The Thanksgiving season is upon us and it is my favorite holiday, probably because it isn't based on religion, but instead, centers around family, friends and food, three of my favorite things.
I have so many things to be thankful for. Even though both my parents are gone, I was lucky they gave me a loving home, strong family values and an education. They taught me that helping others, helps the world.
Both of my parents were immigrants; my mother came by herself from Europe right as the war broke out. She left behind an entire family whom she never saw again, a they all perished in the war. She spoke no English but immediately signed up for classes to learn English, passed her equivalency test and earned a high school diploma. She never went to college as she had to work. It was her one big regret in life, aside from never learning to drive. That was probably a good thing.
My father came as a baby from Russia, neither of his parents spoke English. They worked at whatever jobs they could get and when his father, my grandfather died, my father went to college and law school at night and worked two jobs. He slept on a sofa in the living room so his sisters could have a bedroom. He was the first person in his family to graduate high school, college and law school.
They loved this country and happily became citizens, embracing the holidays and Thanksgiving was the one holiday we enjoyed, since we weren't restricted by any religious laws. We would have visitors, most often my parent's close friends and my brother, father and I each were assigned jobs. Mine was to comb out the fringes of the rug so that it looked pretty. Yes, my mother was a bit intense, but she was a great cook so we did what we were told.
My favorite part of the meal was the stuffing; I could eat an entire pan of it. We'd have turkey, home made cranberry sauce with apple, sweet potato casserole with pineapple chunks, and inevitably my mother would forget the steamed vegetables. We'd have a pumpkin pie and apple pie to eat.
I love Thanksgiving as we all sit together and enjoy a meal together and think about how lucky we are to have our freedom and be together. What is your favorite memory of the holiday?
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May you have good health, good food, and people to share it all with.
In case you'e looking for a good book to curl up with after your huge meal, Betting on Forever, the second book in The Breakfast Club series released this week and is available here: