Thanksgiving for me was always the same. We would drive up to my Aunt Barb’s house in New Athens, Ohio and meet our entire family there. My Uncle Wizzy would come over. All three of my cousins. My brother and my sister. My mother.
My Aunt would work all morning and afternoon to create the most incredible Thanksgiving feast. While she cooked, we would eat her amazing Spinach Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip. We would spend most of the time in the kitchen, gathered around her dining table, where a small TV set in the corner.
We would always have the TV on, but we were never really watching it. We were always just gathered around it, talking.
After we all ate, my mother, sister, and I would do all the dishes together, and then we would all usually enjoy a few cups of coffee.
My Aunt always had too many treats for the kids, who would be wound up on sugar and playing in her extra bedroom or jumping on the beds or running through the house.
My Uncle Jim would be propped up on the couch watching some type of sports ball show on TV.
My Uncle Wizzy would be rambling about something that only he understood, and likely already a few beers in.
But this was always our Thanksgiving… at least until Uncle Wizzy passed away a few years ago.
And now, Thanksgiving has shifted once again due to the novel Coronavirus.
We are now going to be celebrating differently.
On Thanksgiving Day, we will be Healthy at Home with only our children and each other.
I will make a turkey, and all the usual fixings. It will be different, but we are doing it for a reason.
My reason is Uncle Wizzy. After he passed away, everything shifted. There were no more wild stories. No more crazy laughter. No more random strings of sentences that no one quite understood, but Uncle Wizzy did. We miss him. We miss him every Thanksgiving. And I do not want to miss anyone else.
This virus has claimed the lives of thousands of people. Boyd County is identified now as a “red county” in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I will not take the risk of losing anyone else by having a large gathering at my home.
We will be Healthy at Home this Thanksgiving, so that I can have my family at all the future Thanksgivings’ to come.
And I know I’m not alone in that.
The Greater Ashland Beacon asked our readers how they would be safely spending this holiday, here were your responses:
Debbie Brown said since her husband has had a double lung transplant recently, they will be celebrating Thanksgiving at a safe distance, by dividing their sunroom with their kids, while they are in the main part of the house, all masked and socially distanced.
“I am cooking dinner at home to celebrate with my children,” said Brittany Eldridge. “We will not be going to visit any family this year but will FaceTime them.”
Janice Dowdy said that her family intends to cook and do a drive through and carry out for all her family members.
“Our family is all cooking our normal food but putting everything in individual serving size containers,” said Debbie Perkins Qualls. “We’re dropping off to a table in front of my sisters church one family at a time. Then once all food is dropped off one person from each family will pick up enough servings for our immediate family and take it home. Then after everyone is home, we will all get on zoom to be together.”
For all of our readers and all of our community, The Greater Ashland Beacon would like to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Editor, The Greater Ashland Beacon