Thanks. Giving.

Thanks. Giving.


It’s November and Thanksgiving is but a blink away. This is my favorite holiday because it’s focused on generosity, gathering with people we love, and eating food from recipes handed down by generations.  "We Gather Together" the Christian hymn of Dutch origin is my go-to Thanksgiving song.


My early memories of Thanksgiving are of the smells coming from my grandmother’s kitchen. Turkey roasting in the oven next to the homemade Icebox rolls, mashed potatoes, and gravy, and the oyster dressing she made just for my dad. And it wouldn’t have been Thanksgiving without my grandpa’s “Best Yet” cranberry salad. My great grandmother Mayme (grandpa’s mother) would always exclaim, “Elmer, that cranberry salad is the best yet!” And hence the name stuck! I have grandpa’s original recipe card in his own handwriting, and now Tori, his great-granddaughter has a copy.

 My mom and Tori with the...

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Giving Thanks and Thanksgiving

"Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” Alan Cohen

November a happy/sad time of the year for me. It is packed with events and emotion like Mid-term Elections, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and November has been proclaimed by each President and Congress since 1984 as National Hospice Month. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the fine work that hospice staff and volunteers do for dying people and their loved ones. Few organizations receive the honor of an entire month’s commemoration, and surely none is more deserving of such a “thank you” than hospice for the sacred work they do.

In the last couple of weeks, I delivered three keynote speeches to hospice staff and volunteers to mark National Hospice Month. The first was for Haven Hospice, the organization where I was Executive Director for 16 years, overseeing its growth from a very modest three employees...

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