Laura Haley-McNeil

11/19/17, Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, Everyone!

This time of year seems to whiz by. I know all year long I’ve been complaining about how fast this year has passed, but the end of the year is packed with holidays and get-togethers and shopping and it becomes a blur for me. I hope this time of year is happy for you. I realize that for some it is uncomfortable or even sad, especially if you’ve lost someone dear to you during this season.

During the holidays, I think of my parents who worked hard to make sure their six children had everything we needed and wanted. Thanksgiving Day was a whirl of baking and cooking. My mother loved to bake. How she did this, I don’t know, because she also worked full time. She was Wonder Woman. No one could leave her house without being satisfyingly stuffed. She’d set out trays of crackers and cheese and peanut clusters and mixed nuts and guacamole and chips…the table was never empty. My father would mix drinks, virgin when we were young, though his friends received mixed drinks, which we received when we were of age. Mom would bake through New Year’s Day. I think she would’ve baked past that, but we had to start our diets and would scold her when she’d start dragging out the food. She’d agree she shouldn’t do that, but did it anyway. She was her own person.

As we grew older and started our own families, my siblings and I would celebrate the Thanksgiving family holiday in one of our homes. I think my mother was truly shocked when she didn’t have to do all the work. I’m not sure she enjoyed it. My sisters and I would visit and cook in the kitchen and Mom wanted to be a part of that. She couldn’t sit still. She always had to be doing something, so she’d still find something to do and join the conversation. Though my parents are gone, I’m happy to have the memories. My family is still close and we still spend Thanksgiving together, though the group has grown as the next generation marries and starts their families. My parents would’ve been so happy to be surrounded by all these children.

Our family isn’t picture perfect. We have our differences as everyone does. We may be related but we’re still individuals with opinions and lifestyles that not everyone agrees with, but they’re my family, I love being with them, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

No matter where you are, I hope this holiday is truly happy for you and that you will spend it doing something you love and with someone special. I wish you peace, joy and blessings on this day and throughout the year.