The light from the burning embers of our fireplace reflects the silhouette of my mother as she makes her way to the kitchen in the pre-dawn hours of this late November morning.

I can hear her quietly open the oven door and slide a shelf out to baste the turkey roasting there for today's dinner.

This being done, she open the upper oven door and quickly our house fills with the aroma of apple, pumpkin and pecan as she removes today's desserts from the oven and sets them on the window sill in the pantry to cool.

Around noon, family and friends will arrive and we'll all gather around a very large oak table to enjoy this very special meal that mom has spent all night preparing.

When dinner is over and dessert served, mom and her sisters will clear the table and do the dishes before sitting down to a well deserved cup of tea, while across the table from them I'll sit with my uncle as he skillfully draws the bowl of fruit in front of him as my brother plays quietly nearby.

My dad and uncles will retire to the sofa and turn on the radio to the day's local football game, their arms folded comfortably across their chests.

In tomorrow morning's newspaper they'll recall every single play of that game just as it happened.

When the day is over and our company is leaving, one of mom's sisters will turn to her and say, "See you at my house in a few weeks." Christmas will soon be here.

These are the memories and dreams from my childhood on Thanksgiving Day that are forever embedded in my mind and heart. They have surely shaped the very character of my soul.

I wish everyone a very warm and Happy Thanksgiving.

John B. Dube, Sr.

Hampstead

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