My youngest daughter, Erin, gave me a big hug Friday morning when I had to visit school to make a photograph.
Then a few of her good friends gave me hugs, too.
I joke a lot these days about the additional daughters I have.
From one night to the next, we’re not sure which ones or how many will be spending the night at our house.
And it’s a wonderful thing.
Pam and I have always tried to create a welcoming atmosphere when it comes to our children’s friends.
We love all of them, and they all love us.
Family goes a lot farther than your immediate family.
And those same families are always welcoming to Erin, too.
As someone remarked last week, “You know where they are and who they’re with. That’s important.”
There’s always a lot to be thankful for at Thanksgiving. And this year, my mind naturally turns to family.
As I sit here typing this column, I’m surrounded by my work family. The South Reporter family is a close bunch – most have been together long before I arrived on the scene 16 years ago.
Putting out a newspaper every week is not easy. But even through the stressful times, we’re still family.
This morning, shortly after I awoke, I looked at the forecast for the day and for some reason or another started thinking about Thanksgiving food and family meals from days gone by.
I recalled Mother’s turkey and dressing, and her banana pudding.
A month or so ago, Pam used Mother’s recipe to make banana pudding. It tasted wonderful and brought back lots and lots of great memories.
Mother’s recipes were the “made from scratch” kind, and in her son’s mind, they were the best.
Her birthday was November 10. She would have been 87. I’m 56, and still miss her.
One of her legacies, always emphasizing the importance of family and loving family and loving everyone, will hopefully be carried on by my own children.
There were times, as a teenager, when Mother wouldn’t know which friend or how many friends would be spending the night at our house either.
But she was always happy to have them and would always wake up and cook breakfast – eggs, grits and the works.
I’m thankful for my wife Pam and children Emma, Andy and Erin.
I’m thankful for my extended family - on my side and Pam’s.
I’m thankful for my church family.
I’m thankful for my work family, and thankful for The South Reporter’s extended family – our subscribers, advertisers and Marshall County, in general, for always supporting our efforts.
Count your many blessings this week.
Say “I love you” to those who mean the most to you.
Life is short.
Enjoy the good times.
From the Burleson household to your home, Happy Thanksgiving!