Posted by: penpatience | November 1, 2018


WRITERS WORDS: “We may all have arrived here on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now”—Martin Luther King, Jr.






Its turkey time again–Time to gather together with loved ones and friends in the special celebration of Thanksgiving. Annually, folks crowd airlines, buses, trains and cars to spend this special holiday weekend together. Most folks spend the day happily stuffing themselves with turkey and all the trimmings, playing catch up on the past year, watching football with many heading off to the stores right after dessert to catch early bird sales in advance of Black Friday. What is especially encouraging this time of year are community members who donate time and money to feed the hungry and homeless insuring everyone has an opportunity to participate in a festive dinner sharing good will and good food.

All too soon this special time of camaraderie, good food and shared memories falls into the shadow of Christmas. The Santa Claus charge begins before the turkey leftovers are stowed in the fridge with the hoopla rush finally ending on Christmas Eve. I contemplated while writing this article on why did the feel good feelings and thoughtfulness evaporate so quickly after a day of giving thanks? Then again, maybe they didn’t.

My mind traveled back to childhood Thanksgivings with family always held at Mom’s house. Dinners were always great, but what resides in my mind is the legacy Mom left to her children. Along with good times we always had home-baked from scratch apple and pumpkin pies for dessert—never; ever did a purchased store pie grace our table. After the families grew and expanded and we convinced our aging Mom to pass the baton, my sisters and I continued to carry on the home-baked pies tradition. Perhaps, a home baked dessert might appear a small gesture to be thankful for, but we were always appreciative of Mom’s special efforts and talents.

I mused. Life is full of unexpected and, sometimes, unwelcome surprises. This past year many tragedies have occurred within our country and abroad. A believer that climate change has and will continue to affect our lives, I note we’ve experienced horrific forest fires out West, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and resulting tsunamis throughout the South, East, Central states and islands overseas. Add in mass shootings of innocent people, political parties posturing in lieu of working together across the aisles and, HEY, what do we have to be thankful for???

Life happens while we’re making other plans. (Still my favorite adage) One day we’re on the GIVING end and the next we’re unexpectedly on the RECEIVING end of assistance. Let’s go back to my Mom for a minute. Mom was always thankful to be on the Giving side of life and she shared with others within her resources. I know, had her situation been reversed (and I was grateful it never happened) she would have been thankful for the kindness and help of others. Too many Americans have lost their homes, their livelihoods and loved ones never believing a day would come they’d become Receivers instead of Givers. Bear with me while I share a saying that “popped” into my head:

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” (we’ve all heard that one) and then I thought:

“A smile a day makes someone’s day” Sometimes a gesture as small as sharing a smile can make a difference in someone’s day whether you’re a Giver or a Receiver.

I believe folks who’ve experienced the good fortune to be Givers and the unfortunate situation of Receivers are more apt to keep generosity alive throughout their lives—what some folks in this generation might call, “Paying it Forward.” Right now, I feel fortunate to be a Giver and hopeful that many folks reside in that “same boat” as quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr. in this month’s Writers Words. And… I’m always grateful for a leftover turkey sandwich (forget the diet-don’t hold the Mayo) with a slice of cranberry and a tad bit of leftover stuffing on toasted rye!

Best wishes for a Happy, Safe, and Healthful Thanksgiving Holiday!


  1. This was wonderful, as always, Frances. Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays because of the food and the giving thanks. Thank you for your thoughtful musings.


    • You’re welcome Pat. It’s always nice to hear that folks like what I’ve written.


  2. What a wonderful post, Frances! Your reminiscing about your family reminds me of my own, and how we have “aged” past all those traditions from childhood, with the frailty of one surviving grandmother, to deciding where my family (father and sibs and families) will be holding our Christmas since Dad has moved out of our childhood home and put it on the market (his decision, while he is still able-bodied). But those memories are comforting; my college freshman daughter can’t wait for Thanksgiving, when she will get to see family.

    Have a wonderful November, and Happy super-early Thanksgiving!


    • Julie,
      Thank you for the lovely comments. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family. Frances


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: