Happy Thanksgiving?

I'm in an odd place today. I shouldn't be stressed, but I feel a little anxious. I'm down because this Thanksgiving, like last year's, is not what I envisioned. I guess it helps some that I didn't plan ANY vision for this year. That's a lie. I had envisioned a cozy dinner at my mom's place with my kids, my nieces, my sister, and a few displaced friends. Because I always find some extra people to feed during the holidays. It's what I was raised to do.

I was hoping that a good friend from Oregon would be able to make it down. He's been having a hard time and, well, misery loves company, right? Long story short, he can't make it. My sister made other plans, my nieces will be at their father's and all other family members are either in OR, Northern CA or NV and not traveling. I'm not even sure my dad celebrates Thanksgiving with his new family. We weren't invited last year and I haven't heard from him this year either.

This is the first year EVER that I  won't be cooking and prepping for a horde. I feel ... I don't know, but this saddens me. I really do mean ever. Even as a child I would help my grandmother the week of Thanksgiving making pies, cakes, rolls, the bird, the stuffing, the gravy, the vegetables, the whole kit and caboodle. Except the bird. My dad always did the bird. I finally had to learn how to cook something larger than a turkey leg about 5 years ago. Before that my brother usually did the bird and I did everything else. Family tradition, the men do the bird. Though that has changed. I now do the bird for my family. And my grandmother made a point to invite everyone in the church and neighborhood who didn't have family. I grew up in a family of 10 (extended family). So now imagine all of the adults inviting *at* least one other person. Though usually there were plenty of cousins, girlfriends, boyfriends, more extended family than you can count on fingers and toes. That's what I think about when someone says Thanksgiving. The love and joyfulness that comes from a house full of people who are thankful for each other (and the food on the table)! 

That's the other thing that saddens me this year. We aren't having a bird. In addition to the meager turnout (four people) the menu has changed too. No turkey. No sweet potato pie. No rolls. I don't know if I can cook for such a small turnout. I have never cooked anything smaller than a 22 lb bird. ok, a 15 lb bird.

I want to find the positive in all this, but I can't.