Turkey tales for the holidays

F ootball. Turkey. Sleep. Family and friends. Area residents are looking forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
Here’s a sampling of plans:

The holiday will be a turning point for one Clovis woman who plans to gather with friends for the first time in two years.
When her husband died two years ago, Debbie Herring said many things changed in her life and observing holiday traditions was a casualty of the loss she felt.
In her husband’s absence, the 42-year-old and her teenage son stopped celebrating.
“Holidays are a family thing, and it just hasn’t been the same (since he died),” she said.
Smiling shyly, Herring said Thursday will welcome a new experience for her. Invited to spend the day with a dear friend in his family’s home, Herring said she is excited about once again joining with family and friends.
Another significant difference this year, Herring said: “This is the first time I’m going to be at someone else’s house.”

Jerri Palmar, an employee of Victory Life Coffeehouse in Portales, spends Thanksgiving with his immediate family in Clovis. The family gathers to eat a meal prepared by his mom, who keeps the family out of the kitchen and does the work herself, Palmar said.
“We have the traditional turkey with stuffing, and of course there is pumpkin pie,” Palmar said.
After the meal is completed, the family will usually gather and watch football.

Wayne and Carol Crume of Portales gather with their son and grandchildren to celebrate Thanksgiving. The family eats the traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and dressing and all the trimmings, Crume said.
During the day, the family watches football and starts planning for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
“The family visits, and the kids all play and make a mess,” Crume said.

Sharon Good, a nurse at Portales Medical Clinic, celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday with her family.
They gather to eat a meal of turkey, ham, dressing and dumplings, Good said. Afterward, the boys all watch football and take naps, because everyone is full.
“That’s it. That’s our tradition,” Good said.

Leisha Bickham, office manager at Portales Medical Clinic, remembers the Thanksgivings of her youth. Growing up, Bickham and her family got out their Christmas decorations and began putting them up.
This year, Bickham will continue that tradition with her family, she said.
“We will pull out Christmas stuff and start sorting and putting it up,” she said.
Another tradition is eating a meal of Mexican food when celebrating at her mother-in-law’s in Hamilton, Texas.
After eating, the family will sit around and sleep, she said.

Growing up, Marilyn Belcher of Clovis observed the Thanksgiving holiday by gathering with family to eat a traditional meal, she said.
She recalls large family meals with turkey, ham and numerous side dishes. “We were just like anyone else,” Belcher said.
But, now her children are grown and living scattered across the United States.
Belcher, employed by the Clovis-Carver Public Library for 21 years, said in recent years her family comes together and celebrates a combined Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Food and football are Russell Johnson’s reasons for considering Thanksgiving his favorite holiday, he said.
The 24-year-old Farwell resident said he plans to eat turkey, stuffing and cranberry jelly for a week. The newly engaged employee of Hastings in Clovis said he plans to consume three different Thanksgiving feasts.
“My fiancee, her family and my family are all cooking,” Johnson said.
After enjoying his favorite dishes, the self-described football fanatic plans to enjoy the televised professional football games.
“I’m a Dallas Cowboy fan,” Johnson said, “and I love the Turkey Day games.”

— Compiled by Freedom Newspapers Staff Writers Tonya Fennell, Sharna Johnson and Casey Peacock