Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was never a big deal when I was very young. We didn’t have turkey or stuffing or family gathered around. I don’t know why we didn’t celebrate it. My mom was always saying she was thankful for this or that. Maybe she didn’t need a special day to remind her to be thankful. So far as I know none of my mother’s people made a special day of the fourth Thursday of November.

First Encounter  

I learned about Thanksgiving when I started school. In first grade, we had ditto sheets to color. (Remember the smell of ditto sheets?) There was the usual turkey with his fall colored feathers. The pilgrims were not as interesting to color in their black and white as the Indians [sic] in their festive feathers and costumes. We learned that the pilgrims would have starved had not the natives brought them food which they all shared at a common table. Fine thing the immigrants did to repay the natives, but I won’t get into that now.

I learned about Thanksgiving from the television we got for Christmas when I was eight. There I saw the Macy’s Parade and shows where extended family gathered around a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

I learned to cook early. I remember when I was 13 coming home from school the day before Thanksgiving and baking pumpkin pies while I helped a friend with her homework. It must have been around that time that we started inviting my mom’s uncle and his family for dinner. I can’t remember, but I must have instigated the whole celebration. I wanted a life like I saw on TV.

In following years, I cooked the dinner for our little bit of extended family. Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pies and some vegetables. I enjoyed seeing Mom’s uncle and his family gobble down the gobbler. To be honest, I never cared much for turkey, but it was de rigueur to have the proper holiday.

Mom, Uncle Russell, Aunt Vestie, their grandson Paul

Through the years, I have hosted and been hosted for Thanksgiving nearly every year. I was always with family—that is mostly family I created out of various friends in the many places I have lived. Sometimes, the family we cobble together is as precious, if not more so, than blood relatives.

I Give Thanks

To close, I want to make a list of what I am thankful for this year.

Bruce dressed for Halloween. He doesn’t always have such a long nose.

1. Bruce, my husband of 32 years.
[and they said it would never last].

2. The friends who constitute my extended family. People in West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, and Canada. You know who you are!

3. Finding my “twin” cousin, a woman with whom I share so many common interests and traits. And she really is my blood cousin; her grandmother and my father were first cousins.

4. Laughter–it truly is the best medicine.

I could go on with this list, but there are blessings too great to count.

My Wish for You

I do hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving. If you can, leave a comment. What are you thankful for?



This article was written by Margie Campbell

I have been "writing" since I could first hold a pencil. I would fill lines with squiggles thinking that could convey my ideas to the world. As I grew, so did my interest in writing. It really helped when I learned to make letters and to combine them into "real" words. I have a degree in creative writing and a Master's in English (tech writing specialty). I am retired from teaching all types of writing as an adjunct at community colleges in VA, MD, Ohio, and WV.

6 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving”

  1. I am thankful for darn near everything at this point. There are some exceptions, but those things exist on such a grand scale and are clearly not something for which anyone should be thankful(war, poverty, environmental destruction,etc. come to mind).

  2. Hi Margie,
    I never thought I could write a Christmas letter this fall, but life got a little better a few days ago. I even turned on “Phil’s classical music” and I have not done that for a year.

    I am thankful that I got to be a big part of our Interfaith event Tuesday night with the Jews, the Muslims, the Christians, the Mormons, Baha’i Faith, the Hare Krishnas. I read my favorite prayer of Trappist monk Thomas Merton OH MY GOD, I have no idea where I am going… and gave a little talk about Merton.

    I started my comments with how when I was a teen and a Presbyterian near Erie PA in the late 50’s , we thought it was really edgy to invite the Methodists for a unity service. What a wonderful surprise now in 2018.
    Sally McClean

  3. I am grateful for
    1. Humorous and wise blogs
    2. My “American Sis,” who never judges and is extremely generous, and for her “gentle man.” 🙂

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