Passing the Torch at Thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving is going excellent.

We’re having a torch passing of sorts at my mother’s house today. Before I get to that, let me start with something that happened 21 years ago.

All those years ago, my dad and mom had come to visit for Thanksgiving. My mom has always been hands-on in the kitchen. So, she helped me and my wife get the meal on the table. And after we sat down, my mom kept getting up, remembering one more thing, one more thing … it got comical after a while. We got a bit exasperated because some of the things she was getting up for weren’t immediately necessary.

“Sit down, Mom,” we told her. “Sit down!” But she was still up and down like a mall elevator on Black Friday.

My daughter — then not quite two years old — was a bubbly little thing. Ellie spoke like all babies do — managing some individual words — but that day, as she watched Nana jump up and down, Ellie picked up on the mood of the room. She spoke up in her baby voice: “Nana, sit!”

A recent photo of my daughter Ellie


It was Ellie’s first sentence ever. We were all shocked. “The little baby spoke a sentence?!” And you know what? Nana sat!

Today, my mom is 83 and suffers from back and knee pain. So, she doesn’t feel up to cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

A recent picture of me with my mother.


Normally, cooking the bird and other fixings would fall to me and my wife. But my daughter has graduated college, and man, has little baby Ellie turned into a beautiful young woman.

So, Ellie – excuse me, she goes by Nora now – is out living on her own and living not that far from Nana. So, Nora volunteered to take on cooking dinner this Thanksgiving all on her own. The fact that she has a boyfriend to impress has nothing to do with it …

So, after consulting with Nana, Nora sent the following menu:


Looks good to me. To be sure, we’ll be paying a bit more for Thanksgiving this year, as this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Business Insider shows …


Turkey prices are up about 13% from two years ago, outstripping the 7.5% increase in overall prices over that period.

So, prices are up, but I don’t mind footing the bill. After all, my darling daughter is doing all the cooking.

And, hey … if she screws it up that badly, I can always disown her.

Ha! Don’t tell her I wrote that!

Ellie and I on Thanksgiving in 2018.


Anyway, my mom has emphasized that she doesn’t want to end up doing any dishes. That’s no problem – my wife Cindy and I are ready to do a fast ‘n’ furious cleanup. This is one time we’re going to make sure that Nana follows baby Ellie’s command: “Nana, sit!”

There’s no other point to this column than to say I’m very proud of my daughter, and I’m very happy this Thanksgiving. I hope the best for you and yours, too.

From my mom’s house in Sarasota, Florida, to your house wherever you are, happy Thanksgiving!

“Nora, me, Cindy and Mom”


All the best,

Sean Brodrick

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