In my childhood, each November we learned about the Pilgrims who were saved from almost certain starvation by the Wampanoag Native Americans who joined the for a feast and day of Thanksgiving .

In my childhood, each November we learned about the Pilgrims who were saved from almost certain starvation by the Wampanoag Native Americans who joined the for a feast and day of Thanksgiving .
We colored pictures with Pilgrims who wore black and white clothing with buckled shoes. The Native Americans were bright with feathers we shaded in a rainbow of colors. If we attempted to draw the table at the First Thanksgiving, most of us would have included a turkey in the center of the table surrounded by all the familiar dishes we consider as must-haves each November.
Now that I'm older,most of what I thought I knew about that November day in 1621 was inaccurate.
Turkey might have been on the menu - it was eaten by both the Wampanoags as well as English settlers but from the sparse and single written account of the day, we know they did have venison and wild fowl. The latter may have included turkey but it's more likely they dined on duck, pheasant, quail and perhaps geese.
The trimmings many of us have on our table, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes, the green bean bake, and the pumpkin pie would have not been part of the feast, simply because these weren't eaten at the time.
The Pilgrims and Wampanoags probably did eat beans, squash, fish, shellfish, along with some garden vegetables like turnips and carrots.
Over the years, I've had my Thanksgiving dinner at my mother, both grandmothers, and at least three aunts' tables although in once instance it was my uncle, a former Army cook, who made the meal rather than my aunt. Despite the tradition of turkey, it doesn't really matter.  I've known people who enjoyed pork or even pizza for Thanksgiving.
It's not the main dish but the meal that signifies something work celebrating and something more.
Somewhere beyond the football games, the movies, the naps or the family reunion, it's about giving thanks. It's about appreciating what we have instead of the current American pastime of griping about what we lack or don't like.
So here are some things I am thankful about - my husband, my children, my family and my friends. I'm thankful I live in the United States of America, in my native state of Missouri, and in our town of Neosho. I'm thankful for my job, something I enjoy everyday, and for my co-workers. I'm thankful for my church, St. Canera, for our pastor, Father Derek Swanson, and for our parish family. I'm grateful that we have an excellent local school system. I'm thankful for my dog, Jackson, who is without any question the best dog ever. I'm thankful I have a way with words and that my writings, whether it's a news story, this column, an essay or article, or fiction. For me, writing is like reading intensified. I'm thankful for the glorious sunrises and sunsets I have the pleasure to see. My list of things I am thankful for could take many pages so I'll close by just saying Thanksgiving is an all American holiday. Let's enjoy the feasting and the fun, sharing memories and making new ones but let's give thanks because after all, Thanksgiving is about more than just the turkey.

Lee Ann Murphy is a staff writer for the Neosho Daily News and writes a column for the paper.