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Pat’s Bits & Pieces– It’s Thanksgiving

Pat Maurer, Review Correspondent

Turkey day is now less than a week away!

We don’t celebrate on the actual day though, but on the weekend.

For years we have 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 all that stress these days, except for meeting my news deadlines and helping out at the office when it’s time to put the paper together each week, but we still hold our celebration a few days after everybody else.

This year we moved our big holiday back another day because daughter Lisa, a dispatcher at CMU, is on duty both Thursday and Saturday and son don has to work at his shop on Saturday.

So Sunday will be our family get-together this year. That is the day the family, most of them anyway, can come for our annual turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We will still be short a few though. Two granddaughters are in California these days, one grandson is in Miami and another deployed in Japan. The oldest, Jason, fiancé Ada and great-granddaughter Ayssa won’t be able to come either, but I am hoping the rest of the kids and grandkids will be able to make it.

Of course we will roast the bird. Jack will make his famous pumpkin pies and we will all probably eat 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 afterwards I know.

When our family began to host the annual family 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 is 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 some meals for at least a few days after that.

It is easy to believe because I always manage to cook way too much stuff. We stick to the traditional fare: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, a vegetable, rolls and a couple different things for dessert. We always have lots of help with the preparation and both Micki and Lisa will bring their specialties I’m sure.

There’s also entertainment. Lisa and the youngest granddaughters usually compete to see who can spray the most whipped cream right into their mouths when we are dishing up the pumpkin pie…

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.

Thanks to all of you customers and faithful readers, the paper, even though I am no longer “the boss”, is still going and growing. I’m thankful I still get to help out with the business that was such a big part of my life for so many years.

Thanks to God, and despite the hard economic times over the past several years, 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 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.

I am certainly not trying to gloss over the many, many problems we face here, but I do believe the economy is finally getting better again, and we do still have the freedom to try and change things for the better.

No matter how or when you celebrate, 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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