Years ago I decided that on Thanksgiving Day I would talk about my family, since I'm most thankful for those folks.

"Family" means those who, when you show up down and out at their doorstep, will always take you in. I've never been down and out, but I'm sure they would do that for me.

Well, I'm pretty sure they would … there's a CHANCE they would … they MIGHT …

Anyhow, here's what my family has been up to:

Lady K

Lady Katherine continues her deep involvement in mental health issues, especially involving the use of art to encourage self-expression. But she's taking a break to concentrate on her own paintings for a while.

Tammy, Thomas, etc.

Daughter Tammy and son-in-law Boyce are living the beach life in Long Beach, Mississippi, where she's a medical coder and he's in casino security.

Son Thomas, aka Pokey, and daughter-in-law, Nicole, are enjoying their new swimming pool at their home in the Zachary area. He's security director at Lane hospital and she's a noted hair stylist.

The Grands

Tammy's two girls, my granddaughters, are doing well.

Katie and husband, Glen, are in Lafayette, where she's in the insurance business and he's with an offshore oil supply firm.

Mandy and husband, Corey, are both nurses, living in Diamondhead, Mississippi, and working at a Slidell hospital.

Thomas has two sons and a daughter, all living nearby.

Ron, a Zachary firefighter, and wife, Kelsey, a nurse at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, are building a new home in St. Francisville.

Clint, also a Zachary firefighter, is living just down the road from his mom and dad.

Tayler, who's a radiology technologist in the heart cath lab at Lane hospital, is married to Adam, a Baton Rouge firefighter and cattleman. They, like Clint, live down the road from Thomas and Nicole.

The Great-Grands

Katie and Glen have two kids: Ethan, who loves athletics of all kinds, and Emma, who plans on being either a ballerina or a princess.

Mandy and Corey are the proud parents of Leah, who argues enough to be a lawyer; Mandy, who also plans a career as a princess, and Noah, who's starting to play soccer, although I think rugby might be a better sport for him.

Ron and Kelsey have Thomas and Nicole's only granddaughter, lovely little Natalie.

Clint's son Aidyn, a merry little soul, is always a joy to be around at family gatherings.

Tayler and Adam's oldest, Austin, loves doing cowboy stuff with his dad. On Facebook, he sang "Happy Birthday" to me while he played guitar (a budding country star, no doubt). His brother Dean, a sturdy lad, looks ready to play on LSU's offensive line.

Brother and family

Louis, my only sibling, and wife, Jane, still live in Oakdale, where he's a Kubota tractor dealer and she's a retired guidance counselor and active Master Gardener.

Their oldest son, Judd, is a physician in Reno, Nevada, who owns and flies his own plane. He and wife, Stacy, are having a grand time with twin sons Jakob and Justin.

Middle son Jason is a New Orleans attorney. He and wife, Marian, also an attorney, are parents of two sports-minded lads, Jackson and Colin.

Josh, the youngest, is father of the only granddaughter of Louis and Jane, Vanessa. Josh is in the oil business in Houston. He and wife, Lauren, have a son, Grant, and have just welcomed another boy, Drake.

Sister and family

Katherine's sister Valeri has a travel consulting business based in Pennsylvania, but plans to move to Louisiana soon.

Her oldest son Wil is a computer expert in cable TV. He, wife, Jen, and daughters Arabella and Aliana, just relocated to Frisco, Texas, from Long Island, New York.

Son Wes, a researcher and planner, and wife Michelle live in Chicago with daughter Nola.

Remembering Landon

My sixth grandchild, Landon, Tammy and Boyce's son, left us at the age of 15 after a courageous battle with spina bifida. Every holiday we share memories of his bravery and sense of humor. We laugh a little, cry a little, and give thanks that we knew such an extraordinary young man.   

                  

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.