My First Thanksgiving Story (A Day To Remember)


I was 8 years old. I'm sure I had Thanksgivings before this one, but this is the first one I actually remember. My parents were packing stuff up. In other words they were tossing me and my brothers into the back of a a Red Jeep Cherokee that was surely on its last legs, or wheels I should say. Whether it could make the 2 hour trip from New York City to Thomaston, Connecticut was debatable. Nonetheless, we embarked on our journey to Grampy's house. It's funny because my Dad was never worried about a vehicle breaking down; he always had faith. I have a feeling that faith is what got us many places. Besides he could fix just about anything - didn't matter if it was a VCR or a spaceship, he'd find a way to fix it. 

I remember looking out the window as the red brick and weathered concrete faded into plush green fields and towering pine trees. Just like that we were in Connecticut. Even though it was only 100 miles away it felt like a completely different land. Just to put a little perspective on things, New York City has a population of over 8 million... Thomaston has less than 8,000. I used to watch a lot of cowboy movies with my Dad and as we turned onto the dirt road to park I felt just like Clint Eastwood. We were in the Wild Wild West. 

My Dad has a huge family: 7 sisters and 1 brother. We were the last ones to get there so the house was already jumping! My cousins were running around the yard. My aunts were inside cooking and talking a mile a minute, and Grampy was sitting in the living room watching football. He was a man of few words but his facial expressions told you all you needed to know, and he was focused on the game - rooting for the underdog of course, that's just the kind of guy he was. I liked to play sports more than watch them so I bolted off the front porch with my brothers looking for some action.

A little while later the adults called us in - it was time to eat! I've always been a food lover so they didn't have to tell me twice. I washed my hands and sat down in under eight seconds. If mashed potatoes were involved nobody could beat me in a race. I was the first one at the table and it seemed like people were taking forever. We couldn't start until everyone was there, but this wait was torture. I was looking at that ham fresh out of the oven, peeking out at me from underneath a layer of tinfoil that had turned golden brown along the edges. Nobody would notice if I had a little piece, right? I pried the tin foil open, and I saw something that was foreign to me. I pointed to it and asked my dad what it was. "A clove," he told me. "What the hell is a clove?" He explained that it was to add flavor to the ham. Flavor sounded delicious. "Can you eat them?" I asked. He smiled. "Sure, I guess you could." That was all I needed to hear, pops had given me the green light. I picked up a clove and scarfed it down. I was expecting some sort of candy, but what I got was nothing short of terrible. I ran to the bathroom and brushed my teeth with somebody else's toothbrush (I forgot to bring mine, sue me.) I was devastated. What a shitty day this turned out to be, I had been bamboozled. I sulked briefly, but I heard someone calling my name so I reluctantly went back to the table. Everyone was sitting down waiting on me now. I didn't want to mention that I was so greedy and impatient that I ate a clove 5 minutes prior so I just sat down quietly. As I looked around the table everyone was laughing, and passing food around. Mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, turkey, cranberry sauce, and all homemade! To this day I'm convinced that's what heaven smells like. At that moment I forgot all about the clove, and I realized why they called it Thanksgiving. I was thankful - thankful for my family, thankful for the food, thankful for everything. I learned a valuable lesson that day: when life hands you cloves, be thankful anyway. 

I make it a habit now to verbalize what I'm thankful for. This year I'm definitely thankful for you. We started Beard Necessities with a vision, and each and everyone of you has helped us bring that vision to life. As a token of our appreciation we would like to give you a promo code for 25% off - just apply "CLOVES25" at checkoutHappy Thanksgiving everyone! Stay away from the cloves.