Thanksgiving every year gives all of us a time to sit back and reflect on all we are thankful for. I remember our “Friendsgiving” after Hurricane Irma, thrown by our friends in the shattered perfectly beautiful mess of Indigo Grill, doing just that back in 2017. Looking around at our friends, an oasis amidst the destruction – though much improved by the fruits of our labor and so many others – so thankful for all we had instead of focused on all we had lost. So here we are again, in 2020 in the throws of another century level event, and I find myself once again so very reflective, and so very thankful. COVID has caused unbelievable and unspeakable grief, hardships, struggles, but this time it’s not just in our islands, it’s spread across the entire globe. As I continue, please know I am not blind to this. And our lives have been greatly affected by every aspect of it. But as I respect the threat of the virus, I also make the conscious decision to choose to focus on what I can be thankful for and the lessons I have learned throughout 2020.
2020 has caused us great hardships, but it has also given us so much because challenges offer the opportunity for growth. In May, 3 weeks early under duress, we welcomed our first child, a healthy baby boy, Thatcher “Thatch” James Hanson. While COVID caused our charter calendar to clear, it also allowed Colin to be home with me at the end of my pregnancy and the beginning parts of Thatch’s life and share in some precious moments he would not have been able to share had life been “normal”. 2020 gave us opportunity to spend more time with all of our family (Randall, Cargill, and Hanson), and really grow those relationships. Thatch was able to meet and play with his cousins and I was able to find my place with my Sitka family. We are thankful for personal growth in many ways, thankful for our friends that are family and thankful for so many simple things. We are thankful for our changed perspectives in life and grateful for our health. We realize the gravity of the time that we are living in and are so grateful for all that we have, and that includes all of you. Our guests are all such wonderful and loving people and we are thankful for you. So, I have to ask… What are you thankful for? What is your silver lining? What lessons has 2020 taught you?
As I close, I would like to end with a realization that hit me as I wrote this blog entry. After Irma, I would hear many of us, myself included, looking back fondly on pre-Irma days wistfully thinking “we didn’t know how good we had it”. Now in our COVID era, I hear us saying that again about our pre-COVID world, thinking we didn’t know how good we had it, missing those days for a variety of reasons. So, I am struck with a realization. We never know what the next day, year, decade etc may bring, so let’s do all we can to appreciate all the here and now has to offer. All the gifts that today brings – even if they are in a weird world that feels abnormal.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope that where ever you are, you are safe, and able to be thankful. God Bless you, be well and we look forward to seeing you soon and having happy times on the high seas together oh so soon!!!