An Unexpected Surprise

Thanksgiving was quiet for us this year. Our kids weren’t  going to be here, which made me sad. I loved those huge dinners we used to give. Sometimes as many as 16 or 20 people would crowd around our dining room table. We’d usually invite all the strays to join us too. Strays, meaning those friends with nowhere to go for the holiday. If you’re cooking for 12, adding a few more is easy. This year it was a surprise to feel like we were the strays, even though we were going to a close friends house for dinner.

An Unexpected Surprise
My hostess gift looked plain, so I added some leaves from our Maple tree

But on Thanksgiving Eve, we got an unexpected surprise! My daughter was flying to Chile for a holiday, with a connecting flight through San Francisco. United decided her plane had technical difficulties and canceled her flight, in SFO.

Rather than catch a different flight to Houston, where she would miss her connection to Chile, she came home to surprise us. I was so happy to see her, I almost cried.

An Unexpected Surprise

As we sat by a roaring fire, enjoying a glass of wine and each other’s company, I felt so thankful for technical difficulties and the magic it can bring.

We got a text this morning that she’s landed safely in Santiago. I’ll feel happier when she lands back home.


There’s nothing wrong with starting your day with left-over Pecan Pie, so that’s what I did. My day will be quiet. How about yours?


Style Your Day Beautifully,




  1. I’m so happy it worked out for you! Happy belated Thanksgiving.

  2. So WONDERFUL! One year my husband surprised me by bringing my kids home for Mother’s Day. I was jumping around and clapping.

    1. Lucky you! They are our greatest gifts, aren’t they?

  3. Ah Jennifer, I know that feeling of being close to tears at the presence, especially unexpected, of a grown chlld come home. What a holiday gift. I have a daughter in law from Santiago. She is a jewel and a gem and I love her so. But boy, that is a long, long flight… much moreso than travel to Europe. I was amazed at far south one can fly and lfy and fly in this big old world.

    1. Ah, so you know! It was a powerful moment!

  4. Your daughter’s presence was an unexpected gift indeed. I went to my girlfriend’s house. I was their stray! No Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast though, but I would rather have been with them any day. xoxox, Brenda

  5. Hi Jennifer! What a nice surprise for Thanksgiving. I’m glad to hear you had a perfect present. But you do get used to doing Thanksgiving in different ways as time goes by. As a “not mom” I’ve done both by inviting tons of others to my house AND going to other people’s houses and chipping in. I love the variety of it all. And yes, always stay open to wonderful surprises like your daughter showing up. ~Kathy

    1. This surprises (synchronicity) are so delightful!!!

  6. So happy you got a surprise visit from your daughter!

  7. A pre-Thanksgiving visit to my daughters in Ct. Turned into a Thanksgiving visit when my back went out and I spent a week in hospital. Was released Wed., just in time to have Thanksgiving with her family……an unexpected blessing for all!

    1. Oh no Cherrie! I’m sorry to hear about your back. It was a blessing that you got to spend Thanksgiving with your daughter!! Hope you’re on the mend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *