Pop-A-Lock - November 2019




A Day of Friends, Good Food, and Charity

O ver the years, Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. I don’t know exactly why, but people just seem to be in a better mood. It’s a great time to relax with family and friends. You just don’t have the stress of decorating and gift shopping that comes with the Christmas season. Instead of fretting about what we don’t have yet, we get to reflect on everything we’re thankful for. How I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving over the years has changed. When I was growing up, I could always expect my extended family to journey from all over the United States to Duncan, Oklahoma, my hometown. When I was in college, I became one of the family members who made the trip back to Duncan, and one of the things I was always most thankful for during those Thanksgivings was my mom’s home cooking. Later, when I coached basketball, I had to celebrate away from my extended family for about 20 years because basketball season always began during the last week of November. But, I got to share Thanksgiving Dinner with the team during those years, and reflect on all what we all had to be grateful for in our lives. In recent years, Thanksgiving has consisted of two main traditions for my wife Marilyn and me. Nine years ago, one of my friends from my tennis club started a fundraiser called Turkey Tennis. Every year on Thanksgiving morning, tennis players of all skill levels get together to play tennis, and to donate money to God’s Pantry. Last year, nearly 50 people signed up to play. It’s great starting off the holiday with a little bit of exercise for a good cause. Since Turkey Tennis began, we’ve raised over $26,000 to feed hungry people all over Kentucky. Later in the day, Marilyn and I go to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by another one of our tennis club friends. He affectionately calls it his “orphan” Thanksgiving dinner because he hosts it for anyone who doesn’t have family in the area. Since our families all live in Oklahoma and New York, we really enjoy this Thanksgiving dinner tradition. It’s a great time to see old friends and to make some new ones, too.

All in all, I’m happy for the traditions I get to take part in on Thanksgiving. And, a little earlier in the month, I’m proud to honor those who have served in our Armed Forces on Veterans Day. In fact, getting to celebrate those two holidays within weeks of each other makes November my favorite month. Whatever you’re doing this Thanksgiving, whether you’re spending time with friends in town or traveling to see family, we hope you all have a relaxing, safe holiday. Happy Thanksgiving! -Doug Barnes


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