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Potatoes that had been dug on hot summer days and placed under the house to keep all winter, were boiled and whipped with a fork to the consistency of marshmallow, then dabbed with butter and freckled with pepper. The potatoes sat next to the green beans Grandmother had picked from her garden and canned in her pressure cooker. Beets and sweet potatoes also joined the home-grown feast.
When dinner was ready, Grandmother would call the family to the table. We’d take our seats and bow our heads while Grandmother thanked the Lord for the food and for what it was intended. Then, after the “Amen” was said, someone would add the thought in everyone’s mind – “And for the hands that prepared it.”
Ann - Norman, Oklahoma
Unusual Thanksgiving Holiday Celebrated in the Philippines
It was 1974, and our family was living in the Philippines, where my husband was stationed with the U.S. Air Force. As any military family will tell you, expect the unexpected. A military family seldom knows where life will take them, but they know it will always be an adventure.
Thanksgiving 1974 was certainly an adventure for our family. We may not have been living on American soil, but our family of four was determined to celebrate American holidays the same as we would have had we been back home in the states.
That year, as Thanksgiving Day dawned, a typhoon was blowing across the Philippine island of Luzon. The sky was dark, and the wind howled as rain fell in sheets. The turkey was thawed and ready to go in the oven, when, suddenly, the power went out. It soon became apparent that our electrical power was not going to be restored anytime soon.
In discovering a few non-traditional reasons for being thankful, we were better able to accept our plight. We learned that a negative can be turned into a positive just by how you manage the situation. Despite the fact that we had no electricity, we were snug and warm indoors, and we were together. So, we played board games, munched on snacks and goodies, and made memories by candlelight.
That stormy Thanksgiving Day more than a quarter of a century ago was surely less than traditional. However, it showed our children that challenges, when met without complaint, can become positives and may just create a well of out-of-the-ordinary memories that can last a lifetime.
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