Opinion

Kyle Troutman: Keeping it small

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The most filling four-day weekend is peeking around this week’s corner, and my scale will not appreciate it.

Thanksgiving has come quite abruptly if you ask me, but I can’t turn away from our feastly traditions and enjoying extra time with family.

This year will be different again at my abode. For many years after moving to Missouri, I served as the meeting point between my Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma family, so I got to play host.

Our shindigs range in numbers of attendees, but when all the aunts, uncles and cousins pile in, we have had about 25 or 30 people at my house.

We had so many one year, the pipes backed up. That led to an epidemic of Uncle Eddie “Christmas Vacation” impersonations for the rest of the day.

I have two extendable dining room tables, one of which was my grandpa’s and has a long history of two-day poker games, and but no matter how many tables I put up, there’s never enough seating.

The buffet for a few years had its own special location. We’d put a giant piece of plywood over the top of my pool table and fill it to the brim with any fixin’ you can think of.

The food is always amazing, but the joy of being with family, and hosting a big family event, is even better.

Last year, we decided not to hold the bounty at our house, with too many traveling and the spread of COVID being a concern. This year, while COVID is still around, we are keeping it small because we have an infant to think about.

I understood people’s concern about babies and their vulnerability before, but it’s never in perspective until you have one of your own.

Our girl has had a couple coughing bouts already at her young age, and while COVID is still an issue, I find myself much more worried about littler things like a cold or flu, or RSV, that is more likely to cause significant problems.

Keeping her safe is priority No. 1, so instead of the typical November hullabaloo, we’ll be cooking for four.

I’m a huge turkey fan and can’t wait to roast ours. My wife is a brown sugar ham gal, which I can also get behind. Our first-grader is very likely to skip the turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs and sweet potato casserole — she’s a mac-n-cheese and dinner roll kind of kid.

The baby will have to wait one more year to enjoy the flavors of the season. Hopefully she’s a little more adventurous than her sister.

As Thanksgiving passes and Christmas season is fully swinging, consider spreading some cheer and thanks whether you are in a big family or small.

The 29th through Dec. 5 is Miracle Week for the Children’s Miracle Network. The organization will be distributing “Giggle Boxes,” packages filled with toys and games, to hospitalized children with every $100 donation.

Donations during Miracle Week may go towards the Special Needs fund, family care grants, the education program, CARE Mobile, the CoxHealth Child Life Program and school-based telemedicine.

Other local donation and gift sponsor opportunities are coming locally, and we will report them in coming weeks.

From ours to yours, have a happy Thanksgiving.

Kyle Troutman has served as the editor of the Cassville Democrat since 2014. In 2017, he was named William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist for daily newspapers. He may be reached at 417-847-2610 or editor@cassville-democrat.com.

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