A Personal Wish This Thanksgiving

I didn’t do a blog post last week because I was away from home, teaching in a very busy writers’ residency. Now that I’m back with my family—the lovely Cathy and our orange tabby, Stella the Cat—I’d like to announce the addition of a kitten. Stanley is another orange tabby, and Stella is slowly coming to terms with this younger version of herself. Stanley is full of energy and determination. Can’t quite jump onto the second tier of the cat tree? No problem. He’s got claws and isn’t afraid to use them to pull himself to the top. He’s also not afraid of Stella. He eats her treats from the automatic feeder, chases her through the house, and invades her private upstairs spaces. He has the spirit and bravado we should all have in our writing. Stella has the patience and the observational skills. She knows it’s a long game, and she waits for the exact right time to assert herself.

This Thanksgiving week, I’m wishing you all so many blessings, not only in your work but in your personal lives as well. As we’ve done the past few years, Cathy and I will be opening our home to anyone who needs a place to be. We’ll have a mix of friends, colleagues, and students, and Cathy will provide a feast.

When I was a boy, my parents and I celebrated the holiday with my mother’s side of the family. We gathered at my grandmother’s house, and in later years, after she was gone, we ate at our house or at one of my aunt’s or uncle’s. I remember the smell of the turkey roasting and the pies baking when it was our turn to host. I remember aunts and uncles and cousins coming through the door, calling out, “Hello, hello, hello.” They carried in covered dishes along with the cold air on their coats. They piled those coats on my bed. Most of all I remember the stories told and the laughter, and the way we lingered, slipping back to the kitchen for another slice of pie or another cup of coffee, until dusk began to fall.

Most of my relatives are spirits now, and I no longer live in their native land. So each Thanksgiving I issue the invitation, and anyone who needs a place can come. We sit around the table, and we laugh. We celebrate the company of one another, and we eat, and we give thanks for this place we’ve made, this place where even the spirits can hover if they’ve a mind to.

This is what Cathy and I and Stella the Cat and Stanley wish for all of you—to be safe and warm and thankful and well in a place you can, if only for a few hours, think of as home.


  1. Cheryl Redman on November 20, 2023 at 8:10 am

    I so miss those Thanksgivings with the family that is no longer with us. I wish I had listened more closely to the stories and history being told.
    We too, have Thanksgiving giving at our home, as we have for decades now. We often have non family thee, which is perfect!
    May you and Cathy have a wonderful holiday!

    • Lee Martin on November 20, 2023 at 2:03 pm

      I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Carol Arnold on November 20, 2023 at 8:39 am

    What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving! This is one of the holidays that I miss family no longer with us, probably more than other days. Blessings for you and Cathy for taking in those that need a place to go. Happy Thanksgiving to you both!!

    • Lee Martin on November 20, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  3. Jenny Patton on November 21, 2023 at 5:29 am

    Lovely, Lee. Welcome, Stanley! Happy T-Day to you and Cathy 💗

    • Lee Martin on November 21, 2023 at 10:35 am

      Thanks,Jenny. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  4. Phylliskimmel on November 21, 2023 at 8:40 am

    Our Thanksgiving’s were awesome when I was a young child. My mom’s parents raised 13 children. Roger passed at age 13, so he didn’t have many Thanksgivings. From the other 12 children, fifty children were born. My grandmother worked tirelessly each day as the family lived daily. She baked nine pies and nine loaves of bread a day when the children were growing up. As we grandchildren were born then growing up, we had Thanksgiving at our grandparent’s farmhouse just east of Sumner. It was a very happy occasion to unite with the cousins who lived near and far. I miss those days, but I sure have fond memories of that farmhouse and all the families represented.

    • Lee Martin on November 21, 2023 at 10:35 am

      Thank you for sharing your stories, Phyllis. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving.

  5. Virginia Chase Sutton on November 22, 2023 at 11:13 pm

    For the life of me, I cannot remember a single Thanksgiving from childhood. I know that I made my first Thanksgiving meal at 13 (I did it all, with the help of magazines). We were so dysfunctional! Things are different now and my younger daughter, Constance, has taken on the tradition that I created at 13, that we created in our home with my husband and other daughter. There will be 18 people for dinner tomorrow. John and I made 3 huge batches of stuffing and 2 of sweet potatoes. We are looking forward to spending time with Constance’s husband’s family. My other daughter and family are in Portland, so they will be missed. My cat that I adopted when I was just married was an orange tabby and a sweetheart–welcome Stanley! Wishing you and Cathy and your guests the best Thanksgiving ever!

    • Lee Martin on November 24, 2023 at 12:20 pm

      Virginia, I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday. Cathy and I send our love.

  6. Rhonda Hamm on November 26, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    I hope you Kathy Stella and Stanley had a joyful day. Blessings on you and yours and your generous heart ❤️

    • Lee Martin on November 27, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Rhonda, we hosted ten people for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful. I hope yours was, too.

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