It's the Simple Things...
My earliest memories of Thanksgiving begin with waking to the smell of Turkey in the oven and coming downstairs to enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was too young to help my mom with any real food preparations, but I would help with simple tasks, like putting decorative cloths on the tables and setting out the plates and silverware. My mom would also bring up a small play table that acted perfectly as a kid’s table. Since my brother and sister were old enough to sit at the adult table, I was
left to invite my 3 closest stuffed animal friends to join me at this grand feast. Oh, and to top off this visual, my brother’s worst memory of Thanksgiving was the fact that I dressed up as a pilgrim donning a black long sleeve dress that I’m pretty sure doubled as a witch costume during Halloween, accessorized with a white apron and bonnet. I loved it and my brother thought I was the stupidest kid on the face of the earth. And if this didn’t irritate him enough, sometimes I would play the piano dressed as a pilgrim
as a Thanksgiving musical offering.
The meal plan for the most part was always the same; a relish tray, turkey, stuffing, a VAT of gravy, mashed potatoes, a variety of casseroles including: green bean, broccoli and sweet potato and a cranberry salad. Oh and of course, pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream, though secretly I preferred the cool whip. By the time we sat down for dinner, the house would be buzzing with conversation and laughter. All of this was the constant for so many years.
But alas, time moved forward. I grew out of my pilgrim dress and found an enjoyable place at the adult table. My Siblings grew up which led to marriages and new faces at the table, which lead to a generation of new kids who would find a new table that would be much more imaginative and fun then the adult’s table. The conversation continued, the laughter grew louder and the food stayed familiarly delicious as each previous year.
Time continued to move forward and our grandparents moved on from our table reminding us that every life has a finite amount of time.
These last few years and especially these last few weeks for the Back-to-Basics Family, we’ve been forced to grieve more then we believe we can tolerate. It all feels too much sometimes. For many of us going into a holiday season with so much sadness in the world around us and maybe even with a broken heart of our own we have a hard time finding peace, finding the joy of the season. However, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we celebrate Thanksgiving first; a holiday that is meant to sit us down and ask us to consider all of that which we are grateful for. And in the toughest moments when we are lost in our suffering and asked what we are thankful for, we find that we are not sitting alone in the silence of despair, or change or loneliness. But rather we are supported by an encouraging text from a friend, a shoulder to cry on when there are no words, supported by that family members who took us to appointments when we couldn’t drive, or ran errands for us when our body needed rest or that neighbor who made a dinner to share with the family, or that co-worker who asked to pray for us. Our gratitude for these small things teaches us that we have enough to persevere and we are humbled in our ability to accept help from others so we can strengthen our character to move forward towards hope. Hope that tomorrow will bring a new day, and a new day will bring a new week and a new week will bring a new month and a new month will bring us a new year and a new year will sit us around with our family once again, chatting, laughing, playing games, perusing the Black Friday ads but most importantly relishing in our memories of holidays gone by all while making new memories with growing children, feasting on that timelessly delicious Thanksgiving Meal.
Today, I am thankful for the camaraderie shared among our Back to Basics family. We celebrate each other through the highs of our pursuits of happiness and we hold space for each other during the lows. Together we definitely turn our trials in triumphs and for that, I am grateful.
Veteran’s Day, November 11th
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."
-President Woodrow Wilson November 11, 1919
The Great War ended November 11, 1918 and there were celebrations around the world for a cease fire agreement had been reached in the war we now know as World War I.
On November 11, 1919 the one year anniversary of Armistice Day, the first official Armistice Day event was held on the grounds of the Buckingham Palace. As a mark of respect there was a two-minute moment of silence to honor and remember the soldiers who had fallen in battle. This is a tradition that has been carried out through the years on what is now known as Remembrance Day and includes those who served in World War II as well. In the United States Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day in 1954 as there now was more than one war where soldiers were lost.
Today, Veteran's Day serves as a means to celebrate and honor all who have served in our military. This Veteran's Day we take a moment to remember our heroes...the men and women who have sacrificed their time, talents and for some their life as a means to ensure that we as a nation are able to enjoy our freedoms, our lives, and our liberty. The heroes who go beyond our borders to help other nations and peoples under duress. They do not focus on what they need but that of the greater good as only heroes do.
A day set aside to remember, a thousand moments of silence, a lifetime of thanks and hearts full of gratitude will never be adequate to show you the honor you deserve.
This Thanksgiving season as we are moved to reflect on reasons and ways to be thankful may we add to the list all the men and women who have, are and will one day serve our wonderful nation in efforts to preserve the freedoms we are blessed with. May we remember and pray for the families who are not with their child, spouse or parent because of their service and especially for those who have lost a loved one. They are all heroes.
Our past, Present and Future...We Thank You!
Kenneth Klem U.S. Army 1969-1971: Suring his service he spent nine months in Vietnam. In his spare tie he worked at a nearby orphanage and fell in love with the kids. After he served, he and his fiancee planned to adopt and applied a month after they were married. They adopted a 5 month old daughter on April 10, 1975 and are now blessed with 3 handsome grandsons.
-Submitted by Deb Klum
John Winlock Sr. U.S. Army: 22 years, retired
-John Winlock Jr. Back to Basics Personal Trainer
LTC Russell U.S. Army: 23 years
CPT Sherri Sears U.S. Army: 13 years
"I would love to highlight two very special people in my life who served 13 and 23 years respectively. My sister in law who served as a signal officer and my brother who served as an engineer."
-Lisa Morrissey, Back to Basics Massage Therapist
A Family Affair: 4 generations of service
Carl E. Jacobs Army, World War II
Ralph Jacobs Navy 1966-1985
Michael Jacobs Navy 1987-1991
Nathan Goldman Marines 2010-2017
My grandfather, Carl Jacobs was a transporter during World War II and received accommodations for his service. He and my grandmother, Laura had six children; he left three at home to fight and missed the births of two of his sons while serving, the youngest came after. He left a legacy of faith in Christ, 17 grandchildren, a love of country and ice cream. He was followed into service by his son Ralph, grandson Michael and great grandson Nathan.
-Judy Tripp Back to Basics Office Manager