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Time to cook

Some were eating out with their families. Others were out shopping, catching the sales a day early. And still others, were cooking big meals with their families.

But, no matter what people were doing on Thanksgiving Day in Pike County, they all shared the same attitude — thankful.

Deena Stephens had dinner planned for her family Thursday night, but in the meantime she was stopping by Goodys to do a little shopping.

“Thanksgiving’s just about spending time with my boys and giving thanks for what we have,” Stephens said.

Another local family usually cooks a big meal, but this year they were eating out at Julia’s.

“The children weren’t coming, so my daughter suggested we come out to eat, and I took her up on it before she changed her mind,” said Amy McClendon.

And even though McClendon wasn’t with her whole family Thursday, she said the holiday leaves time to reflect on all there is to be thankful for, good and bad.

“It means being thankful for the family I have left,” McClendon said. “I enjoy the family being together. It can be a sad time too because you remember the people you don’t have left.”

And then at one local Troy home, the atmosphere was a whole different story.

With almost a whole family was gathered together, it was clear what they were thankful for.

“I’m thankful for my family for sure,” said Wiley White, of Troy. “We don’t get together as a whole family that often.”

White, her five children, their spouses and 12 of her 13 grandchildren were gathered at her Murphree Street home preparing dinner, watching football, and just enjoying each others company Thursday afternoon, and White was thrilled.

“When you have five children growing up, you’re used to the noise, and then they all move out,” White said. “But now they are all back.”

In the White house, she said they don’t always gather at her home in Troy, but no matter where they go, they always have the same traditions.

“It’s a tradition that on the night before Thanksgiving we have a fire and shuck oysters,” White said. “It’s so much fun.”

White, who just moved back to Troy and works at the Johnson Center for the Arts, said she has so many reasons even besides her family to give thanks.

“I just love the friendliness of Troy, and another thing I’m grateful for is being associated with the Johnson Center,” White said.

White’s children also said there isn’t anything quite like spending the day with their whole family.

“You can’t say it with words. It’s just going to mom’s house. It speaks for itself,” said White’s son Abner White, of Fairhope.