Commentary

November 26, 2013

This Thanksgiving focus on what really matters

Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. C. Lipphardt
62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. — If you want the perfect Thanksgiving, remember this: what time you eat doesn’t matter, the table setting doesn’t matter, who wins the football game doesn’t matter, and most importantly, the food doesn’t really matter. What matters are the shared moments with our friends and families, and the warm memories that will live on in those around us. Very often, these memories are born in the ashes of turkey failure and side dish catastrophes.

Think about your most memorable Thanksgivings. If you’re like me, not a single “Norman Rockwell” holiday comes to mind. Actually, some of my most treasured memories are of Thanksgiving imperfections, calamity and complete culinary failure.

The two Thanksgivings I’m most fond of were far from “perfect.” During the first, I was young and a winter storm knocked out power all over the city. I’m sure my grandmother had visions of a flawless family meal for 20 people earlier that morning. However, when we all went to bed that night, her creativity with candles, heating cans, potted meat and leftovers from the fridge left an indelible mark on all of us.

My second came while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Every soul there longed to be home with his or her family, but our camaraderie would help get us through the emptiness and create a lifelong memory. There were 150 Americans at our location but we were on a NATO base and Thanksgiving wasn’t a planned holiday. If we wanted a Thanksgiving, we had to make it ourselves, from scratch.

And we did.

Unfortunately, to our dismay, the European ingredients resulted in “unique clones” of our recipes. Everybody brought something to the table that their grandmother probably wouldn’t have fed to the dog, but the laughter and shared experience is something none of us will forget.

The American writer Albert Pike once wrote, “What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us; what we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal.”

Remember this: what’s on your table isn’t nearly as important as what’s sitting around your table. The human bonds of friendship are what we remember most, not how good the turkey tasted or whether the stuffing was just like Grandma’s. A dose of failure mixed with a dash of resilience and a big smile is the real recipe for Thanksgiving perfection.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — Failing the Air Force physical training test: my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak person for not...
 
 

Students wear red, white and blue to honor Month of the Military Child

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau) Students of Borman Elementary School gather together for a flag raising ceremony and wear red, white and blue clothing to honor the Month of the Military Child at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 10. During the ceremony, the children listened to guest speakers, recited the...
 
 

Case lot sale returns to D-M April 17-19

FORT LEE, Va. – Mention case lot sales and commissary patrons start lining up for the opportunity to save up to 50 percent or more on club-pack and full-case items. Known as the Commissary Customer Appreciation Case Lot Sale, the springtime version of this twice-yearly event will unfold at stateside stores, each hosting their individual...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

More than meets the eye

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — The word abuse often conjures images of bruises, swollen lips and harsh markings, but abuse is more than meets the eye. It can be much more than physical suffering and can have last...
 
 
(Courtesy photo)

AFSOUTH working with Colombia to develop space program

American Airmen from the Space community traveled to multiple U.S. space operations locations with Colombian air force counterparts in February as part of a U.S. Southern Command subject matter expert exchange. According to Lt....
 
 

Local Briefs April 17, 2015

NARFE Chapter 55 to meet  April 13, 11 a.m. – Golden Corral The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association, Chapter 55, will hold their next monthly luncheon meeting on Monday April 13 at the Golden Corral, 4380 East 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711. The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. and ends about 1:30...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin