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Giving Thanks – Make Room at Your Table

Thanksgiving tableThanksgiving is almost here. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy this day! If I were to analyze the reasons for my appreciation of this day and this time of year, it would probably be because it causes me to reflect on the greatest gifts ever bestowed on me. That, of course, is the gift of family. The family includes more than those related by blood. It includes so many who have entered my life and made it better in more ways than I can count.

This ties into my previous blog, The Strongest Shape. In the blog, I mentioned the strongest shape may be the circle. Specifically, I spoke about our circle of friends.

Friends and family can come from just about anywhere.

Thanksgiving tableThere is no requirement that these relationships are people who share similar physical characteristics, like the same things we do, are similar in age, etc.

While growing up, my mother was an administrator at a county-run geriatric facility. The place was an assisted living facility that was available to those that could largely care for themselves but needed assistance. As I later learned, it was intended for those who did not have the financial means to pay for their own care.

I got to know many of the residents at this place. Not all the residents had family, at least not nearby. On Thanksgiving, my family would go to the facility and pick up those who had no family and were able to ride in a standard passenger vehicle. They were our guest for the day at our Thanksgiving table. During the meal and for some time after, we would sit and just visit. The stories told by our guests were fascinating. Some of the tales were as much of a confession as they were a story. Knowing that the statute of limitations had probably long since expired, they were quite free with the details of their adventures. The aperitif, which was not a part of their normal menu, probably played a role in the coloring of the stories as well.

Bringing back memories of visiting with family and friends at Thanksgiving is a big reason I look forward to this holiday so much.

Thanksgiving tableA vast majority of Thanksgivings for the past 27 years, we have hosted at our home. The number of those sharing the holiday varies, but it always requires more than one table. My wife and I do the turkey, ham, dressing, and potatoes. (OK, I do the turkey) and the rest is supplied by our guests. Everyone brings their best dessert, side dish or appetizer. Watching the various dishes being uncovered is like unwrapping a present.

Sadly, one of the regular attendees passed away recently. We’ll miss her incredible pie but not as much as her company. What we do have, however, is her memory. It’s one more thing to add to the pile of what we are thankful for.

There are so many documented benefits of sharing a meal and time together. Even if it is not an official holiday, invite someone to your table.

November 2023

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