I think holidays are particularly rough on the military community. Being geographically separated from family can be tough, especially if your loved one is deployed and you're unable to travel and be with your family.
My husband and I usually drive or fly to be with our families during the holidays. That's always nice, but we've rarely been within 500 miles of our family, so we generally return exhausted from the whole planes, trains and automobiles experience. Due to a heavy travel schedule this fall, I just wanted to relax in my own home with my husband this Thanksgiving. The thought of packing yet another suitcase was not a comforting one. So, this Thanksgving, it was just the two of us (and Max).
There was no real plan. We would both catch up on some work, get the Christmas decorations out and up and just chill. Heavenly.... Beyond heavenly.
But sometime around noon I realized that other than the fat stack of flyers advertising the Black Friday specials and the Macy's parade on the television, it didn't feel much like Thanksgiving at all and I began to wonder if we shouldn't have sucked it up and drove the six and a half hours to be with family. Insult to injury, I had little in the way of groceries so there wasn't a lot to snack on during the football games. I had attempted to go grocery shopping a couple of days before Thanksgiving, but one look at the parking lot made me perform a quick u-turn and peel out of there, leaving a thick trail of burning rubber behind me. I just didn't feel like going to fisticuffs with some crazed woman in the grocery store over that last can of whipped cream on the shelf, among other things. Plus, my husband and I had already decided that we would eat out on Thanksgiving, so it wasn't vital that I shop beforehand.
On Thursday, I had a crazy thought - wonder if the grocery store is open on Thanksgiving Day? If so, I could go grab a few items. A phone call confirmed the store was indeed open, but they would be closing in one hour. I grabbed my handbag, kissed my husband and dashed out the door.
When I arrived at the store, I drove around the parking lot trying to decide which parking space I wanted to claim, because I had my pick. Never.Happened.Before. After I picked THE best spot, I entered a very quiet grocery store. I walked up and down four aisles before I even saw another person. Bliss. Bliss, I tell you!
While I was enjoying the run of the grocery store, it came to me. Why not have Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins'? I'm in the grocery store, after all. It's only 2:40 and there is plenty of time left. I doubled back down the aisles and grabbed everything I needed for a scrumptious Thanksgiving Day meal. Well, everything except the Turkey. They were frozen and I didn't have time to thaw them out. The deli helped me out with some yummy maple glazed, honey ham. That would work just fine.
I pulled into the garage with a trunk full of groceries and marched in the house to find my husband and Max lounging on the sofa.
We're having Thanksgiving dinner here, in our home. We're not going out. I'm cooking. All the trimmings, too. Oh, and we're eating at 6:00 so if you're hungry, you better grab a snack.
Do we have a snack to grab?
We do now.
How many people were at the grocery store?
Only me and a couple of other losers slackers.
Then I raved and raved about how this was the most incredible grocery shopping experience I've ever had. Then I got to work on the green beans, carrot casserole, my mom's stuffing recipe, rolls and prepping the ham for baking. Things were looking up and I just know Mr. Andi was thinking how fortunate he was to have a wife who is always prepared and never has to rush out at the last minute resourceful.
Dinner was yummy. I was feeling so spontaneous that I even broke out the insanely expensive bottle of wine that we've been hoarding forever. Life is short.
I'm already looking forward to Christmas because I know that I can knock out my grocery shopping for the month of January on Christmas Day. In fact, I'm starting a new tradition - all of my shopping will be conducted on the day of [Insert Holiday].
While you uber-prepared pre-planners are elbowing your way through the grocery store and standing in hour-long lines, I'll be at home far away from the chaos. Then, I'll just calmly drive to the grocery store on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day or Memorial Day, pick up what I need, dash home and make it all look seamless.
Yep, that's the plan.
I've always preferred that planning and preparedness stuff, but I'm beginning to think I had it all wrong. Preparedness is sometimes overrated.