Sure hope everyone’s Thanksgiving turned out perfect. Sharon and I went the nontraditional route. We ordered takeout from the Vegas Valley’s first Cracker Barrel Restaurant. My turkey dinner was yummy good – turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie.
Sharon’s disabled and can’t be on her feet for too long, which makes it hard for her to do any serious cooking. One year we decided to go to a casino buffet on Thanksgiving and stood in line for nearly two hours waiting to be seated. Her back gave out and soon after mine went into failure mode. We took turns sitting in a slot machine chair near the line. Needless to say, we decided not to ever again try to eat at a casino buffet on a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s tough getting old, isn’t it?
Often, holidays like Thanksgiving become time machines that take me back to my childhood and teenage years. Back then, we had sit-down Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings. When we lived in Southern California from 1957 to 1965, we’d have Thanksgiving with dad’s sister Emmy and her family. They were our only family back then; everyone else lived in Ohio within thirty miles of one another.
In my teenage years, we mostly ate a sumptuous turkey meal at my Grandma Mid’s house on Fourth Street in Rittman, Ohio. I have a photo of one of our holiday meals at Grandma’s house. I’m the skinny teenager in the picture. Grandma had great feasts. Grandpa Frog would sneak food to their dog Taffy. That’s one of the wonderful memories I have… Grandpa Frog slipping morsels of lip-smacking food to the doggy.
Thanksgiving reminds me of mountains of fallen leaves on the grass. How many of you remember burying yourself in a pile of leaves? I know I did when I was a kid. Back in Ohio, the leaves must still cover yards yet untouched by folks who love raking up leaves. A stiff breeze will pick up leaves and swirl them in patterns reminiscent of mini-dust devils.
A week or so ago my order for copies of my Civil War novel arrived on my doorstep. The coming days I’ll be busy signing the books for friends – cousins, Ohio newsroom buddies from the 1970s, high school-era friends, and my North Carolina editor. My Tar Heel editor, Gary Scott, told me the novel looks thick. He’s right. It’s not a one- or two-day read. I think I’m going to have to order more books for bookstore signings in 2017. My first one comes up on January 13, and it’s at the same used bookstore in Las Vegas. The first time I didn’t sell any novels. This time I hope there’s a better outcome. Nonetheless, these shindigs are worthwhile even if I don’t sell even one book. I get to meet other authors and learn about their journeys.
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I’m an author with four published novels including a sword-and-sorcery fantasy trilogy – The Emperor’s Mistress, Thief’s Coin and Assassins’ Lair. The fourth novel is a historical romance set during the Civil War. It’s called Blessed Shadows Dark and Deep. I’ve begun writing my second Civil War novel – Deepening Homefront Shadows. All my novels can be purchased via the website of my publisher, Wings ePress, as well as the websites of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.