Reflections from Thanksgiving

The name of this boat says it all about the impact my family and friends have had on me

Because this blog is a year-round love letter of the things in Cleveland I’m thankful for, I wanted to kick off the week after Thanksgiving by sharing a few of the non-Cleveland things that I’m really grateful round out my life.

I don’t have many opportunities to talk about these people so I apologize for the slightly self-indulgent interruption. However, I’ll be back later this week with more about my favorite city.

Chloe really doesn’t like having her photo taken

Scott and Chloe: Without Scott and Chloe, I don’t think I would have made it to Cleveland. I’m thankful everyday for these two imports from New Jersey.

Scott’s an amazing husband and someone I’ve been glad to call my best friend for over a decade (writing that out makes me feel really old). He never complains when I drag him out to dinner or a show, even on the days he’d rather relax at home. And when I’ve exhausted myself  from running between meetings, he’s usually there to take me home.

Our cat Chloe puts up with the both of us. She’s a troublesome feline I adopted from a friend in Philly. Despite her unruliness, though, Scott and I are happy to be “stuck” with her because she adds a bit of welcomed drama in our home.

My parents: I lucked out in the mom-and-dad department with two amazing and loving parents.  They were absolutely dedicated to my sister and I growing up, and still remain excellent role models for how to live lives full of honesty and integrity and sustain a loving marriage.

I think the gifts I am most grateful for from them are an understanding of how important it is to push yourself to do your best and that when things don’t go the way you want, to relax and move on.

With Gabbie at this year’s Halloweekends

My sister: I don’t come from a huge immediate family, only having one sibling.  However, that was and still is perfectly fine with me.  Two years younger than me, she was the missing puzzle piece in our family.

As a child, her rambunctious personality added excitement and an unending element of surprise to our household. As an adult, she is the most fiercely loyal and selfless person I know.

My in-laws: When I was younger and thought about marriage, the chronic worrier in me fretted about the in-laws I would one day gain if I ever married. Fortunately, reality was much kinder to me than my own anxieties when I married Scott and became a Hicken.

One reason I think Scott and I relate to each other so well is that he also lucked out with two amazing parents and a dynamic younger sister. All three were instantly welcoming to me when I first started dating Scott, embraced my idiosyncrisies and continually treat me much better than I probably deserve.

Scott’s mom and grandmother at Cleveland’s Serbian Orthodox Festival

I also gained another grandparent with Scott’s Grandmom.  All of my grandparents have passed away so I am extremely thankful for Grandmom P.  She is a sparkling lady – kind, spry and witty, and generous in her love, loving me as if I were her own granddaughter.

They also get along with my parents and sister – which makes Augusts in Virginia one of my favorite times of year when we all trek down there to spend time together.

Liquid Nails: When I went away to college in Philadelphia, it was the first time I was away on my own – leaving my parents, sister and high school friends behind in Virginia. 6 years later, I had found a group of friends through La Salle University’s theatre group that made moving to Cleveland extremely difficult.

As much as I love this city, the one thing I’d like to change is to have my family and friends here (and am not above trying to bribe them here with the delicious food, wonderful arts and low cost of living).  They’re the only thing that’s missing which would make this city perfect.

Part of Liquid Nails visiting the Christmas Story House

In particular, I’d like to ship my Liquid Nails to Cleveland. Angie, Ali, Jess and Amy have seen me at my absolute worst and shared my best moments with me. And much like the incredibly strong construction adhesive (clearly, we’re theatre tech nerds), they unwaveringly stick around and tend to keep the universe together when stuff starts falling apart.


I spent a lot of time thinking about these family and friends over the last week while I’ve been in Philadelphia. They were on my mind not just because it was Thanksgiving, but also because the father of one of Liquid Nails passed away.

Anthony Colletta was an incredibly active member of the community, a dedicated husband, and an amazing father to Angie and her sister Jen.  As was spoken of him during the funeral, he was a constant cheerleader – a rare and inspiring quality.

Thoughts go out to his loved ones and donations can be made in his name to an organization he was very involved with, the Northeast Catholic Alumni Memorial Scholarship Fund (P.O. Box 7005, Philadelphia, PA 19149).

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were special and that you have much to be grateful for.

3 thoughts on “Reflections from Thanksgiving

  1. Alicia from Poise in Parma

    My thoughts and prayers are with your friend’s family. I have a group of friends from high school that remind me of your Liquid Nails. Four out of the five us got together for lunch on Friday and it was great to reconnect.

    The pic with you and Chloe makes me smile!


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