Healthy Living: Ah, The Holidays!

Healthy Living / Christine Harness

It’s that time, once again, when we find ourselves enmeshed in the holiday spirit. Thanksgiving has come and gone with happy memories lingering on from our special Thanksgiving dinner we shared as so artistically prepared by our 20-year-old granddaughter. It was what we call “taking a long shot” when I firmly announced that I did not plan to prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year! Yes, I did have a legitimate excuse for declining the honor; my right shoulder pain has chosen to increase its intensity bringing on that much-dreaded pain preoccupation. Throughout the week, I overheard those cellphone conversations between my husband and his son: “We could just go out to a nice restaurant for dinner?” “What would you prefer we do?” It was puzzling. And then we got the word: Our granddaughter announced she planned to play chef for the day; we needed to bring only ourselves. Happy days! My maneuvering worked! The whole afternoon’s experience flowed, professionally guided and as flawless as one could hope for, as we cooks like to say, “All made from scratch.” No essential elements were omitted: the tender golden-brown bird, green beans, home-made rolls and pumpkin pie, traditional in its entirety! Our granddaughter’s ending comment: “I had no idea it would be such hard work!” I am reminded that the one critical element we must attend to early in our cooking careers is what we call “timing.” A perfect meal does not simply happen; it requires a focus of attention to just the right minutes at just the right temperatures. As we prepared to leave Bakersfield following our beautiful afternoon, I wondered what it would be like to experience shopping Thursday evening. I had never tried the Black Friday mad house ritual, but I thought maybe we could make just one stop at the Target store where that special vacuum cleaner is on special sale. My husband and I agreed if the parking lot at the store was completely full, we’d simply leave and return to the freeway and go home. Yes, we did find the parking lot full, with one remaining empty slot away in the far end of the lot, and there were no remaining empty shopping carts available. Yes, there was that huge crowd, but we walked into the store and were greeted by happy sales staff, eager to escort us to the appliance section of the store then directed us through a steadily moving maze of a line winding through seven aisles to our cashier. Wow! That was actually fun. We both agreed: we won’t mind trying that again! Happy Holidays!
Christine Harness has worked in the field of Occupational Therapy throughout her adult life, both in and outside of the Kern River Valley. She has helped countless individuals to maintain or regain their independence. Christine believes that enjoying and taking satisfaction in one’s day-to-day activities is the key to a meaningful life.