In her private life, First Lady Laura Bush likes to read…enjoys art and decorating…but

she doesn’t do a lot of cooking.

That’s a little inside peek I’ve gotten of Mrs. Bush over the two decades I’ve known her and several interviews she has been kind enough to do with me. This is one of my favorite photos with the First Lady and my son Michael, taken after an interview at the White House. It sits alongside a photo of the President and me, beside my bed.

Mrs. Bush graciously responded to my Thanksgiving questions.

Mrs. Bush, what are you especially grateful for this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to reflect on our many, many blessings. This year, President Bush and I are especially happy to celebrate Thanksgiving at our Ranch with our children and our granddaughter Mila.

What’s your favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table?

I have a few favorite traditional southern recipes I inherited from my mother: mashed sweet potatoes and her special corn bread dressing. Our daughters like to make the pies for the Thanksgiving feast. Jenna makes the pumpkin pie and Barbara makes the pecan pie.

How will you spend your day? Is there something unique your family does…will you watch the Cowboys?

We’ll wake up and go for a long family walk. The ranch is so beautiful this time of year. The leaves have turned bright red and yellow on the oaks and cedar elms. Friends will join us for the Thanksgiving meal, and of course, football will be playing on television in the background.

Thank you First Lady Laura Bush for all you have given to Texas and to our country. Happy Thanksgiving!

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This is one of the dining areas where the Bush family will gather for Thanksgiving. You can see the entire slideshow of the Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas, where the President, First Lady and their family will spend Thanksgiving in this issue of Architectural Digest. RealJane.net Decorate Editor Ken Blasingame helped Mrs. Bush with the ranch as well as other projects, including the Bush’s new Dallas home and the Bush Presidential Library. Click here for the magazine article:

Laura and George W. Bush’s Serene Texas Retreat