It's my first Thanksgiving spent away from home. I was working on Thursday so co-workers who have husbands and wives and kids and families could spend time with them. Also, so I could get holiday pay. But mostly the first.
However, I didn't have to completely give up the Thanksgiving feast. Our meteorologist, and local celebrity, Scott Lewis hosts an annual treat for NewsWatch 12ers: The Orphan Dinner. Anyone who is working or can't travel home can have a homecooked meal at Scott and his wife's house. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberries, pies, wine (I ate all but one of these. Which one was it?) It was fantastic to have the traditional dinner with friends and co-workers. I appreciated it, and I'm sure my family did, too.
But I had to stuff myself quickly before heading to work. It was just hours before Black Friday started and many were trying to get a head start on the savings. At Best Buy, camping out for 36 hours didn't mean they had to give up Thanksgiving dinner. Then I scrambled to get the first doorbusting deal-finders at Toys R Us. Then Black Friday began for real, at midnight at Best Buy. There were good samaritans warming up the masses with free coffee. And the mall saw one of it's busiest, buslting days of the year.
All those stories were shot, written, and edited between 4pm and 5am.
Then I went home. Exhausted. And sick.
I woke up Friday feeling far from 100%. It had been a long week. I was on call and was brought in for breaking news twice, staying awake for 24 straight hours and 22 straight hours. I called in sick on Friday.
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Though I had to work on Thanksgiving, I was thankful.
Thankful to have a solid job that I love.
Thankful to have a place to live, food to eat, and health.
Thankful to have a place to go when I'm 300 miles from home.
Thankful to have a corps of friends, near and far, with warm wishes.
Thankful to have a family that built me up to chase my dreams to another state.
Thankful to have a family that gives me the freedom to be away.
Thankful to have a family to come home to on the weekend.