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From Edith, the best neighbor anyone could hope for, always keeping her back door unlocked for my spontaneous visits, spouting politics as well as poetry, almost 85 years old, her birthday on Thanksgiving.

Mother of eight, two sons who died from AIDS (both in different Novembers), a brother long-lost in November over France in WWII, a veteran herself, a police chief's wife, widowed young another November, a nurse forever, full of memories and stories.

We share red wine and a piece of dark chocolate communion, she says for our health; I say holy, holy, holy. She demands I read aloud the Gettysburg Address, in exchange for the following recipe and prayer.

Cranberry and Red Pepper Relish

ingredients:

2 cups cider vinegar

2 cups of sugar, or less

2 T. stone ground, whole mustard seed

2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 T. salt

1 and 1/2 lbs. red bell peppers, diced

2 12oz. bags fresh cranberries

Mix all ingredients and cook on stove top, bringing mixture to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes or until thickened. Let cool. Tart and colorful, this can be served on slices of sharp cheddar cheese or as a condiment with pork or turkey. I've never had fauxturkey nor Tofurky, but I imagine it would taste good on those as well.

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Lord,

We humbly ask thy blessing on the turkey and the dressing,

on the yams and cranberry jelly, and the pickles from the deli.

Bless the apple pie and tea, bless each and every calorie.

Let us enjoy Thanksgiving dinner; tomorrow we can all get thinner.

For all Thy help along the way, we're thankful this Thanksgiving Day.

We're thankful, too, for all our dear ones, for all the far away and near ones.

Although we may be far apart, we're together in my heart.

Keep us in Thy loving care, this is my Thanksgiving prayer.

P.S. Anyone who wishes may help with the dishes.

(author unknown, clipped from somewhere ages ago, pasted onto an index card, with a serious prayer on the back)

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