Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I love Thanksgiving: the preparation, the menu planning, the grocery shopping for all the fixings for dinner and the actual cooking. I start thinking about it in October and I even enjoy the waiting for the big day to arrive.

I cook the same things my mother cooked in pretty much the same way that she cooked them. The stuffing or dressing as we call it in the South and the macaroni and cheese and the sweet potato casserole are all based on her original recipes. I’ve modified them somewhat and try not to add as much butter but you can’t skimp too much or the taste just won’t be the same.

As hard as I try to avoid fats, I just can’t bring myself to cook the fresh green beans without the bacon and the pecan pies definitely don’t qualify as health food. There are some things that are just too sacred to fool with and Thanksgiving dinner is one of them. I figure that avoiding all the bad stuff most of the year entitles me to eat however I want this one day. And actually, it’s not the eating as much as cooking it and putting it on the table for everyone else that I enjoy.

I love when everyone sits around the kitchen and sniffs and carries on about how good it smells and how they can’t wait to eat. There’s chitchat about the parade and who’s been doing what and how the weather is cooperating so beautifully. This is what the whole thing is about to me. As I peel those ten pounds of white potatoes and ten pounds of sweet potatoes, I have a lot of time to reflect on the things that I am thankful for. The number one thing on my list is my family.

I am very thankful that my sons and their families live nearby. It’s something that I am used to but definitely don’t take for granted. Being able to see and talk to them a few times a week is a wonderful thing. When my grandkids are in plays at school or playing some type of sport, I can be there. I think about how wonderful that it is that one of my sons can drop by to talk for a few minutes and I know that I am truly blessed and I’m thankful everyday but on Thanksgiving I take an extra few minutes to give my thanks.

Everyday I’m thankful for my husband. He’s my very best friend and after all these years, I still enjoy his company. We were just kids when we got married so we grew up together and I can’t imagine not having him in my life. When we get on each other’s nerves and have a few cross words to say, I know that one of us will walk up and give the other one a hug and a kiss and everything will be all right again. And on Thanksgiving, I’m especially thankful that he snaps the beans for me and grates the cheese and really thankful that he puts the twenty-five pound turkey in the oven for me. Sometimes it’s the little things.

I am thankful for our men and women serving our country who can’t be at home in their kitchens cooking a Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family. We owe them all a debt of gratitude whether we approve of the war or not. I think of them everyday but especially on holidays when we are all enjoying our families and friends.

When dinner is finally ready and everything is on the table and we have all joined hands, I am truly thankful for the little voices saying the grace, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” And after dinner is finished and the kitchen is somewhat back to normal, I know that these same little voices will be out on the patio putting on their annual Thanksgiving show for all of us. The voices will now be a little louder as the show usually entails much singing and laughing. Life is definitely good and I am most thankful.

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