A cherished Thanksgiving


| vschneps@queenscourier.com |

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We all gathered at my daughter Samantha’s house for Thanksgiving. Let me tell you, she is a great hostess!

I knew it would be special to have my daughter Samantha host Thanksgiving day and Stu’s daughter Mimi gather their side of the family on Saturday night, but this year was even better because of special guests who added to the joy of Thanksgiving.

For several years my company, The Queens Courier and now the Brooklyn Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator have been hosting students from South Korea as interns. The college program is an opportunity for a limited number of students to come to America for six months in their junior year and work at an American company. Their goal is to see how our companies operate and to improve the students’ English. This semester we are hosting three young people who have enhanced our lives.

I invited the three interns, Smith, Jin and Leslie, to join us at my daughter’s home for Thanksgiving. Although they live in different parts of Queens they navigated the LIRR and made their way to the Long Island station where I picked them up.

Each one of them has been a great help to us in many departments and Thanksgiving was my way to give thanks to them for all they do. They, in turn, were excited about experiencing an American holiday. Smith explained to me that there is a long-time custom in Korea that mirrors our holiday. It is a celebration of the rice crop and the main course is of course, rice cakes. Families gather as we do to give thanks for all they have and for their special “gifts.”

Adding to the joyous day and also the “star” was Hudson Dean Schneps, just four months old and celebrating his first Thanksgiving.

We completed the sumptuous dinner “feast” and the celebration of birthdays and anniversaries with an enormous dessert buffet. The after-dinner “treat” was a performance by Blake and Morgan signing with their grandma Susan an energetic rendition of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from the show “Annie.” They shook the rafters with their singing and dancing. What energy!

Then two days later the Broner clan got together for seven-year-old Zoe Easton’s birthday. What made it even more special was that Mimi had invited Kima, a seven-year-old girl from the Fresh Air Fund whom she has hosted these past two summers.

She and Zoe had become fast friends.

It was a scene watching the two girls sitting together in a big armchair playing a Barbie game on the computer in the TV room while eight boisterous boys cheered on their favorite football teams. Finally the two little girls fled the room to hear themselves “think!”

The Fresh Air Fund summer program is something Mimi has been supporting while her boys are away at summer camp. I love how her eyes light up when she shares her adventures with the two inner city girls. She brings them to her country house in Kent, Connecticut, where she’s given them swimming lessons and wonderful one-on-one time. It’s a powerful program. I will share with all of you about how to participate. After all, sharing our lives isn’t just for the holidays.

But what a wonderful holiday weekend it was!