A BOLONGA SANDWICH ON THANKSGIVING

We had a lot to be thankful for on our first Thanksgiving in Loveland 50 years ago.

We had each other, three young daughters—Claire, Sharon, and Eileen—and Bill’s job at HP. Our youngest daughter, Kathy, was a mere twinkle in Bill’s eyes.

New-found friends in Loveland were another blessing.

But one thing was missing. We had no relatives nearby.

“How will we celebrate holidays?” I wondered.

On our first Thanksgiving in 1964, the answer was easy. Another newly arrived HP couple hosted a Thanksgiving Open House and we were grateful to be invited.

And so started many years of considering friends as family.

Especially when our family was young, I yearned for celebration—the festive boost that comes from the gift of friends in a home.

It’s been said that guests are the best Holiday decoration a home can have.

The question was never “Who shall we invite?”

The question was “Who would be willing to spend time with us on an important Holiday?”

The question was “Which guests have the stomach to digest all the idiosyncrasies and dysfunctions of our young family?”

At first I worried about hosting Holiday Dinners.

What if all our kids were up all night with fevers and I couldn’t pull Thanksgiving together? What if I forgot to defrost the turkey?

Maybe I’d have to say, “We’re so glad you could come for Thanksgiving Dinner. Make yourself at home. Things were a little hectic here today, so our main course will be bologna sandwiches with a little cranberry on the side.”

Like most worries, these never came to pass.

As I looked back on past Thanksgivings, I’m grateful for all the guests over the years who accepted us—flaws, faults and all.

It’s fun to look back on 50 Thanksgivings in Loveland. And I wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving.

And I have one more wish for readers. If you don’t have time, energy or resources for a big dinner, remember there are many ways to celebrate and give thanks.

Enjoy a leisurely day off from work, watch good movie, or catch up on rest. Or you might invite a neighbor over for a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a mug of hot chocolate.

Or even a give thanks over a shared bologna sandwich.

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