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How to Feast at Thanksgiving (Even When the Turkey's Gone)
At 14, most kids spend their weekend doing something comfortable. But in the 17th century, being 14 wasn't all that comfortable. Peter Brown was only a boy of 14 when he joined his four uncles on the "fowling" mission in preparation for the 3-day feast we now call Thanksgiving.

The year was 1621. The land was harsh. Community relations were strenuous. But the harvest was finally successful. And the English Colonists were eager to mark the occasion and enjoy it with each other.

Just as the early Pilgrims celebrated their favorable fortune in the 1600s, Americans now take their time to savor the bounty they enjoy.

Today, Lakewood members proudly carry on the tradition of appreciating what's important with each other. From taking time out to mark our milestones to giving thanks for the comforts we now enjoy, members celebrate their abundance with loved ones. Here's how three Lakewood members commemorate what matters to them.

Commodore Joyce Maxwell

Family's what's important. It changes through the years. But it's always special.

For years, we got together in Double Bayou with a bunch of cruisers. We'd cook deep-fried turkeys with all the trimmings. We'd sit around the bonfire with s’mores. And we'd have a spectacular time. It was a genuine family experience.

Our boat Thanksgivings went on for days. We'd go down before Thursday, cut wood for the fire, get the fire going, tell stories all night. Then Friday we'd have leftovers and Beaujolais. And Saturday was the picnic in the woods with champagne and French cuisine. Everybody'd show up with massive amounts of food all over the place. That was our tradition for 11 years.

I've always cooked. I'd do the pies, the salads, the greens, the cranberries, the gingerbread, the cornbread stuffing. On the boats, it all happened around the campfire. Now it all happens in the kitchen.

This year, I'll be spending Thanksgiving in Austin with my first grandchild. He was born right before the Harvest Moon Regatta® and is only a month old.

For this trip, I'm bringing greens. I've got the best greens recipe for turnip greens, collard greens, and mustards. It's got turnips and ham hocks in it -- totally Southern. The greens were one of my specialties on the boat.

Thanksgiving is very special to me. We enjoy what the land provides and create a feeling of home for each other.

Bob Fuller

I lost my mom when she was 67 and my brother when he was 49. His relatives are the only family I've got left. Getting together with them means everything to me.

I moved here from Kansas when I was 13. Got here as fast as I could. When mother was alive, we had a huge, classic, traditional Thanksgiving dinner. After she died, everything changed. The traditions got away. Now, we're keeping alive the tradition of getting together.

I've got 19 coming this year. They live all over the country, and I see them only once a year. They're from Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Oklahoma City.

Lakewood kind of became our gathering place. It's the only location we have that will accommodate the whole crowd. The family likes coming here. No dishes to deal with. We really enjoy it.

To be honest, the turkey and dinner part are meaningless to me. The main thing is getting together. I don't really care what we have to eat. I think it's important to be with friends or family on special occasions.

Marilyn Mitchell

Every Thanksgiving, I'm the cook. This year, we're doing the turkey and cornbread dressing with recipes from our mothers. My husband, Don, brines the turkey for 24 hours and I stuff it with seasonal citrus fruits.

This year is special because all four of the brothers from Don's side of the family will be here. They all live nearby in Texas, and one is coming down from Columbus, MT. We're expecting our first great-grandchild in January, a little girl. So there will be 22 of us around the table this year.

We live in the country with no neighbors. Just us and the deer. Everyone brings something -- homemade rolls, all the desserts, venison roasts.

Growing up, I was one of five kids. Mom cooked everything. We all ate at the kitchen table. Now, everybody cooks, but it's just fun to get together. This will be the first time in many years that the whole family's showed up.

Then Friday, we do the madness and go shopping in the Woodlands. All the girls leave the guys and meet at the Cheesecake Factory. We have the best time just visiting, and being out, and getting into the Christmas spirit. And we don't come home till dark. It's not so much about the shopping for us. It's more of an excuse to get out and have some girl time together. Traffic's crazy, but we love getting all the girls from all the generations together.

This year's been awesome because people have been good to me. Everyone at Lakewood has been so nice. I have great friends all around me. Everybody pitches in and is always there for you. That's the best part about Thanksgiving.

For many locals, Lakewood has become synonymous with the highest quality standards of what each of us aspires to become. No matter where you are this Thanksgiving or what comfortable looks like these days, Lakewood joins you in celebrating a bounteous lifestyle. Here's to feasting on it all with each other!

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Anne Bechard 
Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm thrilled to be a part of Lakewood's marketing team! From an early age, I started showing signs of becoming an auspicious writing geek. Today, I'm a columnist for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Business Insider. I get excited about exploring new ideas, communicating in a creative way, and solving problems that stump me. It's especially thrilling that I get to do all this in a place that personifies one of my greatest loves -- nature and the outdoors. I'm looking forward to growing our digital marketing techniques and meeting your communications needs with excellence!

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