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Thankful Thanksgiving
11/24/2015 2:15:25 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

I don’t know about you but with all that is going on in the world today, I am looking forward to spending some down time with family and friends on Thanksgiving. The citizens of Charleston and the State of SC have experienced some high and low moments this year. So, there should be a whole lot of Thanksgiving going on in the Holy City and the state. Like the old folks would say, “We, too, could have been cut off and gone.”

As heinous as it was and while the nine murders at Mother Emanuel rocked the nation, it still could have been worst. Some lives were saved that night and for that we give thanks. The violence could have happened during a Sunday Service putting more worshippers at risk. The Emanuel 9 opened the door for more candid discussions and solutions on race in this country. Early one Saturday morning when most Charlestonians were just waking up, Walter Scott was shot in the back while fleeing an officer after a reportedly routine traffic stop. And, had it not been for a passerby with a camera rolling, the truth may have not been uncovered. Scott’s case sheds light on the validity of police officers’ statements in the absence of cameras after other killings around the country. Although Scott’s mother lost a son and paid the ultimate price, some other mother’s son may be saved by mandatory police body cameras. Scott’s death opened the door for the passage of the Body Camera Bill.

Recent ISIS murders in Paris illustrate just how vulnerable we are. The senseless murders point to the frailties and uncertainties of life. One moment you are enjoying life and the next second gone. Be thankful for the moment and everyone around you regardless of race, creed or color.

My sister will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. I get to kick back and watch movies, football and join in the story telling because I won’t be on kitchen duty. Now, I don’t mean to talk ‘bout nobody but watch out for those family members with big pocketbooks that looks like shopping baskets. They are loaded with plastic bags and ‘luminum foil. How many of y’all have family members who think they can cook but can’t so you assign them the paper products? Put your hands down! The no cooker in my family is cousin Sausageray. The name has been changed to protect her from humiliation. Last year Sausageray was asked to bring the paper goods and got all bent out of shape talkin’ ‘bout y’all think I can’t cook. Think!! No, we know you can’t cook. Since I hosted the dinner last year and not wanting to hurt her feelings, I told her to bring her best dish. Sausageray shows up with a “melon sausage” casserole that no one touched. What in the hamsandwich is a “melon sausage” casserole? Well, at least that’s what it looked like. No one tasted it to know for sure. Are y’all feeling me? The truth is just dat, truth! (Just having some fun…..)

I know Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy the fellowship but y’all know it’s at least one in the family who thinks Thanksgiving is a time to shop for groceries. After loading up take out containers that can’t close much like they do at a Chinese buffet, off they go to put them in the car only to make room for more. Thursday ain’t Black Friday. Y’all ‘scuse my English. Aunt Mae thinks she can pack up dinner for four to go when she only brought a bottle of soda. That’s a whopping return for a soda. Once she packs up, she is the first out the door never staying behind to clean up. Although family will be family, you can’t help but love them including the hoarders.

Thanksgiving!! It’s a good time for family, friends and football. Many of us welcome the four or five day weekend and early bird sales. As I mature, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to be selective with so many palatable dishes set before me. It’s funny how we stick to our diets until holidays and then we pig out. Well, see y’all over at the health food store this weekend.

While holidays are a good time to give thanks and be happy, don’t forget those that are less fortunate. Take the time to share your blessings with others. Invite someone to dinner who might not otherwise have dinner or who may dine alone.

It’s a shame that Thanksgiving is becoming so commercialized. Before you can digest your meal and enjoy leisure time with the family, stores are opening up as early to kick off Christmas shopping. I don’t know about y’all but midnight shopping on Thanksgiving was early enough. Now, stores have moved the time up to compete for early shoppers’ bucks. Well, they can count me out! Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and friends and that is what I plan to do. And don’t call me about shopping on Thursday no matter what the savings are. Time spent with my family is more important.

Let the end of this year be the beginning of something new. And while you are still in the thanks giving mood, be thankful that even during the worst of times, there is good to be found. Spend time with your kids and if you aren’t involved in their lives, get involved. In time, your investment will pay off in dividends that you can’t imagine.

If y’all see Sausageray, ask her for the recipe for her Melon Sausage Casserole.

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