Giving Thanks All Over the Place
As I reminisce about the special dinners I’ve shared with others, I’m a little surprised. Of course, I’ve had dinner with family members, but also with my Space Shuttle crews. Once, when we were in quarantine waiting for our flight, our meal was thoughtfully prepared by Crew Quarters Dieticians. They sometimes took special requests for dessert like pie or cake. Their preparation ensured that we would remain healthy while we awaited our flight.
Dinnertime in orbit consisted of meals ready to eat prepared by the military. Meals ready to eat, or MRE’s, are also distributed after natural disasters. Such was the case in Houston after Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding that forced many people to evacuate their homes. We also ate freeze-dried packages of fruits and vegetables. The freeze-dried strawberries were a favorite and we often asked for extra packages!
Recently, one of my crews was invited for a Thanksgiving dinner with the Prince of Monaco which was spent overlooking a marina filled with beautiful yachts. I was seated right next to the Prince. I struggled to make small talk with him, but ever the consummate professional, he was quite comfortable and before long we were sharing stories about our children. What they served at that dinner was not quite like our American food or what we are used to having here traditionally—but it was delicious!
Looking back, I consider all those meals special, but I can truthfully say as Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz- “There’s no place like home!” Sharing a meal around our family table with Hoot, our children and our grandchildren is the most special place of all.
I hope that you are also able to share your Thanksgiving meal this year with your family and if not, at least with your very special friends.—Rhea
For more Thanksgiving memories from Rhea, check out these blogs and a very special Thanksgiving audiogram message: