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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

A lot of you will be going to Grandma’s house this week. You’ll get to share in all the goodies: Food, tradition, and family. It’s a natural thing to want to be included in holiday family tradition. Grandmas make anything special, especially when families get together.I’ve wanted to visit Grandma’s house this week in the village of Vlashaj. Flora has garnished respect from me over the years because she lives on the high corner of the village and always monitored traffic, separating dogs from donkeys. She is a grandma, one who has made her family stronger in time of trouble, happier in times of sadness, and wiser when her knowledge guided the family through low spots. She will, without knowing it, stand over her family on this Thanksgiving.Age has taken its toll. Every day from her little chair by the front gate she would wave or shake her walking stick to let you know that we’d better say “hi” and give her a hug or you would fall under the rain of strong Albanian phrases. Sadly, these days she’s been reduced to the back kitchen to sit by the cooking stove and stays warm all day to help with her arthritis and diminished legs. I was brought over to her, she was told who was there to visit her and did the proper response that guests in Albania do, I bowed low, and then promptly gave her a hearty hug. The work that she’s done in the village, the commission handed her to steer her family and the guidance that came from a much younger frame allows me to give this lady respect.

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