Thanksgiving Gratitude – By RT


Chef At Work!


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I love that the weather is starting to get cooler. It gets dark a little earlier which gives me warm loving feelings of family and a deep sense Gratitude. It’s a time for me to reflect on how far I’ve come in my life and my Recovery. I thought it would be nice to bring you into my world for moment and let you know a little bit about me, what I’m doing and how I feel about the holidays. It only takes one word for me to describe how I feel….Grateful.

This year was a significant milestone in my Recovery. I got clean on September 20, 1983 at the age of 33 and this year I picked up my 33 year medallion. Wow, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Recovery half my life.

I walked from Addiction into Recovery with not much left to my name. Desperate to stay clean, sleeping on my sponsors couch, single, no children with only a bread and butter job. Today through the process of Recovery, I’m the Co-Founder of, married to my beautiful wife PhillyT for 29 years this upcoming March and have two wonderful children.

Our daughter Taylor who is 25 and our son Jake who is 23. They both have reaped the benefits of growing up in a family immersed in Recovery and have never seen Philly or I ever pick up a drink or a drug in their entire lives.

As I said Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. We usually have our traditional Thanksgiving feast at our house for both sides of our family and some close friends, about 25 to 35 people depending on everyones schedules.

We go all out, cook everything ourselves from scratch and pass our Gratitude Stick around the table so everyone can express what they are Grateful for out loud. It’s a very powerful and emotional experience and sets the tone for the evening.

This year we are taking Thanksgiving on the road to our daughter Taylor in Huntsville, Alabama. She has invited 20 of her friends and colleagues who are also living there without their families to celebrate the holiday and to join us for dinner.

I’ve already cooked and frozen four of our side dishes. Two of PhillyT’s prized family recipe Italian Sausage Stuffing, a Southwestern Corn Bread Stuffing, Orange Pecan Praline Sweet Potatoes and two of my infamous Mac ‘N Cheese (Gruyere, Extra Sharp Cheddar and Pecorino Romano).

I’m carrying them on the plane with me so I don’t have to take the time to cook them there. They will accompany a 26 lb. Turkey, Honey Baked Ham, Corn Soufflé, Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce and Asparagus, which we will make there. If you didn’t already know, I’m a self-proclaimed Foodie and at home chef.

I don’t want to bore you anymore. I can go on and on. What I’m trying to say is Thank You ITR NATION. I am truly Grateful for all of you and the support, love and service you have shown myself, Mr. Clean AKA Kenny P and our ITR Community and Family. I want to wish each and every one of you and your families a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

I Love you!



About rt

RT is the Co-Founder of and has 32 years of long-term recovery and has dedicated his life to helping make the recovery movement a positive, mainstream force the world today. RT has been married to Phyllis for 28 years and she has over 31 years of long-term recovery. They have two children; their daughter Taylor age 24 is the Sports Anchor for WHNT CBS TV in Huntsville, Alabama and son Jake age 23, is working for a International Steel Company in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Taylor and Jake have reaped the benefits of their parents long-term recovery and have never seen either of them pick up a drink or a drug in their entire lives.
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  1. RT.
    Ty for everything. I pass out the site url to every person i know.

    You truly are the bill w. And jimmy k. For the 21st century, but i know you’re too humble to admit it…. lol….
    What you and kenny started is no less historic as the f2f meetings and activites when we both got clean.


  2. Hi RT,

    I hope your Thanksgiving celebration with your daughter and her friends was incredible. I’m sure they were thankful to have not only what sounds like incredible dishes to fill their tummie, but also the gift of fellowship!

    I’m thankful for the ITR nation as well. I can’t imagine how much time you and Mr Clean have and are still investing in building and keeping this site thriving.

    I love to start my day with the daily meditation reading, 3rd step prayer and just browsing through posts. It is a positive addition to my recovery.

    Wow…recovery for more than half of your life now… Such a blessing.

    I want the cranberry recipe and the sweet potatoes 🙂

    Have a blessed day

  3. And thank you!! I believe I met you briefly at the Recovery Film Festival in Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago!! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoy this holiday season.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving RT and to your lovely wife Philly T.
    Thank you for your vision and willingness to follow the path with Kenny, Mr. Clean; Brings this site to be the best on line resource for Recovery from all walks of addiction. I have met some amazing soulmates here and very grateful for all of you!

    Great photo of your spirit and magic hands to prepare holiday tradition. All the dishes sound incredible, Yum Yum….

    As a fellow Foodie, and Passion for Recovery, relating to living nearly half my life in the fellowship halls~ I thank you for being a Power of Example of the Good Life!


  5. Thank you for your message and example 🙂 – god bless and have a lovely serenity filled thanksgiving

  6. OMG your food sounds delicious! While I was reading your piece I could feel the warmth of your heart and your family not to mention the scents coming from your kitchen…..My Dad used to say that his hands were warm because his heart was warm. I would walk hand in hand as a little girl to go get the newspaper with him while everyone else remained asleep. I miss him (he died in ’92) and his warmth….He used to say that God is Love. Your heart is warm Ron, for your wife, family and us on here. I truly treasurer you, Kenny and everything intherooms represents. Thank you.

    • Diane is my 3rd favorite active member of itr (got to give props to the 2 founders), of course rt and kenny started this titantic endeavor but i havent seen anyone else as loving and active as Diane. She is brilliant and humble.


  7. Thanks for sharing, sounds wonderful, enjoy your Holiday. I was starting to salivate when you mentioned the mac n cheese, Happy sobriety and thanks for all you do to help us stay sober.

  8. A marvelous message of recovery. Thank you so much for all you have done and continue to do on a daily basis.
    I also love to cook and entertain. I can see though that I have a ways to go and much to learn.
    Thank you so much for being clean.

  9. RT, we are grateful for you! I would be especially grateful if you wanted to share the recipe for the Orange Pecan Praline Sweet Potatoes! Just the title made my mouth water! Travel Mercies to you sir! Have a wonderful time!

  10. Dear RT,

    I am so touched by your beautiful message and all you have done for so many people. Thank you for the gift of being you, full of kindness and goodness. Wishing you all the best for a Happy Thanksgiving filled with joy, abundance, love ….. and yummies!

    Pat & Paul Ahr

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