Writers’ Group

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Barbara Schwartz

I LOVE Thanksgiving. It’s a really huge shame that it is smothered by Halloween, fall decorations, and Christmas—almost ignored!

Having family, friends and food all at the same time. It doesn’t get much better than that.

In retrospect, the worst Thanksgiving I ever had was in 1974. Dad passed away in July of that year and this was to be the first holiday without him. My high school best friend and her husband, toddler daughter and her parents were welcomed to Mom’s home for the holiday. As I watched all of us trying to be happy I found myself in the kitchen feeling sad and very mad. Why was HER father here and not mine? I tried to overcome my negativity but I could hardly wait for the day to end for everyone to go to their respective homes—including me and my family. It was a horrible day and I remember it to this day some 43 years later. My friend and I can sometimes laugh over it, now that all of our parents are gone.

Since then there have been lots of Thanksgivings that have come and gone. Every year I look at the family and friends around the table and we all talk about the things we are thankful for. It is almost always the same things: happiness, health, love, being together, etc.

Two years ago, I started to add thankfulness and blessings for our military persons. These people, both men and women, are away from home and some are in harm’s way on this generally happy holiday. Some military are lucky and people (especially those stateside) are kind enough to call the base and offer their homes to a few soldiers or sailors. I cannot believe the kindness of these strangers offering this kind of hospitality, but I think the world of them for doing this.

A simple (or maybe not so simple) home cooked meal means so much to these men and women who protect our country.

While I have tried to contact Luke AFB, we are simply too far away for a dinner date with our military heroes.

So, I will make something good from our holiday leftovers (like a turkey tetrazzini or a similar casserole) complete with desserts and deliver this to our local fire stations.

After all, they are our local heroes and they put their lives on the line for us 365 days 24/7. They too deserve our kindness and respect for what they do.

Happy Thanksgiving to all: family, friends, food and making new friends is what it is all about!

A Turkey’s Thanksgiving Petition

George Stahl

Why a turkey? I know that we clean up good, we cook easy enough, and we look so great with that golden brown tan. On top of all of that, we taste really really good too. We also have a chemical in us that if taken at high levels (two or more drumsticks) could be fatal to humans.

The Surgeon General should have a label on us. They call it … Tryptophan. Say it with me, Tryp-to-phan. Just saying it like that makes you sleepy, right? Let’s say that you and your family all get in your car and drive over the creek, through the woods, up the hill, down into the valley, up the next rise and onto the I-10 eventually ending up at grandma’s house.

You all settle in for one of grandma’s famous Thanksgiving dinners, complete with cranberry sauce and homemade pumpkin pie. Wow! You are stuffed! Then, after a while, it’s time to make that same trip in reverse. This time with a body loaded with Tryptophan. Definitely over the legal limit! A deadly combination if ever there was one. Don’t Tryptophan and drive should be on your mind right about now, don’t you think? Unfortunately, humans have not made any laws regarding the abuse of turkey Tryptophan.

Okay, so you made it home this time. But what about the next or the next? You can only tempt fate so many times before … bang. When will be the year that dad, or mom had one too many thighs, or breasts? Are you willing to play Russian turkey Tryptophan roulette with your family’s lives? All it will take is that one extra piece, and grandma will be spending Thanksgiving alone the next year. Not to mention the guilt she will feel, knowing she served you that piece that put you over the edge. Do you really want to do that to that poor old lady? I would think not!

I guess that until you people wise up, and come down off of that arrogantly high horse you are on with this whole Thanksgiving Turkey thing, that chance of tragedy will always be with you, and the 45 to 46 million of us turkeys will continue to die for your pleasure each year.

That’s right, 46 million turkeys are killed for your Thanksgiving dinner every year. One of those is sitting at the end of your table, waiting for that someone, whoever it is, to carve it up and hand out the Tryptophane. Until, that is, one of you geniuses comes up with a plant-based alternative to turkey, or maybe a veggie turkey, both without the sleepy time drug. May I suggest you make it out of an oleander bush or tree? “Turkeyander” dinner! That way it will still have a … sleepy effect on you, and no young turkeys will have to be fatherless. It’s just an idea, think it over.

Gobble … Gobble!

Thanksgiving Memory

Lee Murray

One of the benefits of getting older is amassing an ever-increasing number of memories from which to draw on a regular basis. Similar to a Wurlitzer jukebox with an ever-expanding playlist, it’s a real treat in moments of reverie to relive the happiest times of one’s life.

Many of my favorite memories revolve around the holidays and one in particular was Thanksgiving, 2017. Robin and I had only recently moved into our new Sun Lakes home and we both decided to invite the family over for a plentiful feast.

We sent out word to the entire family that this upcoming day of thanks would be ours to host and were thrilled to hear that all three sons would be joining us including one from out of town who, along with his wife, had only two months earlier given birth to their first child, and our first grandchild.

As the big day approached and countless trips to the store behind us, only one major stop remained. The star attraction still needed to be ordered and prepared. We selected a gorgeous turkey from a local butcher, large enough to feed everybody on Thanksgiving and many more days following.

My wife really knows how to prepare a meal, and this day, she did not disappoint. As our guests began to arrive, the unmistakable aroma of delicious turkey cooking permeated the house and delighted the senses.

Every chair in the house, matched and unmatched, was brought to the dining room table so everyone could enjoy this great meal as one. Bottles of wine were opened, glasses were filled and the air was filled with unmistakable glee, laughter and anticipation.

When Robin took the turkey out of the oven, my first thought was how incredibly good it looked, beautifully golden brown like the finest pictures one could see in Good Housekeeping magazine. My second thought was how to abscond with some of the skin without getting caught!

The celebratory bird tasted every bit as good as it looked and was met with rave reviews by everyone at the table. The rest of the meal, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and of course pies too numerous to count were also met with delight. Everyone ate and ate, then ate some more. By the time folks had consumed their second helpings and then some, it was time for post-Thanksgiving naps. One by one, people with eyelids heavy, waddled over to the living room, angled for a comfortable spot on the couch and began to doze, all with a look of contentment.

I could go on and on about the great meal, and it was that, but what I gave the most thanks for that day and again as I relive it, was being surrounded by the people I love the most and as I raised a glass to each of them with a personal accolade, I thought to myself, this is what Thanksgiving is all about. No amount of money can buy what’s most important in life. It’s for family and those we hold close … for them we truly give thanks.