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Spires: A happy Thanksgiving

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During these trying times, we often forget just how much we have to be thankful for. We all have a tendency to place the bad things ahead of the good things.

I think as we grow older we also tend to dwell on the negative and often forget the many positive things we have in our lives.

Thanksgiving was always a good day for me when I was growing up. It meant going hunting early that morning. My father liked to squirrel hunt and was a fairly good shot, so we always brought home a mess of squirrels.

He taught me to be a rather good shot as well. Between the two of us the squirrels didn’t have much of a chance. Those are fond memories for me. It was one of the few things we did together.

My brother Eddie didn’t have the patience to sit still more than a minute at the time, so he never went hunting. Instead, he would stay home and play while my mother fixed the big meal.

Looking back, it seems unfair that she would be home cooking when we were out having fun, but she always had the best meals. She was a great cook. I would give anything for some of her fried chicken or potato salad or especially her banana pudding.

Sometimes we would have relatives over for Thanksgiving. That was always a fun time, too. I especially remember those times that my cousin Buddy, my Aunt Bonnie and Grandmother would be there. They were living in Bay County back then, so we saw them a lot.

My cousin Buddy always loved my mother’s sweet tea and bragged about it many times over the years.

As much as we hunted, we never hunted for turkey. Our Thanksgiving turkey came from Randy’s Supermarket or Casey’s IGA. Occasionally, my dad would accidentally stumble over one and we would have fresh turkey meat. He never cared for deer hunting either. So, the deer we ate came from friends who shared their venison with us.

After getting up before daylight to go hunting and then having a big meal for Thanksgiving, Thursday afternoons were for napping. Those are some of the best naps I think I’ve ever had.

I miss those days and especially all those people I grew up with. My aunts, uncles and cousins were such an important part of my life. Thankfully, now I have good friends, children, grandchildren and even a great -grandchild to be thankful for.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell” in a series of three books. You can email him at

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