The first 10 years of my life were spent in Chicago. In the fall of my 11th year my parents purchased a 30-acre run-down farm in southwest Michigan. Kind of like Green Acres, only not as bad.

Our first over night trip there was Thanksgiving. We drove over from Chicago with a suitcase, a hot plate and a cooler. There was an old porcelain surfaced table and a couple of chairs left in the kitchen, but that’s the only furniture we had. Thanksgiving dinner was canned turkey, canned vegetables and bread and butter. No stuffing. No cranberry sauce. No pumpkin pie. Dad found a crate in the basement to use as a third chair, and we sat around that old table and enjoyed our simple Thanksgiving in that dimly lit kitchen.

After that first Thanksgiving we went there every weekend, holidays and most of the summers. After nearly three years and the purchase of a second farm, we moved there permanently.. Those first years, though, are among my favorite memories growing up “on the farm.” We had farmland, woods and a creek. I built a small fort in a pine grove. I learned how to drive a tractor. I tromped up and down the creek. I helped my dad clear brush, plant grapes and restore the old peg and beam barn. One neighbor was an older couple – the quintessential farm couple with an old tractor, chickens and some cows. They took me under their wing and I learned how to milk a cow, make butter, and tend chickens. It was quite an adventure for a young suburban boy.

I am grateful for those first two-three years I had on the farm. I learned as much or more through those experiences as I did in school. That first Thanksgiving, though, is one of my best memories – in part because it was so simple and in part because it started a new way of life for me.

May you be blessed with a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy it with important family and friends.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve

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