La Hacienda's Treatment and Recovery Blog

Thanksgiving Memories

Happy Thanksgiving from La Hacienda Treatment Center!
We asked our staff to submit some of their favorite memories from past Thanksgivings that helped to make the occasion special or unique. Below are some of the stories they shared with us.
My mother was all about the holidays; my favorite memory of her was some 47 years ago when I was about eight. I was watching her get the turkey ready, she drops it on the floor. Quickly she picks it up, rinses it and looks at me sternly and says, “Not a word to anyone!” We never told anyone, she went to the grave with that deep dark secret some 23 years ago. ? Thanks mom.. still miss you!

Karen Corder
Senior Collection Specialist

I have a very peculiar way of eating corn on the cob. I eat it row by row and it comes out clean. I’ve always done it that way. When I was a kid, my sister would always tell me I looked like a chipmunk because I would store the corn in my cheeks, plus I would eat it really fast. So, one year, my sister wanted to time me for how fast I could eat a corn on the cob. There we were…sitting at the table with all of our family…she was timing me and I was inhaling the corn. Then…I got the giggles. I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t stop laughing…and…BOOM! I ended up spitting out all of the corn in my mouth because I was laughing so hard. Some of it ended up in my sister’s mouth…she was pretty upset about that. She still tells this story…and apparently, so do I!

Haley Goldman, CI
Clinical Intern

Big Thanksgiving Day all our out of town relatives showed up! There was probably 25 folks there. Everyone was waiting on me and the pea salad In Nannies one of a kind ceramic pea salad bowl. I got there and everyone was real happy to see me but asked where the pea salad was…..I didn’t live far……remembered getting it out of the refrigerator….drove back home and just as I turned on to my street I saw Nannies’s pea salad bowl there in the middle of the street! I had put it on the top of the car when I was putting everything in the car then forgot about it and drove off! Bam! Then had to go tell everybody that we wouldn’t be having pea salad and had to tell Nannie her bowl was history! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Kaye Smith
Community Outreach

At our table for dinner we have one person bring a total stranger to eat and make sure we load them up with left over’s for later. This usually is a soldier or college student that does not go home. It has been a foster child before too.

Mattie Hettinger
Diagnostic Technician

Thanksgiving afternoon we play street football.

Lisa Schreckenback
Business Office Manager

We like to eat a little turkey, an abnormal amount of pie, watch the Cowboys and then nap…….usually in that order, but not always…..

Cade Saurage
Director Strategic Partnerships

My mother has won numerous awards for her pumpkin pies and everyone expects the most exquisite taste of that 1st bite of pumpkin pie. One Thanksgiving Day she mistakenly grabbed the Worchester bottle instead of the vanilla! As you can imagine the looks around the table of gathered friends and family, who were totally and unbelievably surprised. Yes, we have enjoyed many laughs over this humbling reminder of slowing down for the holidays. Linda B

Linda M. Bertel
Alumni Support Representative

I could always take Thanksgiving or leave it. I was in the mission field in Mexico and they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. I felt very lonely on that day and I now appreciate it and join in the activities with a passion.

Lee Roy Loeffler, LCDC
Counselor – Christian Focus

One Thanksgiving I marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – 2 ½ miles at 27 degrees in NYC!

Sherri Layton, LCDC, CCS
Outpatient Services Administrator

It has always been a Sosa family tradition to go deer hunting at our tiny family ranch out in west Texas the Friday after Thanksgiving. My father, brother, uncles and cousins all figured out long ago that I am not the ideal hunting partner, mostly due to my talking and smoking habits, both of which flare up considerably when I am bored and cold.

So, Thanksgiving of 2002, as usual, I was relegated to the tiny deer blind at the back of the property, as far away from the rest of the hunters as possible. And, as usual, I hunkered down in the deer blind with my cigarettes, and a few other vices that need not be mentioned here, which made the interminable two-hour shivering solitude a bit more bearable. I was passing the time by surveying the scene with my pocket binoculars. As previously mentioned, my habits are usually such that I rarely see much active wildlife; any living creature has typically been scared away by the billowing smoke or other unmentionable sounds coming from the deer blind long before they come near me. But this particular occasion, I had the treat of seeing what I thought was a long-necked brown bird leaning up against the three-wire fence and swaying back and forth. Nothing about this made sense; as much as I enjoy the pastime of leaning against fences, I didn’t know any other animal to partake in such activities. I perked up and continued to observe the phenomenon through my binoculars. At once, the formless brown blob took shape as I realized I was looking at a deer with his back leg stuck in the fence. It wasn’t a bird at all; it was my first opportunity to shoot a deer! This was a momentous occasion indeed as I was the only male member of my generation to have never shot a deer. I knew this was my moment of truth—could I do it? Would I make the family proud and finally earn my hunting stripes at the ripe old age of 23? My heart rate continued to quicken as I stared through the binoculars, face to face with my destiny.

I swung the strap of my 30-30 hunting rifle over my shoulder and climbed down the rickety ladder to the rocky, cactus-covered terrain below. I slowly made my way towards the deer in the fence, a mere 30 yards away. As I approached, the deer heard/smell/saw me and let out an ungodly scream/screech sound that made me nauseous. Instinctually I began soothsaying: “It’s ok, fella, I’m here to help.” I even thought for a moment to try and free the poor animal by somehow loosening the wire fence from a safe distance, but his fear peaked in a final burst of energy that propelled him from the fence, probably breaking his hip in the process. There he lay, a short 10 yards from me, still squealing and reeling, laid out in a bramble of cacti. I was paralyzed. I knew what I had to do, so after an eternity, I slowly cocked the lever-action, brought the rifle butt to my shoulder, looked through the site down the barrel, took a deep breath, exhaled, and squeezed the trigger. The gunshot was deafening but I still heard his screeching as he continued to fight with his last burst of life. Did I miss him? How could I miss him from 10 yards away?? I cocked the rifle and fired again; the screeching continued! I cocked the rifle and fired one last time, and he finally stopped thrashing and laid down peacefully in the cacti as his breathing slowed and finally came to a stop.

I was too stunned to do much besides walkie-talkie my uncle at the next closest stand. He congratulated me and soon came up the trail to help me clean my kill. He came up the hill smiling big—his smile faded when I told the story. We approached and inspected the dead deer: a small spike with a bullet hole in his ear and two in his neck. We got to work cleaning the deer quietly and efficiently.

That day I decided hunting was not for me. I still enjoy the camaraderie of trips to the ranch, and I enjoy a good venison schnitzel as much as the next guy, but at daybreak the Friday after this Thanksgiving, you will find me nestled warmly in my bed. THE END

Jeremy Sosa – Community Outreach Austin, Tx