Thanksgiving by Any Other Name

Well, it is that time of year when everyone should be enjoying deep fried turkey, sweet potato pie, and good football.  Our Thanksgiving was a little different this year and as a result I only experienced one of those things, and truthfully, the sweet potato pie was mediocre at best.  As we approached this week Leslie and I did not have a clear idea of what we wanted to do this year, typically we have invited some friends over and had a large meal and enjoyed good company; this year we had trouble identifying any friends who were going to be in town that did not already have other plans.  As we rounded the corner of the week on Sunday Leslie told me she really was not looking forward to cooking a big meal and seeing as it was going to only be our family (and that nobody in our family is really big on leftovers) we decided to make other plans.

I had needed to visit a site up in New Hampshire for a couple of weeks now but could not really afford the time for the overnight trip it would cost me so we decided to combine our problems into one solution.  I booked a hotel for a couple of nights and we decided to just spend Thanksgiving in New Hampshire at the hotel, enjoying the complimentary breakfasts and letting the kids watch movies (as special treat) and swim in the pool.  This was our first Thanksgiving where we were planning on going out to eat and I was not 100% certain what we would be able to find open on Thanksgiving Day so I told Leslie to plan for the worst and pack a box full of snacks and the makings of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

As it turns out, people going out to eat for a Thanksgiving meal is not altogether that unusual and after our initially foiled attempt to find a Golden Corral, we settled on Cracker Barrel.  As a side note, I found it amusing that the closest Golden Corral was back in Albany, nearly four hours away.  How is it that there is not a Golden Corral in the entire state of New Hampshire?  Nevertheless, we settled on Cracker Barrel and loaded up the kids for a late afternoon lunch/early evening dinner.  When we first arrived, we were initially a little intimidated by a parking lot that was overflowing with people, but understanding how limited our options were we persevered, and fortunately for us, the wait was not nearly as long as the parking lot would have indicated.

I opted for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner which, while it did include turkey, was not of the deep-fried variety.  Regardless, the food was good and, with the exception of Ayla only eating a handful of French fries, everyone chowed down.  I really don’t understand my daughter’s eating habits as of late, we had chicken tacos the other night which she stubbornly refused to eat, electing to go to bed early with nothing to eat instead.  Then, Wednesday night we ate at Chickfila in Springfield, MA where she chowed down on a box of nuggets.  Thursday she said she wanted chicken again and then promptly refused to even try one of the chicken fingers.  Friday, we again stopped at Chickfila, where she again refused to even try one of the nuggets, even though it meant she had to sit in her seat the entire time the boys played on the playground.  It is not that she does not like chicken because the episode on Wednesday clearly indicates that she enjoys it just fine, but nearly every other time she absolutely refuses to even try a little bite, almost willingly accepting whatever alternative we offer as a discipline for not eating.

Wednesday night we arrived at the hotel around 2030 and let the kids run around the room while Leslie and I got everything set up; the boys sharing the pull out sofa and Ayla in the pack ‘n’ play tucked in an alcove by the door.  We finally got everyone to bed but none of the kids were used to all of us sleeping in the same room together so it took a little while to get settled down and get to sleep.  Thursday we must have really put the kids through the ringer between the pool, running around the hotel, a movie, and dinner, because it was not five minutes after we had turned the lights out then I was able to distinguish the light snores from three little kids all fast asleep.  I on the other hand, took advantage of the fact that I did not have to be up early the next morning and chose to live life a little on the edge, I stayed up until nearly midnight reading my book… Crazy, I know.

Overall, we actually had a pretty relaxing holiday, which was exactly what we were aiming for.  No I did not get all the things I wanted to experience over Thanksgiving, but I just preached a sermon this morning talking about how we should not be seeking contentment out of material things so I don’t think I have too much room to complain.  In fact, with where we currently stand in the pace of life, the busyness of church right now, the stress of a soon to arrive baby, and the workload of all my projects, this restful and relaxing weekend was exactly what we needed.

I will end on this story though.  Yesterday I went in to the office/jobsite to get a little bit of work done, I’m moonlighting as an electrician of sorts for one of my projects since I am working through some difficulties getting an electrician hired and I’ve got work that needs to be done now.  Anyway, I went in to the office to get some work done and when I came home I started experiencing some pretty severe abdominal cramps.  I ended up splitting time the rest of the day between lying in bed/on the bean bag/on the couch trying desperately not to move, and sitting on that porcelain throne with which I am so well acquainted.   More than a little concerned as I knew I had to preach the following morning, I decided to go to bed early.  Much to my dismay, when I woke up this morning, I was not feeling a whole lot better.  Nevertheless, I got up, got a shower, and headed to the church early to practice my sermon.  On the way over I stopped by the grocery store to get some Pepto Bismal.  When I got to the medicine aisle I was greeted with two choices of Pepto in the size that I wanted, one was just the regular stuff and one was labeled “Extra Strength.”  I started thinking to myself, what are the odds that they would actually dilute their formula just so they can sell an “extra strength” option for a couple dollars more?  I mean, it’s probably the exact same stuff, right?  Then I realized, the type of person who is likely to be purchasing Pepto Bismal is likely not in a frame of mind to be making rational choices like this so it totally makes since…  If you feel like a bottle rocket that could go off at any moment, would you really want to play the odds and not spring for the “extra strength” option?  Of course not; that is a brilliant marketing ploy right there.  Even having considered all of this I still went for the extra strength Pepto Bismal, so who’s the moron in that situation?

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