Photo by April

Photo by April Poirier


Reflection & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett (Featured photo by April) 

It is hard to believe another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. My nephew Mike & his wife Melane put on a lovely dinner at their home. As with many Thanksgiving dinners across our land it was reflective of much time and tender loving care put in by our hostess and host – but Mike is the first to say the credit goes to Melane.


Mike carving the turkey. Beside him are Melane, her sister karen and Karen's husband Danny.

Mike carving the turkey. Beside him are Melane, her sister Karen and Karen’s husband Danny.


From Tom Turkey himself to a succulent baked ham, mashed potatoes,

Candy's home made banana breads.

Candy’s home made banana breads.

winter squash, turnip, sausage dressing, fried brussel sprouts with sliced red peppers and scallions, and whole kernel corn all topped with piping hot gravy prepared by our hostess and served in hand-made Comte ceramics, to Michelle’s gluten-free cauliflower salad, my mother’s Hamburg Dressing recipe prepared by my sister Dixie and banana bread perfection created by my sister Candy – it was a feast!

Photo by Jb - my niece Maryann and her boyfriend Tom.

My niece Maryann and her boyfriend Tom.


The 20-something set.










The 20-something set.


Over at my nephew John’s home I’m told he and his daughter Ariel cooked up their own batch of  Hamburg Dressing  – how wonderful to think of another generation carrying on that family tradition.



This year on Thanksgiving I couldn’t help but ponder other memorable Thanksgivings. One that came to mind was the year I discovered football. My family was baseball focused when I was growing up but my junior year in high school a friend who sat behind me in social science class asked if I was going to the Thanksgiving Day football game. “You should,” he said. “Maybe I’ll see you there.” So, I decided to attend with another friend. Even before we were inside the gates it was exciting! The crowd, spirits were high, colorful scarves and mittens a plenty and with the game underway, the tossing of confetti at home team touchdowns. I looked around but my friend from class was no where to be seen. Then a big play was announced over the speaker – with his name attached. He was out on the field playing! Another sweet part of this tale – my family generally ate Thanksgiving dinner around 1 p.m. I arrived home around 4 p.m. to find they had held dinner that day so we would all be together.

Saving room for dessert.

Saving room for dessert.



The Hungry tiger always draws a crowd on Manchester Road Race day.

The Hungry Tiger always draws a crowd on Manchester Road Race day.

Another memorable Thanksgiving came when I was a reporter for the Manchester Herald – that was the first newspaper I wrote for after college. It was at that time that I became aware of the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race. It has become part of the fabric of the holiday for me. 


That year I had been asked to cover a dinner being put on for the homeless by a local church – which I did. Needless to say it was poignant. It was a difficult assignment because I did not want to intrude or exploit their troubles yet I understood the importance of letting their plight be known. It took a sensitive pen to write the story.


That same year I had just started dating J. We had met on the campaign trail when he was running for office. After the election – which he lost – he called me up and asked me out. An invitation followed to join him and his family for Thanksgiving dinner. One thing that made this so memorable was how at ease I felt with them. It predated a cell phone in every pocket, and I had given their phone number to my editor in case she needed to reach me. His family was fine with that – being both politically aware and involved, not to mention opinionated about current events. What touched my funny bone too was that his Dad went ahead and tried the dish I brought then preceded to say – “yes, it’s alright”. His ‘like father like son candor’ cracked me up. Later we played pinochle – a card game my own father had taught me. I haven’t played since.


As for this Thanksgiving, part of what makes it so memorable is that after a health scare earlier this year I was here to enjoy it. For that, I am truly thankful.