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To me Thanksgiving is more than just consuming Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and gallons of sweet tea. It is a family dinner like none else. It is part of the glue that holds my family together. It makes us who we are.

Thanksgiving is the giving of thanks for simple things. It’s the golden brown aroma of one of my Mama’s tender birds wafting through the house, the gathering ‘round of family and the asking of God’s blessing, the heaping of plates and then the satisfying sounds of everyone eating and laughing at one of the many jokes being told by a relative that is too little seen and too often missed. It’s the talk of politics and religion while the men gather in the living room to watch the football game as the women folk clear the table while discussing their ailments.

It’s this tradition; the very ritual of it reminds us of our blessings. It’s the banana pudding made by Mama in her secret, unique method that means we’re together again and that despite troubles we have much for which to be thankful.

It’s the feasting on memories, warm and fresh like biscuits straight from the oven. It’s the wishing for one more opportunity to taste of Grandma Penny’s homemade apple turnovers again; turnovers so hot juicy and sweet; each baked with love. It’s the longing to once again hear my Daddy say for the benefit of the ever present Thanksgiving guests, “Well, you see what’s there; if you don’t get any it’s your own fault.”

It’s during this time of year that my thoughts turn to Mama’s banana pudding, Grandma Penny’s apple turnovers, Daddy’s warning to all those present and the sweet security and fellowship of loved ones present, and the enduring worth of simple traditions.

At these moments I wonder if my grandchildren will ever know this experience, this ritual, and love it as do I. Who will carry this tradition on?

Then for an instant in my mind’s eye, I see a man who looks suspiciously like me, standing at a table piled high with food, surrounded by the love of family and friends present and saying loud enough for all to hear, “Well, you see what’s there, if you don’t get any it’s your own fault.”

Bro. Mike

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