We Are Family . . .

Happy Friday, All!

Yes, if you want, you can say it with me . . . T.G.I.F.! While I may be experiencing some challenges today, I will still celebrate the fact that I woke up this morning and am getting started on my way!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day, and, I encouraged those of you who read my Wednesday piece to remember it is also American Indian Heritage Day! There may not have been a “United States of America” had not the “natives” here been somewhat receptive to those nosey newcomers to the shores of “their” land. Again, may we never forget.

The thing about “modern humans” in general is that we often forget events of the past because we only have today to go on. In some ways, this is a great attitude to have as long as we have learned our lessons from our past, both individually and as the human family. For example, that there were people here on the North American continent when the explorers came to “discover” something, peace be still, should make us more grateful that they were so kind to many of our ancestors. Now, thinking back to yesterday, there must have been families all over this country having the traditional “turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies” as well as whatever fixings the chefs deemed appropriate. My biological family is down to just my sister Edna and I, her three kids and my daughter. Then we also have my oldest sister’s (RIP) daughter and son – Fawn Nadine and Daric Weldon, both Cooks – as well as their offspring. Fawn is still single, but Daric who lives in the Bronx has a wife and four kids of his own.

So, I was at the Zachary family home in Plantation, FL – yes, I said the same thing when I reconnected with him over 10 years ago – why should a brother go out to “Plantation”?! To see his long time and currently “best friend”!! Why else?! Okay, just making a bit of fun regarding the name of that city – Plantation! Well, I was there yesterday with pretty near the whole Zachary family. The only one not present was the ex-wife, mother of Peter’s two children – Samantha and Jordan. Andrea’s son Shane and daughter Christy Lee from Bonita Springs were also there. I mean, they really consider me family, as I have been going to his house for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, not to mention birthday parties or dinners, concerts with Peter for my birthday, and numerous other outings including basketball games (NBA) and beach outings. So, uh … I consider myself part of their family, too! They are probably the coolest Greek Hungarian Jews I have ever met!! So we literally feasted on a meal prepared by his three sisters – Christy, Andrea and Lisa – with dishes prepared by each of them from cranberry molds to string bean casserole, including Peter’s mother – Nancy- who made a serious sweet potato casserole, and, Andrea’s boyfriend even brought some lobster tails from a connection he has where he lives in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. We watched football, talked and traded stories, ate with gratitude and an attitude of family, and, around 10pm, I departed … with a doggie bag!

Of course, over the course of the day, I sent texts and received texts wishing each other Happy Thanksgiving, and I may have even forgotten a few good friends. I even sent my sister Edna a text though she and some friends were flying from Florida to the Dominican Republic for Thanksgiving! My Orlando connection and fellow author, business man and accounting administrator – Stokely Gittens – was in town so he spent the night on my couch after working on one of his small business projects catering with a business partner/chef of his. So, in closing, I would like to reiterate how you all reading this first hand as my e-mail family are also “family” for me. I love you all … and thank you! Happy Holy Days ahead!


John I. Cook, Director

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