Thanksgiving is a time of year that always reminds me of my Grandma Marge. Grandma Marge was born during the Great Depression in Toledo, Ohio. She was a red headed bombshell, who met my Grandfather right after WWII, while ballroom dancing. They were married for nearly 60 years, lived in the same house on Whiteford Road for over 50 years, raised 6 children and worked hard all their lives.
My fondest memories of them were around Thanksgiving. They would have a dinner for the whole family and my Grandma Marge would make the best homemade pumpkin pie on the planet! At their house, they had a small garden that would grow pumpkins regardless of whether or not the garden was even tended that year. They would just grow – and my Grandma would cut them up, make the mix and bake them on her homemade crust. It was wonderful!
Grandma Marge was a fountain of great advice as I grew up. She was a tough, patriotic old Irish lady. She thoroughly enjoyed her coffee (extra cream and sugar), her Kool cigarettes, and her playing cards. I can still see her at the round kitchen table playing penny poker with all the pre-teen grandchildren. In fact, I knew how to play Seven- Card Stud Poker before I knew how to write in cursive.
She passed away two years ago after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. It was a tough time for the whole family, but through it all, I could always hear her sage advice of kind words. You see, whenever I was arguing with my brother, cousins, etc (which was often) – my Grandma would wave her fingers at me, wink and say “kind words”… It was an important lesson for me – the power of kind words. Their impact on family, friends, co-workers can mean the difference between a tough day – or a great day. I remind my four kids of “kind words” on a daily basis – to the point that now I can just bark their first name – give a look and then they say, “I know, I know – kind words.”
So for this Thanksgiving, please enjoy pie, enjoy time with your family, friends, team members, and our residents. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family – and always remember – kind words!Joshua J McClellan President/CEO
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