Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and at Richmond & Fishburne we are thankful for each other, our families, our friends, and our colleagues.  We're thankful for our work and our lives outside of work.

Three of us have welcomed grandchildren into the world this fall (and more are on the way!), so we are especially thankful for new life and the enthusiasm of kids and grandkids.

We thought this would be a good chance to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and memories.

When my four children were growing up, rather than having the standard turkey dinner our tradition was to let each member of the family choose one food item for our Thanksgiving dinner. For a couple of weeks before the Big Day, dinnertime discussion often centered on the pros and cons of potential choices. This tradition made for some unusual but memorable dinner menus. For example, we always had homemade pizza (my youngest son’s favorite food). Generally more than one dessert was featured. Once “candy” was on the menu. Since my husband and I also got to choose an item, we made sure that vegetables and salad were represented. Interestingly, the meals most often turned out to be vegetarian, except for those who liked pepperoni on their part of the pizza. The children not only enjoyed eating the dinner, but they looked forward to helping with the preparation.  
In Lewis’ family, they begin Thanksgiving by having oyster stew for breakfast, which we are now doing with our children.
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for family and friends in my life. I remember sitting in a circle of family and friends at my Aunt’s home in Florida years ago and she asked us to go around the circle one by one sharing one thing that we were each thankful for. That activity allowed each of us to take a moment to give thanks for things that we sometimes take for granted. That activity is now a part of Thanksgiving at my home where many family and friends gather together. We remember to give thanks together and we enjoy lots of laughter, fun and food.
Usually, on Thanksgiving evening (after a great meal), my Dad would take my brother and me down to the hunting club to spend the night and duck hunt for two days. As a teenager there was nothing I enjoyed more than being with my Dad on an adventure. He would cook steaks on the grill and we always had apple turnovers with vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was hard to sleep that night because I was so excited. The next day we would get up before dawn, load our gear and the dogs into a boat and set out for the deep water blind. We would set out the decoys as the sun was rising and then hustle to get into the blind before the first flight of ducks appeared. Whether or not the hunt was successful in terms of ducks in the larder, just being out there on the water with Dad was a wonderful feeling that I will never forget.
I really enjoy the blessing of the hounds at Grace Church Cismont. It's a service where the hounds are blessed in church, with riders on horseback, followed by a fox hunt.
For Thanksgiving, my family usually comes to my house and I do most of the cooking. I try to prepare one favorite dish for each of them. I remember one year when one of my guests wanted to bring the stuffing. Unfortunately when we sat down and started eating, we realized she had put cinnamon, not sage, in the stuffing! She was really upset at the time, but now the memory gives us a good laugh.
When I was young we spent each Thanksgiving in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where my Mom grew up. I loved staying at my grandparents' rowhouse on Brigg Street. A highlight of the weekend was playing touch football with our large clan of cousins in the vacant lot across the street. I was one of the younger of the cousins and it was always a thrill to try to keep up with the others.
We hope that you have a wonderful holiday!!