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Leila Sisson Case: And so, the holiday season is upon us

The aromas in our kitchen were divine, filling our home with a lovely mix of old-fashioned candied sweet potatoes and turkey dressing for Thanksgiving dinner.
These were our two contributions to the Thanksgiving table at the Leslie home of son and sweet daughter-in-law, Mark and Anne Barrett, where we gathered to count our many blessings.
It’s become a family tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Barretts. Some years there are more of us than others who put their feet under the table and then bow our heads in to give thanks for our many blessings.
The sweet potato recipe is eons old and from my late aunt, Caroline Sisson, we all loved as Nannine. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving or Christmas without this delicious dish and the turkey dressing is a tried and true recipe I’ve used so many years it’s become another family ritual.
I love Thanksgiving; it kicks off the season of celebrating the holidays through New Year’s Day and a time to sit down and count our many blessings. This year we gave thanks for our 19th wedding anniversary we observed yesterday; our extended family; supportive friends; good health; safe home; Calvary Episcopal; good books; and this community that daughter Margaret describes as a big neighbor.
Meanwhile, there is much to celebrate from the arrival of babies to weddings.
Former Americus Ashley Riccardi and Dr. Lee Skandalakis, MD, of Atlanta exchanged wedding vows in the garden of their Sandy Springs home Nov. 19 attended by a small group of close friends and family. Ashley, the daughter of Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi, and the late Carolyn Kinnebrew Daniel, grew up in Americus and graduated Southland Academy and the University of Georgia. Among family members celebrating the bridal couple at their wedding were her parents, and sisters, Dr. Alex Riccardi of Americus, Kari Riccardi McMickle of Macon and Haley Riccardi Fowler of Denver.
Jim and Jean Buchanan of Americus are celebrating the birth of their second grandson. Weston Sheffield Lynn was born Nov. 19. He is the son of Daniel and Page Buchanan Lynn, and brother of Thomas Lynn, 3-1/2, of Statesboro. Jimmy and Joyce Buchanan of Americus are his proud great-grandparents.
In New York City recently were Drs. John and Patty Fennessy and daughter Reese Fennessy to celebrate Reese’s ninth birthday and John’s 40th. While there they enjoyed the sights and sounds of the holidays and a performance of the famous Radio City Rockettes. Exciting goings on.
Observing Thanksgiving weekend in New Orleans were Richard and Brooks Nettum who were guests at the historic Monteleone Hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. Brooks said New Orleans never looked prettier all trimmed for the Christmas season. They breakfasted at Café du Monde in Jackson Square and toured the beautiful Garden District filled with historic homes; and dined at some venerable restaurants, Brennan’s, Paschal Manale’s, Court of Two Sisters, and Compere Lapin. And they met Jon Minich and Michelle Carty one evening.
U.S. Army Capt. Beau Carroll and his wife Heidi Carroll of Fort Hood, Texas, spent Thanksgiving with his parents, John and Beth Carroll. The family gathered in Macon at the home of John’s parents, John and Ann Carroll and were joined by their daughter, Caroline Carroll and son, Andrew Carroll, students at the University of Georgia, Athens. And the entire family was in Athens for the University of Georgia Bulldogs vs Georgia Tech football game and tailgating with Beth’s family members from Vienna and Savannah last Saturday.
Also at the UGA-Tech game are Dr. Lou and Candy Riccardi and their family; Dr. Alex Riccardi, Wes Turner, Haley and David fowler and twin daughters, Katherine and Garner Fowler of Denver, the girl’s first trip to Athens and a UGA game, Dr. Donnie and Kari McMickle and children, Madison, a UGA student, Olivia, Louis, and Miles.
And Tiffany Dean met her mom, Cathy Slaton of Mississippi, and friend Mary Nealie of New York City, to celebrate their birthdays recently. They enjoyed the Old Towne Trolley tour, a riverboat cruise, and had lunch at Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons restaurant.
Meanwhile, Kerri Post’s family was here for Thanksgiving. They are Shannon Post and husband Evan Maseagni of Brooklyn, N.Y., Devin and Leanne Post-Tolsma of Durham, N.C., and children, Emrys, 5, and Maren, 2, and J.D. Post and his finance, Katie Marrow, of Seattle, and Katie’s family, Mike and Meg Morrow and daughter, Hannah of Long Beach, California. And they also visited their grandmother, Betty Pope.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.