GIVING THANKSPublished 12:18pm Thursday, November 28, 2013
Pike County residents thankful for much this year
The line for Thanksgiving lunch at Julia’s Restaurant in Troy extended outside the building by 11:30 Thursday with people thankful for the yummy smelling food inside.
However, the crowd at the local restaurant was thankful for much more than what was about to fill their bellies this holiday season.
After sitting down to eat, Mike Schuster and Robin Fortner exchanged smiles with their “extended family” at the table, grateful for each other and the people who they’ve grown close to in Pike County.
Both Schuster and Fortner are transplants to the area and were introduced by friends about two years ago. The couple has been together ever since.
“It’s nice to have friends and loved ones with us today because family is far away,” Fortner said. “So it’s special to have people with us here.”
Schuster and Fortner planned to take their dog for a walk in the woods after lunch and then decorate for Christmas.
“My mom passed away on Thanksgiving day many years ago, but she used to begin decorating on Thanksgiving, so it’s a tradition I like to carry on,” Fortner said. “She’d sit on the couch and watch us and give us directions until everything was in the perfect spot.”
Angel Tillery and her family were seated at a long table nearby, enjoying the company of each other without the hassle of holiday cooking.
“I’m grateful we could all be here together today,” Tillery said. “And I am thankful for my children’s health.”
Tillery and her children, 14 and 18, planned to visit with friends after lunch and then delve into the shopping season.
“They want to jump right into the excitement of it,” Tillery laughed.
Bonnie Pope shared that her husband had been under the weather recently, so instead of cooking, her family gathered at the restaurant to enjoy all the tastes of Thanksgiving without the bother of cooking and cleaning.
“I’m s thankful for my family,” Pope said as she looked up and down the table where she sat. “I’m thankful for Jesus, that he died for us so that we can have eternal life. And I’m thankful that he saved my grandson, a cancer survivor.”
Pope did say, while she left the turkey and dressing to the professionals at Julia’s, there were a plethora of desserts at her home to welcome her family back there for the rest of the holiday.
“I’ve got a lot of blessings,” Pope said. “Just so many.”