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Thanksgiving & The Circle of Life


Vintage silver tray and server Slice'n Serve Set

We had a great Thanksgiving this year at our house, I hope that you did too! It would have been my mother's 95th birthday; we had her funeral service last year on the 23rd. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday (except for the few occasions when her birthday did fall on Thanksgiving and she was doing the cooking!), and she loved celebrating it.


Instead of focusing on our loss being sad, although I do miss her horribly, I went all out. I cooked for two days, and foisted some new recipes on my family in addition to all the usual must haves for the day.


We set the table with all the heirlooms inherited from both moms. We lost my mother-in-law in 2020 and now we use her china for every big occasion. The "vintage" Slice'n Serve Set was one of her treasures; it is carefully wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap to deter tarnish when not in use for cranberry sauce. We use their special serving bowls and gravy boats, some of which they inherited from their mothers. We eat surrounded by my grandmother's furniture at an antique table that used to belong to some unknown grandmother a long time ago.

cartoon of a family gathered around a full table

Every time we gather as a family in this way, we continue to honor our elders and our ancestors. After Papa says the blessing, we raise that vintage glass in a toast to Auld Lang Syne, and share our family memories. We eat our traditional foods and someone always says that no one ever did or could make a pecan pie as good as Memaw's, while discovering that the new sweet potato casserole should be passed around again as it is so amazing even though none of us really even like sweet potatoes!


We are making new memories that will be cherished in years to come. The kids may not want that china or crystal now, I didn't want it when I was their age either! But now I am trying to pass along the wonderment and joy of a tangible memory of our family while keeping those treasures safe. Our family history will evolve and grow, as the Circle of Life continues and grows.


Here's to you, my fellow history trackers and keepers! Blessings on you and yours!


Best regards,

Leslie Ryan

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.” ― Dalai Lama XIV


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