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Reflections on family and pizza

Julia_Sudnitskaya/Getty Images Adult and child hands prepares the dough with flour
MAKE IT TOGETHER: There’s nothing like spending time with family, even if it’s just to make some pizza.
Farmhouse Window: No matter what your traditions are, the most important thing is time together.

No matter what is going on in our lives, we certainly are blessed.

I have a friend from Minnesota who recommends taking time at the end of each day to recount at least three things we are thankful for that day. She says it helps her focus on the positives in her life and reduces the stress that she so often feels at the end of the day.

Farming is a stressful job. But what other job would enable you to always have your family around? Working together as a family and supporting each other is really a blessing.

I am not so naïve to think it is all sunshine and roses. But when there are disagreements and difficult times, I find that working together to find solutions is a blessing.

I had a real eye-opener the other day. We had a college student as our server in one of our favorite restaurants. He said that he had five papers due in about a week.

We returned a few days later. I asked him how he was making out on his papers. He smiled and admitted that he still hadn’t even started. They weren’t research papers, just “reflections,” he said. 

That conversation reminded me that when I am talking to you, I am sharing reflections. It doesn’t take that much time to write. It’s the commitment to sitting down and doing it that takes time.

I really like to share with all of you what is going on in my life and in agriculture around us. With that said, I’ve noticed that the holidays will be here very soon.

When I was 8, we moved closer to my dad’s family. From that time on, we had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house, Christmas at our house and New Year’s Day dinner at my uncle’s house. There were only three children: my sister, my cousin and me. We didn’t get together very often, so the holidays were a real treat.

I don’t remember anything special about the food, but I do remember playing games together. When I think about us playing games or asking my grandma to play the piano, I realize that this is all before TV, so the day wasn’t filled with the Thanksgiving Day parade and football.

As teenagers, we would walk to town to the local movie theater. At that time, there were three of them. I vividly recall my cousin, who was my age, being a big Elvis fan. We went to see “Love Me Tender” one year.

Funny what things stick in the back of your mind when you get older.

What do you remember of your childhood holiday celebration? I’ve heard of families heading to the woods to get ready for the opening of deer hunting season. Other families have a Thanksgiving feast at home before the men head to hunting camp and the women plan their Christmas shopping.

Traditions are funny. We stick with things just because it is the way we always do it.

Last year, my son hosted Thanksgiving, and his adult kids wanted to know why we couldn’t have pizza for dinner. One of them didn’t like turkey.

So, my son and his wife made an array of pizza choices. We had such a good time laughing about our unusual Thanksgiving dinner. We had such a good visit, and everyone went home with pizza leftovers.

My son said that it took them about three hours the night before to make the dough and prepare the toppings. It didn’t take much time at all to put the pizzas together and bake them.

In years past, he and his wife prepared the traditional turkey dinner. That took a lot of time the day before and the day of to get ready. Pizza is a lot less stress.  

But the real joy is to be with family and to share in the fellowship.

Gregg writes from western Pennsylvania. She is the Pennsylvania 2019 Outstanding Woman in Agriculture and is a past president of American Agri-Women.

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