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The Best and the Worst of Thanksgiving with the Casablanca Authors

Happy Thanksgiving, Readers! 

While you wait for your pies to cook and the house is filled with delicious smells of cinnamon and pumpkin, sit back and enjoy tales of our best or worst Thanksgivings. Share your own memories in the comments section.

 As always, readers, we are thankful for you!

My favorite Thanksgiving story is when my son went back home to have Thanksgiving with his friends, but my mom, daughter and I had the most fun. We had the traditional lovely turkey dinner and it went downhill after that, although in a totally funny, wild, crazy, and memorable way. Kind of like the way I write. Anyway, I’d had roof damage in storms a couple of weeks earlier, and I didn’t realize it, but the roofers had covered the chimney with roofing paper because I’d lost my chimney cap. So here I’m trying to start a fire in the fireplace with one of those 6? hour burning logs and lo and behold, the smoke begins pouring into the living room. At the same time, my daughter had started the comedy Jackie Chan movie and it was playing in the background in Chinese, AND we had an ice and snowstorm going on, yes, at Thanksgiving in Central Texas, which is really unusual.

But that’s not all. :) Next, we had a swarm of yellow jackets flying out of the fireplace, and if you know anything about them, they’re aggressive and sting. But they were also groggy from the smoke and cold. My daughter, she was about 15, wanted to spray them with hornet spray, but I didn’t want her to do it because I was afraid there would be a chemical reaction with the fire. I was vacuuming them up in mid-air, while my mom was swatting them with a flyswatter. LOL

The house was filled with smoke and I had to get the burning log out of the fireplace without dropping it on the rug and starting a fire. I finally managed to get it out in a bucket and poured water on it outside. Then we had to deal with the thick smoke. So we had to open the front and back door, where we’re having this terrific ice and snowstorm, wind blowing hard, and had all the ceiling fans going, which meant we were freezing.

So after we opened all the windows and doors and had a floor fan and ceiling fans going so we could breathe, the heat from the flames finally having seared through the tar paper on the chimney and so some of the smoke began to escape that way, we sat down to watch the movie…in subtitles. I asked my daughter if it wasn’t in English. Nope.

At the end, we watched the funny outtakes…in English. LOL
That has been our most memorable Thanksgiving ever! LOL

Terry Spear, A Highland Wolf Christmas available now!

One of the best Thanksgivings I ever had was the last one with my grandmother. I was five and she flew from Memphis to our then home in Wilmington, Delaware. I was fighting my way through the boredom of the long No Kid's Land between the Parade and Dinner when she took me for a walk. It was truly freezing outside, but I loved walking with her. The sun was shining, and the crisp air was such a change from the overheated air of the house. We talked about a lot of nothing, like we always did. She always listened to me, and talked back to me like I was grown. I did not know it at the time, but she was dying of cancer. We lost her the next spring, the first loss of my young life. But like all true loves, she lives on with me even now, and in the little stuffed duck she gave me that trip. So one of the many things I am grateful for this holiday season is for my family, and for the fact that I still carry my grandmother in my heart.

Christy English, author of MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK

Every Thanksgiving is a great holiday for my family, as it falls right around my parents' anniversary and my sister's birthday, and it's right at that window between fall and winter where everyone's ready to cozy up inside but isn't yet sick of it. If I had to pick a favorite Thanksgiving, though, it would be the first year with my daughter. She was too little to eat the turkey, but she had a special Thanksgiving outfit--you can kind of see it in this picture. She sat in her high chair at the table with everyone else, smiling and gurgling (and occasionally shrieking and crying for no reason--babies keep holidays interesting).

Now she is a "big girl"--her words--of six years old. She helps make the Thanksgiving pies and breads, and she snitches the roasted vegetables when she thinks no one is watching. Every year with her brings its own different dramas and joys, and I've been deeply thankful for each one.

--Theresa Romain, author of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS

How cute, Theresa! My babies are is shaving and driving (ha! not at the same time). :-D

I love Thanksgiving. Cooking the whole schmeer from turkey to side dishes and pies is genuinely fun. I love to be part of people gathering together and sharing.

Last year I spent the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with 400 homeless people in San Diego. My family used to lead a homeless outreach, and it was a joy to feed and talk to people. One lady cried because she got to eat real mashed potatoes. That gives you perspective.

And yes, the whole family was in on it. Here's a picture of my sons preparing food for another outreach.

Can you see their joy from having to stop while mom snapped photos?

The other reason Thanksgiving is so dear to me: my husband, Brian. I call him my quiet alpha male. His birthday is November 26, which falls on Thanksgiving every so often.

Life really began for me when I married him. That's not very independent-sounding, but it's true.

Below is a picture of him goofing around in the kitchen preparing for the outreach.

And the last BIG part of Thanksgiving is making sure I have plenty of pecan pies around for Brian to eat. Those are his favorites.  What's yours?

Happy Thanksgiving to you~ Gina Conkle 


  1. Great stories! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and created more memories.

  2. Oh what fun! I loved reading all the memories. Mine are the years we would travel to Detroit to stay in a hotel with our relatives for Thanksgiving. Huge feasts, up past midnight playing games and torturing other guests at the hotel, so much laughter our faces hurt!

  3. Great memories. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving.


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