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My Blog

A Picnic Table for Thanksgiving

Good morning.  Hope that all is going well this week for everyone.  A week from today is Thanksgiving.  This is one holiday that I truly enjoy. It is a holiday with no expectations.  It is simply a day to be thankful.  I am thankful everyday. As I lay my head down on the pillow at night, I am thankful for the day.  All that the day had to give or offer me.  The people I met or have in my life are there for a reason and I am so grateful for them all.  I started reminiscing about the past.  The time when I was young and those that were in my life at the time.  I remembered a particular Thanksgiving growing up.  My cousin Sandy lived up stairs from us and she was going to host the Thanksgiving dinner.  Now Sandy is 10 years older than myself, so growing up...she was my mentor so to speak.  Someone who I could aspire to be like.  I hung around with her all the time.  Well, I remember this one Thanksgiving in particular when she decided that we should emulate the first Thanksgiving.  She for some reason decided that the dinner should be held on a picnic table...not sure whether the pilgrims ate on a picnic table back then or not...although that thought never came to my mind when she had the idea.  Well, the two of us carried the picnic table up to the second floor from the back yard.  She had me scouting the neighborhood for nice colored leaves to decorate the table, along with branches.  Along with that, she had me tracing and cutting out leaves from colored construction paper to decorate the table as well.  I remember how we all gathered around that picnic table to eat dinner.  It was a nice idea...but not the most comfortable one she had ever had.  We had the traditional foods, and then on to the traditional card playing afterwards.  Out came the cards and the containers of money and on that Thankful day, we were playing poker....just like the pilgrims??? Perhaps not!  But it was tradition in our house.  I remember how thankful I was that year.  I played poker many times in all the years in that home in Chicago, but at that crazy picnic table I won with a royal flush and never forgot it.  The men all thought I was bluffing with my cards...LOL...boy, were they surprised!  Those days are imprinted on my mind.  A time when families came to together and shared.  What a great day.  FYI, It wasn't always a traditional holiday here.  It was really because of tenacity of a woman named Sarah Hale that we can thank for Thanksgiving.  Along with Sarah Hale we can thank President Lincoln as well.  It was because of the two of them that we celebrate that day together.  Sarah wrote letters asking for a nationally recognized day that families could celebrate together and give thanks.  It took 39 years and many letters to many presidents before it reached Abraham Lincoln and Thanksgiving Day was declared a national Holiday.  It wasn't for a day off or a long weekend, but a day that families could gather together to give thanks.  I would like to Thank Sarah Hale, Mr. Lincoln and every family member and friend that I have for the joy and love they have brought into my day.  For the memories that this day has given me, I am grateful.  They are all different and wonderful and something to treasure.  Whether we gathered around a picnic table or a table set with fine china, it was the gatherings that I remember and the love that went into those day! 

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