Wonderful Thanksgiving Memories

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My Favorite Holiday

We have come to that time of year again.  The weather has cooled, and home windows have opened.  There is a palette of color splashed across the mountains and trees that resembles a picture you would find hanging on a wall.  The kids have excitement brewing with a few extra days off from school.  Parents are preparing for the one day a year when everyone runs out early on a Friday to find their holiday deals.  Meals are being coordinated and travel plans are being made to visit loved ones.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday throughout the year.  As a child it was typically hosted by my grandparents with family bringing their best cooked sides.  There were years when this took place at a cabin that was preceded by a ride in the back of a truck named Rose up a dirt road to what seemed like miles from anyone.  My grandmother would manage to have everything ready at midday for a group of 20+ people who had to cross a small creek to find access to a bathroom in the form of a small outhouse.  These were the best Thanksgivings I can remember.

Our gatherings soon rotated in between different households with all the same smells, music and laughter.  No matter where it took place, all the same families were there.  There were occasional contests of shooting skills, basketball or football games.  There would be an abundance of food early, a wonderful midday nap followed by a second warming of the food at which point we did it all over again in the evening.  These were the best Thanksgivings I can remember.

A young adult brought multiple Thanksgivings with lots of extra traveling.  The dinners doubled to make time for the extra families.  We coordinated eating times with lots of hustle and bustle in between.  There was time spent catching up with family members that started having their own families,  learning the names of new families and learning how they celebrate their holiday.  And then there was the discovery of new “best cooked sides” which was always a treat. These were the best Thanksgivings I can remember.

Arriving at mid-life, I now have a family of my own. The foundation of the holiday has remained the same, a combination of family, food and fellowship with a sprinkle of naps in between.  My own children provide the background noise throughout the day with grandparents sitting back and being thankful for the fruits of years of hard work and accomplishments.  Coordinated dishes bring the odor of delicious food throughout the house.  My wife browses the ads for any deals that may be available on that one day a year. The kids play games with the dog barking in the background.  The sounds of football come from the TV but no one knows the score.  It’s a cycle of time.  There is much to be thankful for and only a limited number of these days in my lifetime. These are the best Thanksgivings I will remember.

If you have not already incorporated pumpkin into your diet, think about it! Other than the many health benefits listed above, one cup of pumpkin contains 30 calories, which also makes it a good ‘diet’ food and because of its fiber content, it will keep you feeling full longer.

– Chandra Cunningham, DC

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