Berlin Law Firm November 2018


A Day for Food, Family, and Reflection

I’ll say it: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. To me, it has always captured the purest expression of what makes life good and America great. It’s the gateway and kickoff to the holiday season and is a day centered on reflecting and focusing on all that we have to be grateful for and the abundance we enjoy. How could anyone not feel warm inside with the cold of late fall paired with a flavorful feast and the love of family and friends? My enthusiasm for Thanksgiving began on the cold snow-covered ranch of my youth in Montana. Each year my mother prepared an amazing feast made from scratch. Being so isolated, 20 miles away from the nearest town, my Mom made just about everything from scratch. Just as an example, the stuffing (dressing as we called and prepared it in Montana) was made from hand-pulled, homemade bread baked with wheat harvested from our fields and turned into flour by a hand-grinder.

time, skill, energy, and attention to detail that my mom put into that production was truly a gift to behold. The final product was so wonderful that 1,000 thank-yous or other statements of appreciation and gratitude to Mom would never be enough. Even though we cannot recreate those culinary masterpieces from my childhood, Estelle and I still go out of our way to make the day spectacular in our own way, even though it might be “scratch light.” Family and friends will tell you that Lee and Estelle go all-out for Thanksgiving. Each year, we invite a bunch of folks to our home for our feast. We know not everyone will be able to make it, but we want to make certain our dinner table is overflowing. Running out of food is never a concern — most years we do both a big turkey and ham; my wife makes a ton of sides from scratch (Koreans love their side dishes); and I personally select and test a giant spread of desserts to make a truly memorable extravaganza of deliciousness. And why shouldn’t we? Unlike holidays with religious or political leanings, Thanksgiving has come to symbolize a very American celebration of gratitude. In our day-to-day lives, it’s so easy to overlook how much we have and how good we have it. On Thanksgiving, I do not like tension. There’s enough stuff going on in the world that creates tension and stress. I just want to relax, eat, laugh, and enjoy life on Thanksgiving. I

don’t want to sit on the edge of my chair. I don’t want conflict and anxiety in the home or on TV. I want to sit back in my chair and enjoy the day surrounded by my friends and lots of food. I don’t really watch NFL football anymore. Personally, I do not support football players kneeling during the National Anthem, so they don’t get my time or money. However, professional football and Thanksgiving have been like peas and carrots for as long as I can remember. How could you not love to watch John Madden call the games for the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day with his famous six- legged turkeys? John never created any tension or stress for me, and I was always so happy to invite him into our home and share the day with him. That is the football I want to watch on TV. But regardless of my political leanings, I will absolutely be watching all three football games on Nov. 22. My football boycott will resume on Nov. 23. This year, as always, I’m grateful for my wonderful wife, my awesome weenie dog, and that my folks are still alive, healthy, and an important part of my life 28 years after leaving Montana.

Happy Thanksgiving, - Lee Berlin

That truly “from scratch” cooking may be what I remember most about the Thanksgivings of my childhood. The love,

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