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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: His delicious turkey | Thankful for much | Making new tradition

November 25, 2021 at 2:52 a.m.

His delicious turkey

The thing that I always remember is that my grandfather, the best cook in the entire world, would put together a concoction of his own and hand-rub the turkey for a solid 24 hours before cooking.

We would come in the back door of the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, and there would be Grandpa, his arms up to his elbows, covered in whatever was in that concoction. When it was time to eat, Grandpa would be sound asleep in his recliner, while the rest of the family ate.

Turkey has never tasted the same since his death!



Thankful for much

It is heartwarming to recognize that I have so many things for which I am thankful that I don't know where to begin.

What comes to mind at the end of a beautiful fall day is the color displayed by the canopy of trees on a morning walk, the calmness and feeling of safety as it grows dark outside, the comfort of dear friends close by, a phone call from a son far away, and the text from another on his way home this night.

I am thankful for this gracious town I have called home for many years and its caring and thoughtful people. I am thankful for citizenship that affords me the opportunity to speak and act in ways I believe are important. I am thankful that earnest prayers are answered.

And that is just the beginning of my list.



And they'd better win

After our Thanksgiving meal, we watch the Cowboys!



Making new tradition

This will be the first Thanksgiving for me without my parents. My mother died in February 2019, and my father died Oct. 13 of this year. For the two Thanksgivings I had with my Pop after Mom died, we at least were able to still celebrate with each other, enjoying the day, watching football and reliving family memories. My brother died in December 1986, and the holiday season was sometimes rough, sometimes better, filled with tears and laughter both.

Now that it is just me at the house, I am not sure just what the holidays will bring. I know there are places I can volunteer, people I can help, meals I can help deliver. Focusing on others--that is my goal, my new tradition, giving and doing.



Grateful for even that

"Normal." A word that I questioned when I would hear again in regards to my classroom. A word so simple, but yet taken for granted when our lives changed in March 2020. I never thought there would come a time where I would have to tell my students goodbye on a Zoom call instead of celebrating the end of the year cleaning the classroom together and sharing funny stories from our memory jar. "Six feet apart, quarantine, and masks" have remained in everyone's thoughts since school reopened in fall of 2020.

This year, I am thankful for "semi-normal." I am thankful that I get to see my students five days a week. I am thankful that I am able to engage with them in small groups and support them through their times of struggle. I am thankful for the daily jokes my students tell me because they know I love to laugh. I am thankful for the hugs that they bring because they are so glad to be back in school.

We have a long journey ahead of us. Students and teachers need our support now more than ever. Yes, there has been learning loss. Yes, we still have quarantines, and now students need to be three feet apart. We are not back to normal "yet," but I will take "semi-normal" any day if it means I get to spend every Monday-Friday with my students knowing that I'm making a difference.



The memories linger

I recall when I dreaded making that Thanksgiving trip back home to Lowell.

I remember the ordeal: packing, loading the car, the long drive over the Boston Mountains on Old Highway 71 with the twists and turns, arriving exhausted, sleeping on uncomfortable beds, arguing with siblings as my parents shook their heads in disbelief, hoping for a peaceful Thanksgiving.

It wasn't always peaceful in my memories, but what I remembered best was embracing my mother, really squeezing her tight as I told her I loved her. I remember the sweetness of her voice and the fragrance of her body. I was so happy to see her once again. All the ordeal of getting home vanished in that sweet embrace.

And for all my brothers and sisters to be together again was so exciting. Even though we tried to outdo each other and made sarcastic comments, I felt loved and part of the herd.

It was a time that I look at through the rearview mirror of my life never to be seen again, but the memory, faded as it is, lingers on and the love and goodness of having and being a part of a family has sifted to the top into cherished memories.

I wish I could visit that scenario one more time.


Little Rock

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