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Putting Thanks in Thanksgiving

Soon, many of our homes will be filled with the delicious smells of Thanksgiving. The turkey or ham will be cooked to perfection, the chestnut stuffing, the candied yams and the pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream will be part of our feast.

For some, it will be a time to reunite with family members from a far and friends seldom seen. It will also be an occasion for time honored traditions and each family has them. In my family getting a piece of the turkey skin before the meal was served was considered a privilege.

This tradition will be lost to my family as my daughter is a vegetarian and I don't think Tofu has skin and even if it did, not an appetizing picture. One tradition that has continued is a practice instituted by my mother where everyone around the table takes a minute or so to say what they are thankful for.

When I was very young, my family would have thanksgiving at my aunt's house and there were twenty-five or so people usually in attendance. The adults sat together and all the kids sat together. At the time, I couldn't understand why some of the women seated at the table would shed a tear sometimes when they gave thanks and sometimes it felt like I was in church and not about to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I don't remember the meals so much, but some of the words that were spoken I do remember.

My aunt and mom would always say how important their relationship was with each other and those words were very powerful. Their relationship prevailed until my aunt was nearly 101 and my mom was 90. The women gave thanks that Grandma Scott was in good health or that Aunt Annie had recovered from gall bladder surgery. Aunt Millie would often mention those that had passed away, but were missed including two of her children that were lost during birth.

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