Taking a road trip on the dreaded day before Thanksgiving, declared the WORST travel day of the year by the media and anyone who has ever been silly enough to travel on this day, I keep reminding myself why this journey must take place. The rainbow at the end of the trip. Mom. She’s worth it. She’s our pot of gold.
Living in Seattle, far away from my family, I haven’t spent a holiday with my Mom and Sister in ages, perhaps 20 years or so. This is the year to break that spell. While spending Thanksgiving away from my kids for the first time will be tough, off to Indiana we will go. Planes, trains and automobiles lay ahead of us today and I’m not just quoting a fav holiday movie title. LITERALLY, we will Uber, fly, hop on the local C line from Midway to downtown Chicago, drag our asses and luggage through the streets of Chicago to the South Shore Line and tonight at 9 p.m. arrive at South Bend airport where my sister will pick us up, if and when we arrive alive. Our travel day will take as long to go from Seattle to South Bend as what we experienced travelling back and forth from Seattle to China, which was an easy 14-hour day at most, spent in Business Class being wined and dined with a nap in between and some movies throughout to keep me entertained. Ahhh…I miss those travel days for sure.
But, I surely don’t have it as bad as the fellow traveler observed this morning at 7:30 AM at the wine bar at SEATAC sipping a champagne tasting flight while waiting for her journey. How bad do your relatives have to be in order to do that? I walked by, did a double take and told Thom to sneak a picture. WTF! Not a wee nip to get you going or a gentle hair of the dog to get over a bad night but 3 full glasses of the bubbly for breakfast. Wow.
Reading news articles about the apprehension many people face over the possibility of interactions with dysfunctional family members, not often seen or heard from but present at the holiday dinner table, always makes me appreciate our family more. We don’t fight over who cooks the meal or what is included in the menu. Thom and I will both be very happy to just show up and enjoy what is beautifully presented to us by my sis and her husband, both very good cooks. We will let them have it and instead go see my Mom and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade the morning of Thanksgiving before the big meal. It will bring back great memories of our time spent in NYC during the holidays, wandering the parade route in 2012, seeing the ginormous balloons up close and personal. Everyone should do that one time in their lives. It was special.
We spent this past weekend cooking up an early Thanksgiving feast so that our son and his girlfriend could partake in our family favorites of stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, yeast rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes and, of course, turkey. A carbolicious buffet that sent me straight into a coma after watching the new Ghostbusters movie with the kids. Not the best movie I’ve seen lately but at least it didn’t have any embarrassing scenes that weren’t family friendly. Even at 23, my son is very protective of me and filters what he considers “appropriate” material to watch with his mother. When I expressed that Sausage Party looked like a fun film, he shuddered and declared that there was NO WAY we should watch that together. What could be so bad about a film featuring a party where you cook and serve sausages? In speaking with a co-worker who experienced the film, she had to agree with my son. Apparently, I was spared an embarrassing and tragic movie-watching experience.
During and after our hectic travel day, I am concentrating on being calm, relaxed and tolerant. Here’s hoping the Trump supporters and neo-Nazi confederate flag-waving Midwesterners stay out of our paths. I grew up in Indiana amidst the KKK so I’m just being realistic of that demographic being real, not that I’m saying that of all Hoosiers, though they are a conservative bunch in general. Blinders on and diligent to avoid politics at all costs this weekend, Thom and I both need at least a brief respite from the despair and terror we experience daily reading Twitter or watching the news. Now, it’s all about family and love and kindness. Happy Thanksgiving all!