When you grow up in a family of deer hunters, Thanksgiving Day was always wrapped around their hunting schedule. Our house bustled with family, kids played outside, the smell of turkey filled the air, but the question would always be whether dinner would be served on time!

Thanksgiving morning at our house always started the same. My Dad and uncles would all get up early, meet for coffee and then head out the door to get that big buck. Often, you'd hear my Mom's voice yell out, "Be back at 2:00 for dinner and DON'T be late". Later in the morning our house would start to fill up with cousins and aunts ready for a fun day. The kids would all go outside and play (this was before cable, DVD players and video games) and the ladies would start preparing the meal. Soon the delicious smell of turkey would fill the air and we'd be excited with the anticipation of a huge feast. Let the clock watching begin! At 1:50 one uncle would come through the door and we'd wait. 2:00 comes and we'd wait. The kids are getting restless, Mom is getting impatient, the table is set and we'd wait. The problem with hunting is that it's unpredictable and addictive. If that big buck is in site, dinner can wait. If you've shot and injured that big buck, you must track it and dinner can wait. Eventually everyone comes through the door, we'd hold hands, say grace and the meal is even better when you have to wait just a little bit longer to eat it!

Everyone has their own traditions, but for my family it started with the Thanksgiving hunt, followed by a delicious meal surrounded by loved ones and being grateful for our time together!

As I reflect on how my Thanksgiving Day landscape has changed over the last few years I still have so very much to be thankful for. I just wish my parents were still alive because I know Dad would still be getting his big buck, Mom would be making a delicious meal and we’d be spending ONE more day together as a family.

Here's my Uncle Jerry Stone fresh from hunting in his orange camo pants! No dress code at the Birgy Thanksgiving table!

Dad usually got his buck every year. My only complaint is that I wasn't a fan of deer meat and Mom put it in EVERYTHING. Chili, Spaghetti Sauce, Soups........

When this is the view out your back door, I can see why it's a hunters paradise! I was blessed to grow up in the country where we had deer, bear, bobcats and all sorts of awesome wildlife!

Time to go outside and play! Why may I ask, did my Mom have me in boy haircuts when I was little? Can you pick out Barb?

And, it was guaranteed that someone in the family would be napping after dinner! Up early to hunt, all of that walking to search out that buck and eating a big meal spells nap time!

And, one random picture that sums up Barb's style perfectly. When it's Thanksgiving in the 90's, of course you have a special dress to wear for the occasion. Mom could have used it as a tablecloth the next year!

I hope you all have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!