I’d originally planned on not going home for Thanksgiving since I could only take the Friday after Thanksgiving off due to FSI’s leave policy and flying on a holiday weekend for such a short amount of time just didn’t seem like a great idea. But, when Dad got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September, I decided to go home because who knew if it might be his last and certainly it was easier to get home to Texas from DC than it would be next year coming from Frankfurt. So, I booked my Thanksgiving flight to Austin in September.
While I was home after Dad passed away, we talked about our plans for Thanksgiving and ended up deciding to spend it with family in Oklahoma City, rather than my mom and I staying home and having Thanksgiving just the two of us. Staying home or even going to Thanksgiving dinner at our church there seemed like it would just exacerbate the feeling of loss. So, I changed my flight to fly in to Dallas Love Field, which was about halfway between home and Oklahoma City. It’s a nice little airport but I hadn’t used it until I flew back to DC after Dad’s funeral since, for quite a long time, the Wright amendment had limited flights out of Love Field to just a few states. However, that restriction was lifted in October, and there’s now a non-stop flight on Southwest between Love Field and Washington’s National airport. I was worried that snow on the east coast would cause problems with my flight, but it went smoothly and Mom picked me up there on the way to Oklahoma City and away we went.
We stayed at my grandmother’s house there in Oklahoma City, which had recently been nearly emptied out in an estate sale (my grandmother passed away in 2009), so sleeping arrangements were creative involving recliners, air mattresses, and such. In an unexpected wrinkle, my aunt and uncle who’d planned on hosting family for Thanksgiving dinner had just moved houses and unfortunately their oven self destructed instead of self-cleaned so we ended up going out for Thanksgiving dinner and then back to their house to visit afterward. It was still a little weird to me to not have Dad there, but it was really good to spend it with family and I’m glad we went.
The day after Thanksgiving, we joined my aunt and uncle, cousins and their kids at the horse race track in Oklahoma City and visited some more. I didn’t make any bets, but it was fun to watch the horses race. Then, on Saturday, we went to the Oklahoma City Science Center, which we used to go to frequently when I was younger. It was fun to see the new exhibits as well as some favorites from my childhood.
On Sunday, we packed back up and headed down to Dallas where Mom dropped me off for my flight home which fortunately also went smoothly. So, all in all a successful Thanksgiving! It was definitely a little difficult to not have Dad there but I had a good time and it was great to spend it with family. :)