Gobbling Up Family Thanksgiving
Wednesday - November 22, 2006
Every year my husband and son make the same journey on Thanksgiving Day: First they head on over to Grandpa Rudy’s house in Kailua, where my husband’s family gathers for a holiday lunch. Then they trek to Grandpa Harold’s and Grandma Joyce’s home in Mililani for a supper celebration with my side of the family.
That’s two - two! - full Thanksgiving feasts in one day, complete with the birds, the stuffing, the gravy and all the sides. Two humongous meals.
I always felt a little relieved that I wasn’t around to consume all those calories. And I had an excellent reason for skipping the events - work! After all, news doesn’t take a holiday.
Last year was one of those working years for me. The station, as it does every year, generously provided a full turkey spread for employees who couldn’t be with families. No one complained. Few ever do. Most enjoy their jobs and their colleagues, and there is a certain camaraderie that develops among those who carry on with business while the rest of the world gorges on yet another slice of pumpkin pie.
And I had another reason for volunteering to work - I knew it would be my last Thanksgiving at the job I had held for 19 years. The station was my home away from home, and I felt comfortable being there on a holiday. There are few things better in life than being surrounded by dedicated people all focusing on a common goal. We often did our job under challenging and stressful circumstances. That can bring people together, and I wanted to savor their company in the short time I had left. My last day on the job was just a couple of weeks later.
It’s been a year now since I left the news business. People ask all the time if I miss it and if I would consider going back. The short answer is, no, I don’t, and no, I wouldn’t. I loved the work, I loved the people, but it was time to put the focus elsewhere.
I revel now, not in the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story, but in the mundane pleasures of everyday routines. Picking up my son from school, discussing his day, supervising chores and homework - these are things I never had time to do in my former busy life. Zach may think it’s a pain to have double the chores, but he still has a big smile on his face when I pull up to the curb to get him.
We have time to talk.
I find satisfaction in making our home a tranquil and beautiful sanctuary. I have found I love to cook. It feels like an act of love to prepare a meal, and then to gather the family around the table every night to eat and connect.
That’s exactly what this holiday is about - an opportunity to slow down, cook a meal, eat and connect.
So this year I’m lucky to be able to join both families for the celebration. And I intend to feast heartily and happily - twice. Calories be damned.
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