fun.
Then my Mom's Mom. Here it was more formal. Until I was ten, my sister and I were the only grandchildren. This meant there wasn't a lot of running around and playing. There was a lot of sitting quietly and doing a puzzle with my Granny. The football game was always on. We were supposed to be careful and "try not walk in front of the TV". We always had a BIG sit down dinner, I think, at half-time. There was always a lot of food. Then after the game we would play games, usually cards of some sort. It was a lot of fun because we received all the attention. No cousins to compete with!
This weekend we had family visiting. The entire weekend was a whirlwind of family and cooking and eating and fun. While sitting in my Grandpa's chair and watching football on Sunday I was reminded of all those Sundays from my childhood. The game is on, people are milling around, there is a hint of all those good food smells drifting out of the kitchen, and I am trying to quietly remind my children to "try not to walk in front of the TV". I was literally watching history repeat itself.
The point is that nothing ever really changes, at least not what is truly important. Family and tradition and food, things that are passed from generation to generation. Traditions and memories, these are the things that really matter. These are the things that I am truly thankful for. This is what puts a smile on my face!