Nov 19


When I was growing up, we had Thanksgiving with my cousins on Long Island every other year. It was always a horrific holiday journey, what with the traffic, & the scariness of the the city highways with their stripped down cars and graffiti and oh, the potholes….I learned every bad word in the book on those trips to Aunt Lu and Uncle Howard’s house in Northport. The savory smell of roasting turkey met us at the door along with the blaring of football on the TV….Grampa Lord, Uncle Howard’s dad, was mostly deaf and the volume was always turned up high. If it was nice outside that’s where I’d be with my cousins, running around the lawn, staying out of the way of the chaos in the kitchen.


When finally we sat down at the long table (no kid’s table for us) the ritual we all dreaded began. Every year, Uncle Howard, a college professor, would ask the same question in his dramatic professorial voice. “ So what are we all thankful for this year?” All of us kids sank down in our seats, avoiding eye contact so as not to be picked to start things off.


My Mom would usually pipe up first, saying that she was thankful for her family and this wonderful day we had to spend together. We all winced, all of us having planned on saying that very same thing. It was like going to confession and trying to come up with sins committed the week prior…I could never remember, I was just a kid, so I always said the same thing which was a lie in itself. But I digress.


Dad would grumble something about all of us getting there in one piece, no thanks to the #%&!* traffic while Mom shushed him and we snickered, storing away yet another bad word for later use.


Aunt Lu was thankful for her beautiful children, and that the gravy had no lumps.


Paul Joe would mumble something about getting an A in Chemistry, and around the table we’d go. I don’t know why it was so hard to come up with something to be thankful for, our lives were not that bad and we were sitting at a table loaded with food with the delicious anticipation of the pies to come later. But all of us itched and scratched and squirmed on our seats trying to come up with something, anything that would satisfy Professor Uncle Howard.

I honestly can not remember what I said, but it probably had something to do with the food or my dog or both, depending on how old I was.


Looking back I wish I had a recording of those torturous moments. How silly we were! Today, at age 58, I have no end of things to be thankful for! Of course this year it may be a bit of a struggle to feel true gratitude in heart and soul. But with age comes wisdom, and hopefully enough to keep things in perspective. So, in honor of Uncle Howard, I am going to tell you what I am grateful for: My 3 grandbabies: Brody, Colin and Hayden, all hearts of my heart, my dear Gregory, my family, all in good health, my wonderful friends, my dogs, my collection of sisters by choice, my home, my flower beds that bring me such joy in the summer, the beauty of nature, and my business and clients that have provided me with such a fulfilling way to earn my living. …… I guess you have to pile on the years in order to recognize blessings and good fortune when you have them.


 There is more, much, much more, but I think even Uncle Howard would tell me to save some for next year.Thank you all! I truly am blessed.



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