August 3, 2008
Thanksgiving 2006 we met Sean in Sioux Falls (3 hour drive for us, 6 hour drive for him) for a 4-day weekend. He was able to get a ride with another soldier on medhold who lived in the area. Sean’s brother, his wife, my niece (10) and nephew (3) met us there also. We had adjoining rooms at the hotel and the kids were able to watch movies, play games, swim, and hang out between the two rooms.
It was fantastic that I didn’t have to drive so far or board a plane to see him this time. And we were in some familiar territory, so it things felt a little more like home. We ate the buffet dinner (not recommended unless you know their quaility) for a mere $200 (7 people) of which maybe $75 worth of food was actually consumed. The chocolate fountain was a hit with the kids, but that’s about it.
Luckily, we had packed several coolers of food and snacks. We had crockpots at the ready. I have definately learned how to travel and provide food for all without breaking the bank eating every meal in a restaurant.
We spent some time pre-Christmas shopping and checking out the light displays.
Mostly, we were just so happy to be together as a family and to celebrate a holiday that we so often take for granted. We obsess over menus and clothing and who sits where…we forget the reason is to gather and appreciate the togetherness of it all. Just one year before, Sean had Thanksgiving dinner at the chow hall in Iraq. We were at my grandmother’s house and I was heartsick all day for missing him. This year, we were together and that is such a happy place to be.
A Famliy Photo