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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Going home for the holidays has changed a bit since a certain someone came into my life

By Megan C Tschida

December 11, 2006 | Definition of home: a house or apartment that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. For 20 years I have been calling the place where I grew up home because that is where my family lives and I love and cherish them very much. But recently there has been a person in my life who changed all that, and has turned my life around.

On the 22nd of November I traveled to Minnesota, where my family lives and where I grew up, for the thanksgiving holiday. It was a fairly nice day out and the airport was not overcrowded, which was definitely a surprise to me. Going home is always a good thing, not only to see my family, but to sleep in my childhood bed under my parent's roof. Yet sitting there at the airport I can't help feel that something was missing.

The flight felt long for a two and a half hour ride, and it always does. Both my parents picked me up and we drove to the place that I have called home in Woodbury, Minn.

"How have you been?" my mom asks.

"Fine, I guess, nothing new."

"Ya, and how is Jessee?"

"Oh, he's good," I said.

That's the typical conversation we have in the car, and then my parents tell me how my brothers and sisters have been. Getting home the first thing I yell out once in the doors is 'Sunny! Where are you?' That's when an 80-pound yellow Lab-Springer mix comes running up the stairs to greet me home. He has been our family's baby since last November, and has been my favorite since I first laid eyes on him. My dad told me about him over the phone and I got to name him, but did not get to see him for a few weeks until Thanksgiving break.

It was good to be home; tomorrow my grandparents and older brother would be over to celebrate and give thanks. One of my older brothers already lived at home, but was out with his girlfriend who just came back into town from college, and my two younger brothers and sister were home. I sat in the kitchen and looked through the fridge, after I found something to eat; I sat down and talked with my sister and parents for a while, until I felt tired and went to bed.

It was nice to sleep in my old bedroom and bed because it brought back so many memories. But still I could not help to feel like something was missing.

The next morning my mom made French toast and then we cleaned the house like every holiday or family get together. The grandparents showed up around 2 p.m. and so did my older brother. I was surprised he did not bring his girlfriend who he said I could meet.

"Bill where is your girlfriend, I thought you were going to bring her?"

"She is not my girlfriend!"

"Oh, I thought you said she was?"

"Yeah, Bill, you said you guys were going out?" my sister chimed in.

"No, I didn't, she's not coming!"

My sister and I exchanged smirks and quickly changed the subject by asking our other older brother Mike when his girlfriend Lisa was coming over.

I knew my grandmother was over when I heard "Ahh, get that dog away from me, put him outside!" from the kitchen. Sunny did not really do much except get excited that there were new people in the house and come smell and slobber all over them. But I guess an 80-pound slobbering dog running at anybody is a little scary. The problem was that she wouldn't stop complaining about the dog for the rest of the day.

Soon enough, about an hour or so later, we all sat down to eat turkey. My mom had set up four tables in a square down in the family room so we could all sit around one table. We prayed, passed all the food around and then started to eat. Sunny was put outside and would not stop barking because we were all eating and he could not get in the action. My youngest brother Jason let him in after about 10 minutes.

"David, put this dog outside!" my grandma said as Sunny sat and begged next to her.

"Niece, call the dog,'' my dad said to my mom.

"Sunny, come here."

The dog sat behind me for the rest of the meal as I slipped him some of the things on my plate.

When my plate was clean, I sat back and sighed. Looking around and noticing how well my family was getting along I smiled. All worries and misunderstandings were completely forgotten for 24 hours because we were now giving thanks for what we were given, each other. Then I remembered that something was still missing.

After cleaning up the table, two of my brothers, my sister and I sat down to play Lord of the Rings Monopoly. We stopped halfway through to eat dessert and play the card game 31 with the family, which we do just about every holiday or get together. The game came down to me and my mom, which is when I got lucky and won. After that we finished the game of Monopoly, which I also won, and said our good-byes to the grandparents.

Getting away from the family for a little bit, I went into my room, and made a call to the person that has been missing in my thank-you list for this holiday; my boyfriend who could not come home to Minnesota because he could not get off of work.

"Hey baby, how was your day?"

He is what was missing.


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