Thanksgiving Interview by Betty Mason Arthurs
One of America’s greatest celebrations is in a few days, Thanksgiving. It’s a time we remember the Pilgrims who came to the new world to escape persecution for their religion. On that special day, for most families, we gather in our homes amid the fragrant aroma of days of cooking and baking. Some family members travel long distances just to be home for the Thanksgiving feast. In our Arizona family, we consume massive amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy (please leave out the chopped giblets), piles of stuffing, yams garnished with marshmallows, and green bean casserole, veggie and fruit platters, cranberries, dinner rolls and pumpkin and peach pies. Yummy new recipes from Pinterest will often invade our traditional meal.
This year amid all the turmoil in our nation and around the world, I wanted to get a young person’s perspective on Thanksgiving. I interviewed our granddaughter who is a college freshman and studying nursing at a local university. How did her viewpoint on being thankful differ from us, her Pappy and Gammy? There’s a large generational gap between her 19 years and our 70-plus years.
Using an acrostic of the word “Thanksgiving” I compared her answers to ours when I asked her, “What are you thankful for?” Here are her first answers:
T…Thundering Heard (that’s right) Pep Band: Her participation as a saxophonist is fun way to make new friends and develop as a musician.
H…Home: This is her first time away from her family.
A…Academics: She likes gaining new knowledge.
N…Naps: Late night studying is exhausting so naps are welcome.
K…Kin: She loves going home to her mom and dad and three younger brothers.
Pappy’s answers are different from his granddaughter but similar in one way. His “K” is for his sister, Kay. His “G” is grandkids. I also had “G” for grandkids. My “A” was aunts because even though my five aunts have died, I have fond memories of time spent with them. “Kin” are important to the young and us seniors.
Let’s continue on with our granddaughter’s acrostic:
S…Snow White: This is the name she gave her car.
G…God: She is a Christian.
I…Idiosyncrasy: She laughed and said, “I’m different than most people.”
V…Very joyful: She does have a joyful spirit.
I…Instrument: Playing the sax is an important part of her life.
N…New friends: College life has created more friendships.
G…Good memories: These will last for her lifetime.
Only Pappy had a food item in his list, “I” was for ice cream and we all know how important food is to a man. I’m sure if there was a “C” us girls would have listed, “Chocolate” while Pappy would have said “Coffee.” For “N” I wrote “Nurses” since my granddaughter is a nursing student and I’ve had my share of hospitalizations.
All in all, our Thanksgiving acrostics showed a spirit of thankfulness has no generational gap. Thanks to parents, grandparents, teachers, church youth leaders, and coaches who have invested their time, talent and treasure in their lives, many of our young people are enjoying their lives today and have hope for the future. I know our college student does.
This Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for all we have, praying for our world, our country and its leaders. Why not ask the people of all ages in your life, “What are you thankful for?”
Hymn “God’s Gifts in Nature” from the German of Mathius Claudius
We plow the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God’s almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain.
We thank thee, then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed-time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food;
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And, what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.
Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal, 1878
Happy Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you!