Clare County Review & Marion Press Columns

Pat’s Bits and Pieces: Thanksgiving! It’s almost here!

Thanksgiving, for most of you is less than a week away.

That never used to work for us. For years we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday, mostly because of deadlines and putting the paper together. It always seemed easier to wait for the weekend.

I don’t have those deadlines anymore, and after spending most of my summer in various hospitals, I no longer help to put the paper together and have also scaled back my writing chores considerably. (I still miss putting pages together though…)

This year daughter Lisa and Son-in-Law Terry are hosting the family event at their house. Seems strange, but I guess it’s time for a new generation to take over.

With her new job and my much scaled down one, we can go back to a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner when the family, most of them anyway, will gather for our annual turkey dinner with all the trimmings. (And then probably spend Friday in a “food coma.”

Right now, I have absolutely no idea how many we will have for dinner this year, but I know there will be plenty to eat!

Of course, we (meaning Lisa and Terry) will roast the big bird, stuffed to the gills. Jack will make his famous pumpkin pies (and berry for Terry) and we will all probably eat way, way too much and enjoy the afternoon together. This has been a really special holiday in our family for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I remember lots of family, good conversations, lots of food and washing dishes for hours afterwards – it was worth it.

These days the dishwasher will take up some of that chore, although we will still spend lots of time in front of the sink cleaning up I know. I won’t be doing a lot this year, but I can certainly help out with the cleanup.

When our family began to host the annual event, the kitchen was where we all gathered for most of the day. The kids all chipped in to grind up the goodies for stuffing. They fought over that chore and also helped me mix up the ingredients for pies and desserts. The menu was pretty much the same, but these days the grandkids all chip in and help too.

There will be lots to do to put this dinner together. You know I read somewhere once that the average number of calories consumed per person on that one day of the year is over 3,000. Wow! I will have to skip meals for at least two days after that.

It is easy to believe because I always managed to cook way too much stuff. We would always stick to the traditional fare: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, a vegetable, rolls and a couple different things for dessert. I don’t know how the menu will read this year yet.

There’s also entertainment. About twelve years ago Lisa taught the little girls how to spray whipped cream right into the mouth…and they still entertain us with that one!

We always have lots of help with the preparation and everyone will bring their specialties I’m sure.

In between all of the festivities somewhere, we always manage to find time to be a little “thankful” for all of the good things we are blessed with.

I’m thankful I still get to help out with the business that was a big part of my life for so many years.

Thanks to God, and despite the hard economic times that now seem to be the usual thing, we are lucky enough to live in the best country in the world and in a part of that country where old-fashioned values are still in style.

Americans are always a nation of chronic complainers and we can be especially thankful we live in a place where we feel free enough to do that! Most of that freedom we can attribute to the heroic efforts of our service men and women, many of whom won’t be here to share the feast this year. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

No matter how or when you celebrated, whether you do it at home, or go out for the big dinner, it really is a great holiday. Maybe it is one of the very best because there’s no stress, no wrapping and no deadlines to meet. Just good times with the ones you love.

Makes this holiday a pretty special one, doesn’t it?

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