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Last Updated: Nov 26, 2008 - 5:35:26 PM 

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View From the Road

My Mom took in strays
By Dale Morrow
Nov 27, 2008 - 5:34:19 PM

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As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, old memories come flooding back into my mind. Where I am currently living is my sister’s home. It is also the home my family moved into when they came to Florida in 1960.
Many great memories came about in this home. Family dinners are my favorite. As most mothers are, my Mom was a great cook, but the food was not the most important thing. Our family always included people from many walks and places in life. Some needed a special ­moment in their walk down the path. You might call them outsiders, but my Mom took in strays.
When we would sit down to dinner it would include customers from our family service station, neighbors and people that did not have a family around during the holidays. This practice was a normal thing for us. My mother had a big heart and always plenty of food for everyone.
One gentleman always comes to mind when I think of Thanks­giving. His name was Witt.
He wintered in Gibsonton every year. He lived in a Disabled Veterans facility in the north, but each year he managed to make his way back to Florida. It started out that he bought gas from us and had his car serviced. It soon grew into a friendship. That’s the way it was with my Mom and my Dad.
He was invited for Thanksgiving Dinner the first year, and he excitedly accepted. He was starved for a family. Well, this particular holiday both his hunger for food and a family would be realized.
He ate like he had not eaten for weeks. He heaped praise on my mother’s cooking while heaping turkey, dressing and all the goodies on his plate so amply supplied for this festive day. We all laughed and ate as he told stories about all he was thankful for. There were other unfamiliar faces at the table that day, but his stood out with a smile and a glow.
When it came time for dessert, he was prepared. My mom asked what he would like. His reply was “what do you have?” She went down the list: mince meat, pumpkin, dutch apple and a southern delight, pecan pie. Of course there were the extra items, but those were the main ones. He paused for a moment, then said: “I will have a small slice of each and whatever I like best I will take a big slice of that.” His face was serious, and my mom’s face looked puzzled for a moment. Then a big smile came over her face and she served up his request.
Over the years no one in our family forgot Witt, however, one year he did not return. He had many war related medical problems, so we guessed that one had finally caught up with him.
I give thanks for times like that, knowing that my family was my greatest blessing. Today I embark on many more journeys in life. There will be many more reasons for thanksgiving, and I will accept them with an open heart.
My “View From The Road” has been given a good lesson by looking back at my Mom and Dad.

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