Residents, area officials give thanks

Tony Parra

The meaning of Thanksgiving Day, started in 1622 by a pilgrim named William Bradford, has not been lost in the Portales community.
Bradford declared the day of thanks after pilgrims cumulated a successful harvest after a hard and devastating first year, in 1621, in the new world, according the holidays.net Web site.
Portales residents said Wednesday they are looking forward to a Thanksgiving that includes family camaraderie, tasty food and a Dallas Cowboys victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Their thoughts on the holiday and its meaning are listed below:

Lauricia Smith visualizes her perfect Thanksgiving Day as:
“Spending time with family and there has to be a meal.”
Smith believes that the meaning of Thanksgiving is:
“It is a time to reflect on your life and things that mean the most to you.”

Jenny Blaylock, Portales Public Library circulation supervisor, said today she is thankful for:
“Family, home and friends. Thanksgiving Day is special because it gives families a chance to be together.”
The perfect Thanksgiving Day for Blaylock would be: “Having my whole family together would be the best Thanksgiving I could imagine. I have family in Utah, Dallas. I won’t get to see some of them.”

Denise Burnett, Portales Public Library director, added:
“I’m thankful for my five healthy grandchildren.”
As for the perfect Thanksgiving Day Burnett said: “It’s always perfect. We’re always together. We gather around to watch football, cook in the kitchen. It’s always special. I have the best family in the world.”

Lloyd Seefeld, Portales emergency management director, said today he is thankful for: “mostly thankful for health and family. When you lose your health, you’ve lost everything.”
If Seefeld had his wish on Thanksgiving he would be able to visit with family members he hasn’t seen in a while.
“I have a brother in Dallas who I would like to see, but won’t be able to. I can’t ask for more than staying healthy and having plenty to eat,” Seefeld said.

Brittany Cox, Graham Abstract real estate closer, said she is thankful for:
“My one-year old son, Hayden, and my husband. It’s going to be us for Thanksgiving. I have some family (members) in Farmington (who) I won’t get to see.”
Like Seefeld, Cox said the perfect Thanksgiving Day would include time with family members she won’t get to see today.
“Having family all-around getting to eat a Thanksgiving Day meal” — that’s the perfect Thanksgiving, Cox said.

Sarah Clabaugh, Woody’s Jewelry sales associate and Eastern New Mexico University student, said this Thanksgiving will be special because:
“My grandmother moved down to Portales. We’re from Oklahoma. It’s nice to have family close.”
As for the perfect Thanksgiving Day, well, Clabaugh said that’s already happened, and she thinks it will happen again today.
“All of them have been perfect. As long as we have family, I’m good to go.”

Along with her children, Vivian Haverland, C.J.’s Pill Box associate, said she is thankful for:
“All the blessings God has given to me. For my five children. I’m blessed to be here — (and) to have all children, grandchildren and great grandchildren” here as well.
Haverland believes that the meaning of Thanksgiving Day is:
“To take a day in a year to be blessed and bless others for all he (God) has given us.”

J.D. Mead, Trader Horn automotive department manager, said he is grateful for:
“Friends and family. I’ll get to see most of them for Thanksgiving. I won’t get to see my grandma and grandpa in Arkansas. I’m thankful for all the blessings that I’ve received.”
Mead, a Dallas Cowboys’ fan, said that this Thanksgiving Day he is looking forward to:
“Having family, good company and good fun.” And he’s “hoping for a good Cowboys’ game and that they win.”

Jerry Gonzales, Robert’s Television and Appliance sales associate, said that he is looking forward to:
“Being with family for Thanksgiving Day. My sister will be in Portales. Her husband is stationed in Iraq. He won’t be here but she will. I’m looking forward to the Cowboys’ game too. I’m always pulling for the Cowboys.”
Gonzales is thankful for:
“Giving thanks for all blessings,” and noted his dinner plate will be loaded with “beans and chili for Thanksgiving.”

Gail Keener, Victory Life Dream Center volunteer, said she is thankful for:
“My family and God. I’m am thankful that I can help people who have a need. We hand out Thanksgiving baskets and a lot of (people) are really thankful for them. They wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for that. A lot of the schools and cub scouts have helped us out.”
The perfect Thanksgiving Day for Keener would be:
“Enjoying my family. I’m not going to be able to see some of them for Thanksgiving Day, but I’ll get to drive up to Missouri to see them for Christmas. I will have family from Tucumcari that is coming down for Thanksgiving.”