Marchers come from across the country on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to peacefully march to the Supreme Court steps.
Marchers come from across the country on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade to peacefully march to the Supreme Court steps.
Dozens of anti-abortion activists curled into a fetal positions on the ground outside the White House on Wednesday just as the snow began to fall on the eve of the Roe v. Wade anniversary.
With rioting in Ferguson, Mo., U.S. troops going to the Middle East to fight the Islamic State group and nuclear negotiations in Iran not going as well as he hoped for, how did the president justify taking time to “pardon” a turkey Wednesday?
 
 
 

Semester in Washington Intern Blog

Jan 23, 2015

By Jose Soto

WASHINGTON – On my third week as an intern reporter with the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, the March for Life, the leading anti-abortion movement in the country, proceeded through the streets of Washington.

I covered the event alongside Latinos X La Vida, an organization that aims to educate the Latino community about the reality of abortion and create leaders who can expand the understanding of preventive measure such as chastity. As a Latino myself, I was excited to talk with them.

Obviously, I knew that the main concern here was abortion and the anti-abortion stance of LXLV. I knew I would be listening to statements of advocacy. Surprisingly, I also was made aware of other underlying issues surround it.

I was pleased to have interviewed three leading individuals in the LXLV organization. They were extremely humble and amiable. As the interviews progressed, I noticed that they were assimilating other issues into the equation. Those issues included unfair wages, underfunded public schools, quarantined sectors of cities designed for poor communities and circumstances, such as single-parent households and poor financial assistance, that lessens the possibility of ever moving out. They also spoke about abortion violating male civil rights, which, quite honestly, never dawned on me as part of the anti-abortion movement. The group drew my curiosity.

The group addressed the issue of having abortions and health clinics mainly in low-income neighborhoods. This, they said, created the illusion that there is always help around the corner instead of teaching the community the realistic nature of unprotected sex, and what they say is the harmful effects an abortion has on a woman’s body. LXLV said that this is stripping away the education and empowerment of a community.

Interviewing some of the members of LXLV made me realize that writing my story would entail more than abortion but also the circumstances.

Aurora Tinajero, 66, director of Spanish Ministry for the Catholic Committee of North Texas, spoke at the inauguration conference for LXLV. She said in an interview that people are “victimized” by abortion clinics because they don’t fully explain in detail the effect it will have on the body.

Education, without doubt, is one of the most powerful tools toward improving any social issue. That perhaps is the key here. Overall, education would produce well-informed individuals who could compare and contrast their circumstances to make a decision about what is best for them.

 

Jan 23, 2015

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Catholic schools from across the country brought students to participate in the march. The teenagers were enthusiastic and excited to be in the nation’s capital making a stand against abortion. SHFWire photo by Alicia AlvarezClick on photo to enlarge or download: Catholic schools from across the country brought students to participate in the march. The teenagers were enthusiastic and excited to be in the nation’s capital making a stand against abortion. SHFWire photo by Alicia AlvarezBy Alicia Alvarez

My generation in Guatemala is the product of a civil war. The one before us, our parents, was told to stay quiet and keep their heads down because of fear of political retaliation. I’ve noticed we’re the opposite.

Some of my professors, whether it was at school or at the university, have expressed their desire for us to break the silence, to deal with things as they happen and to scream loud and clear where we stand and why. The country, however, is still run by the other generation, the one who would  rather keep things under the rug.

My father grew up in that hostile environment, where things like the Death Squad, a military unit that made dissidents disappear, and the guerilla soldiers were real. He tried to raise us in a way so that my sisters and I would be safe. We never went to marches and never engaged in any political activities. It all made sense because that had been his and his friends’ survival method when they were my age.

The March for Life was an amazing catharsis. It made me realize I had only stood for what I believed in  the written word.

The participants are passionate people who are not afraid to take a stand for what they believe in. Some even travel a long way from home just to make their point. What struck me the most, though, was the number of teenagers and young adults in the crowd. They were loud and charismatic and waved their signs proudly.

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Enthusiastic marchers chant all the way from National Mall to the Supreme Court while holding posters that defend the right to life. SHFWire photo by Alicia AlvarezClick on photo to enlarge or download: Enthusiastic marchers chant all the way from National Mall to the Supreme Court while holding posters that defend the right to life. SHFWire photo by Alicia AlvarezThere were a lot of families there, as well. Most of the parents I spoke with were proud to have their kids with them, to show them that it was all right to fight for something they truly believe in. The children looked proud to be there, too. While they did not know the chants, they held their signs and posed for photos.

It all led me to a sad conclusion; it doesn’t matter how many times my generation in Guatemala says freedom of speech has gone a long way.

Events like the March for Life, which happens annually, and other type of pacific protests are not accepted. Somehow, we always hear that something happened, whether it was a police intervention or destruction of private property. We still have a long way to go.

If my generation decides to make its  voice really loud, I hope we can show the next one that it’s all right to believe in something, but it’s even better to stand up for it.

 

Jan 23, 2015

Click on photo to enlarge or download: St. Johns College High School student Molly Kenberg, 14, of Bethesda, Md., attends Mass with her classmates. After the Mass, marchers left to start the March for Life at the National Mall. SHFWire photo by Tori KnuevenClick on photo to enlarge or download: St. Johns College High School student Molly Kenberg, 14, of Bethesda, Md., attends Mass with her classmates. After the Mass, marchers left to start the March for Life at the National Mall. SHFWire photo by Tori KnuevenBy Tori Knueven

In news you are taught to never use a cliché, but I am going to go against all my teachings when I describe my experience at the March for Life: Déjà vu.

The anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, Jan. 22, was eerily similar to a day exactly seven years in the past.

I got up at an hour too early for spoken word. I went to the Verizon Center and listened to music while the arena filled to the brim, saw a Mass that had an exorbitant number of priests, quickly choked down lunch and finished my day on Capitol Hill.

The major difference is I actually live here now and don’t have to suffer the eight-hour bus ride back to Cincinnati that arrives just in time for school to start the next day.

There might be a few more differences to the day, but the march seemed very similar to a person who went from participant to spectator.

I was in the center of it all Thursday in the Verizon Center instead of being in the nosebleed seats. I talked to teenagers who were passionate about the anti-abortion movement because they were adopted, believed that all life is sacred or, in one case, because he got service hours at school for attending the march.

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Students hold “#iStand4Life” posters Thursday before Mass at the Verizon Center. The center, which can hold 28,000 people, was nearly full. SHFWire photo by Tori KnuevenClick on photo to enlarge or download: Students hold “#iStand4Life” posters Thursday before Mass at the Verizon Center. The center, which can hold 28,000 people, was nearly full. SHFWire photo by Tori KnuevenI talked to people with opposing viewpoints. A group of pro-abortion rights supporters stood at the steps of the Supreme Court. I interviewed one as the group left the march after showcasing their own signs devoted to keeping abortion legal.

I did not learn the “Catholic dance” at the previous youth rally mass. The dance, set to “Larger Than Life” by the Backstreet Boys, involved clapping, wild arm movements and turning to the side. I think I would have remembered such dancing to that and Katy Perry before Mass with the cardinal of Washington.

There was no need for hand warmers this year. In fact, I almost didn’t need a coat as I ran along the march trying to get as many pictures as possible.

I enjoyed both experiences and was happy to have my previous march to help me. Even though there was a lot of déjà vu, I think I learned more from my interactions and interviews the second time around.

 

 

Jan 21, 2015

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Marine One lands Wednesday morning on the South Lawn of the White House to transport President Barack Obama to Idaho. This marks the 47th state Obama has been to as president and the first time he’s been to Idaho since taking office. SHFWire photo by Jordan Gass-PooréClick on photo to enlarge or download: Marine One lands Wednesday morning on the South Lawn of the White House to transport President Barack Obama to Idaho. This marks the 47th state Obama has been to as president and the first time he’s been to Idaho since taking office. SHFWire photo by Jordan Gass-PooréBy Jordan Gass-Pooré

WASHINGTON –  Hours after delivering the State of the Union speech to the Republican-led Congress, President Barack Obama left D.C. for Idaho Wednesday morning to promote his plans for strengthening the country’s middle class.

Some of the plans Obama will discuss during his two-day trip to conservative-leaning Idaho and Kansas are those he outlined in his State of the Union address.

Among these plans is a proposal for a tax increase on the wealthy to help pay for programs for the middle class.

This is Obama’s first time in Idaho as president. From Boise, he will head to Lawrence, Kan.

I was at the White House to cover another event, but was allowed to go outside for Obama’s departure. 

I was literally almost blown away by the gust of wind created by Marine One’s propellers as it landed on the South Lawn. I was lucky to have left my gloves at home because if my hands weren’t grasping the camera for whatever warmth it produced I could have easily dropped it.

Other members of the press didn’t appear to be impressed by the light snowflakes that floated down while we waited for the president to board the helicopter. Although I had left my jacket in the press room and wore flats, I couldn’t help but twirl a few times in the short-lived snow fall. For a Texan like me, it was a snowstorm.

Then the president came out of the White House and the magic of the snow was lost. He walked speedily across the lawn into the helicopter.

I could only make out the president’s profile, and I didn’t see him wave, which was what I was expecting because of movies I’ve seen. 

When the helicopter took off, I was prepared. Maybe next time I’ll listen to the advice of a some of the photographers and wear boots and a scarf.

Click on photo to enlarge or download: President Barack Obama steps inside Marine One on Wednesday morning on the South Lawn of the White House. Obama is en route to Idaho to promote his economic plans. SHFWire photo by Jordan Gass-PooréClick on photo to enlarge or download: President Barack Obama steps inside Marine One on Wednesday morning on the South Lawn of the White House. Obama is en route to Idaho to promote his economic plans. SHFWire photo by Jordan Gass-Pooré

Jan 21, 2015

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Members of the press eagerly await their entrance to the House of Representatives press gallery Tuesday for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Tickets were required. SHFWire photo by Allison KiteClick on photo to enlarge or download: Members of the press eagerly await their entrance to the House of Representatives press gallery Tuesday for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Tickets were required. SHFWire photo by Allison KiteBy Allison Kite

It is still impossible to believe that I attended the State of the Union address and sat in the press gallery Tuesday night.

I knew it would be an amazing event, but I didn’t realize what a unique opportunity it would turn out to be. I watched President Barack Obama walk into the room, and I wasn’t completely convinced it was real.

The Capitol was buzzing with seasoned reporters and officials eagerly awaiting the remarks of the president. I’ve never felt so underqualified in my life.

When Obama started to address the crowd, I noticed something I wasn’t quite prepared for: the stark differences in applause between the two sides of the aisle. The Democrats stood and applauded the president 37 times, but Republicans stood with them only 16 times. They sat when Democrats applauded health care, and several other Democrat-championed ideas.

However, they applauded when the president thanked the military and touted the work of first lady Michelle Obama and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, to help veterans get jobs.

My favorite humanizing moment occurred when Obama said he had no more campaigns to run. Michelle Obama applauded loudly and enthusiastically. It spoke to the degree of difficulty inherent in being part of the president’s family.

The experience was one I likely won’t forget, and I hope to do it again soon.

Jan 21, 2015

Click on photo to enlarge or download: The U.S. Capitol just hours before President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. SHFWire photo by Sean McMinnClick on photo to enlarge or download: The U.S. Capitol just hours before President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. SHFWire photo by Sean McMinn

By Sean McMinn

There’s no doubt that politicians, parties and pundits in this town can make one of Washington’s oldest traditions a partisan affair, but being at the State of the Union this year provided an excellent viewpoint to see exactly how far that can go.

The takeaway? Nothing is sacred.

Take, for example, the common-sense idea that responses to the speech should come after the speech. Sitting at home, we might think members of Congress watch the President Barack Obama’s address, collect their thoughts and then provide interviews and electronic statements to the press.

But in the lead up to the speech, it was no secret that members – or their staffs – had already started pumping out “responses” – without even knowing what the president was about to say. Issued under embargo, on the condition that media wouldn’t report them until later in the evening, they ignored what the president had to say and stuck to predetermined talking points.

Of course, maybe it didn’t matter whether the responses came before or after the address anyway. That would matter only if you assume members of Congress listen to and care about what the president has to say.

Watching from the press gallery, it was easy to tell that for many representatives and senators, listening to the speech was secondary to playing up their partisan bona fides. There were those on the Democratic side of the aisle who were determined to stand, applaud, hoot and holler for what seemed to be every other sentence the president said. And there were some on the other side of the aisle slouched in their seats, applauding only for mentions of the military, or if everyone else did.

And yet, if listening to the speech wasn’t important, maybe that’s because what the president had to say isn’t going to matter very much in the long term.

There’s an argument to be made the speech itself was just another chance to score political points – this year as an appeal to Obama’s base – not an offer to compromise on big issues the country faces. He doubled down on veto threats and proposed expanding government in areas such as higher education, medicine and child care. He laid out a plan to increase taxes on the super wealthy and cut taxes for the middle class.

The left-of-center policies he spent much of the night pushing made it seem as if the midterms never happened.

After the speech, everyone went out to fill their assigned rolls. Members of Congress stuck to their talking points in Statuary Hall, partisan commentators went on TV to push their side’s narrative and leaders talked about their hope for what’s become the great theory of bipartisanship. 

And we’ll all do it again next year.

Dec 16, 2014

 Click on photo to enlarge or download: Ambassador Robinson Githae chats with Ambassador Donald Teitlebaum, deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of African Affairs at the State Department. The U.S. was one of the first countries to set up a diplomatic office following Kenya’s independence in 1963. SHFWire photo by Rocky AsutsaClick on photo to enlarge or download: Ambassador Robinson Githae chats with Ambassador Donald Teitlebaum, deputy assistant secretary in the bureau of African Affairs at the State Department. The U.S. was one of the first countries to set up a diplomatic office following Kenya’s independence in 1963. SHFWire photo by Rocky AsutsaBy Rocky Asutsa

Kenya’s Ambassador to the U.S. Robinson Githae pledged to ensure the interests of Kenyans living in the U.S. He made that promise during celebrations to mark 51 years of Kenya’s independence at the ambassador’s residence in Maryland, affectionately called Kenya House.

“During my tenure, I hope to work closely with you to ensure that your interests are well represented, that you are well facilitated and that the full benefit of Kenya’s hardworking, enterprising, well-educated and patriotic diaspora is felt back at home,” Githae said.

The celebration attracted 200 Kenyans from all walks of life living in the Washington area. These included students and professionals. The crowd also featured friends of Kenya. The occasion helped some of them learn a few things about Kenya.

“I was reminded today that Lupita comes from Kenyan parents. Also, she was born in Mexico. I was also reminded of President Barack Obama’s ancestry. It was nice to see pictures of his visit to Kenya.” Dawne Young, a marketing and media consultant, said.

Lupita Nyong'o is a  Kenyan-Mexican  actress famous for her role in the film “12 Years a Slave.” She won an academy award for best supporting actress for her role and has been named the most beautiful woman by People magazine.

“The ambience was good. Enjoy great food and good company. I had a chance to meet people I hadn’t seen in a long while,” Kwamboka Omwenda, A U.N. Foundation staff member, said.

The party featured a band playing Kenyan music. Guests included ambassadors and the dean of the diplomatic corps.

Click on photo to enlarge or download: Ali Badawy, a Kenyan living in D.C., left, Kwamboka Omwenga, U.N. Foundation staff, and Bernadette Francis a Tanzanian national, share a meal during the Kenyan independence day celebration. They said a move toward the diaspora vote is welcome. SHFWire photo by Rocky AsutsaClick on photo to enlarge or download: Ali Badawy, a Kenyan living in D.C., left, Kwamboka Omwenga, U.N. Foundation staff, and Bernadette Francis a Tanzanian national, share a meal during the Kenyan independence day celebration. They said a move toward the diaspora vote is welcome. SHFWire photo by Rocky Asutsa“It was very enjoyable. I thought it was an engaging speech. It is key for the development of Kenya to engage other world powers, not just the U.S.,” Richard Brennan, an international business development consultant, said. “I always love kachumbari and nyama choma.”

Kachumbari is the Kenyan version of salsa, and nyama choma is roast beef.

The ambassador urged Kenyans in the U.S.to register and apply for new-generation national identity cards. This will help to ensure they will be able to vote in the 2017 elections. He noted that more U.S. firms are investing in Kenya. 

“I will endeavor to work closely with business organizations to ensure that even more Kenyan products enter the U.S. market and conversely, more U.S. firms join Coca-Cola, General Electric, Google, IBM, Proctor and Gamble and Honeywell, who have invested in Kenya,” Githae said.

 

Dec 11, 2014

By Lorain Watters

It’s a Saturday evening, and the year is 2072.

Lounging in my anti-gravity chair, I hold up my hand and watch the home screen of my communicator materialize out of thin air. The words “what would you like to do” appear on this opaque surface, ready to compute any desire I have.

I feel particularly productive. Nonchalantly, I say, “Laundry, order pizza and buy my mom a birthday present.”

My communicator displays “processing requests” and within minutes, a wash bot whirrs past with a bag of dirty laundry.

“Bing!” The oven goes off, and I smell pepperoni and sausage wafting from the kitchen. My communicator pings, bringing up a list of possible birthday presents for my mom. Sifting through the list, I pick one, approve the purchase and see – via a live cam – a gift bot deliver the present to my mom’s door.

As I close my hand, the screen disappears with a “whoosh,” and I make my way to the kitchen for dinner.

Sound a little far-fetched? Maybe it is. But if we look at where we are today, the science-fiction feel of the scenario may not be a thing of the distant future.  

The so-called sharing economy, in which people are sharing goods and services with each other via their mobile devices, is booming, and fast. Although it may be peer-to-peer now, the advances in technology will turn the sharing economy into one driven by technology, more so than what we have today.

If you need to get somewhere but don’t feel like overpaying for a taxi or waiting in 20-degree weather for a bus, you can order a ride with Uber or Lyft from your mobile app.

Always wanted to see that one Broadway show, but don’t have enough money to pay for a hotel? Airbnb lets you, essentially, couch surf with a host.

Craving authentic Mexican food? You can order food on Feastly, and someone will make you a home-cooked Mexican dish that you can eat in the chef’s home when it’s ready.

If you’re getting tired of your American friends and want to talk to someone more exotic, Wayfare lets you do just that. The app will let you talk to people across the globe, eventually leading to meet-ups in other countries.

All of these possibilities for new cultural experiences and new friendships can happen with your smartphone as the medium, which is great. But what happens when the feeling of experiencing something new begins to fade and people keep expecting the immediacy and ease of acquiring goods and services?

Earlier this year, the Nielsen Company asked people on the Internet what they thought of the sharing economy and got 30,000 responses from around the globe. Sixty-eight  percent said they would like to participate in the sharing economy. Whether food, transportation or doing laundry, people are adopting this new mentality of “sharing is caring.”

Despite this seemingly positive outlook for humanity finally getting the gist of what it means to share, it may end up proving more difficult than intended.

Taxi companies have already seen a decline in profits and revenues because of Uber and Lyft in San Francisco. Apartment complexes in New York have tried to prevent the growth of what they deem illegal hotels with the rise of Airbnb.

On top of this, data is gathered on everyone who uses these sharing services, raising privacy concerns. That happened when an Uber executive threatened to track journalists.

John Breyault, National Consumers League vice president, said these sharing services provide a sense of immediacy. Consumers are slowly accepting this as a norm, which is “unrealistic.”

Having the ability to attain anything we want at the touch of our fingertips can seem like a good thing, but the farther we go down that proverbial rabbit hole, the easier it will be to forget why these services started in the first place.

Instead of sharing goods peer-to-peer to experience the culture, the sharing economy will eventually become an economy in which physical interaction won’t be necessary anymore.

Society has already thought about and created easier ways to get things done – building drones and robots to fight wars, delivering packages, driving cars, dispensing cash and greeting guests at hotels.

These sharing services are not about sharing as much as they are to strengthen the dependency on technology. The future of that dependency is inevitable, and as long as technology continues to advance – in an attempt to make life easier for everyone – we will live life the same way we organize our Netflix queues. 

 

Dec 4, 2014

Click on photo to enlarge or download: A group of reporters gathers in front of the Blue Room where the official White House Christmas tree stands 18 feet tall and nearly 12 feet wide. SHFWire photo by Kara MasonClick on photo to enlarge or download: A group of reporters gathers in front of the Blue Room where the official White House Christmas tree stands 18 feet tall and nearly 12 feet wide. SHFWire photo by Kara Mason By Kara Mason

The theme for this year’s White House decorations is “A Children’s Winter Wonderland.” But as I walked through the front door of the president’s home Wednesday afternoon for the media’s preview of the decorations, I discovered it was a winter wonderland for me, too. 

Twenty-six Christmas trees can be seen throughout the tour – including the massive 18 foot official tree in the Blue Room. There’s a huge gingerbread White House replica, countless wreaths and mechanical statues of first dogs Bo and Sunny.

There’s also the smell. The entire house smells like gingerbread and pine. First lady Michelle Obama said they could even smell it upstairs, where the family lives. It’s worthy of a Yankee Candle scent. 

For anybody who loves the holidays as much as I do, it’s definitely a winter wonderland. But I was experiencing it with a sea of other journalists, which was the icing on the cake, or Christmas cookie as it would be.  

Everybody was buzzing around taking photos and interviewing the volunteers as quickly as they could before racing off to the next elaborately decorated room. For a young journalist, it’s the most stimulating and inspiring environment.

Before being escorted to the decorations, journalists, photographers and cameramen lined up outside of the briefing room, and somehow I found myself next to NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

In short, I’m a huge fan and was not cool about us meeting at all. I didn’t even say anything to her until we were being escorted out of the White House. I had no idea what to say to my idol.

“So, I’m an intern and I love your work,” I told her. “I listen to you every day.”

Yep, not cool at all. Probably the least cool I could have been.

We ended up talking for a few minutes over sugar cookies and cider outside of the White House.

I walked out through the gates after one of the most amazing Washington experiences in my time here: Being able to cover the holidays with people I idolize in a place that is amazing to begin with.

 

Dec 4, 2014

 Click on photo to enlarge or download: Rocky Asutsa, daring the snow to hit him like African hailstones, during a brief snow shower in D.C SHFWire photo by Wesley JuhlClick on photo to enlarge or download: Rocky Asutsa, daring the snow to hit him like African hailstones, during a brief snow shower in D.C SHFWire photo by Wesley JuhlBy Rocky Asutsa

The past week has been eventful, and that’s putting it lightly. I made a turkey delivery, covered a protest, dared the snow, had my first Thanksgiving, and saved a bundle on Black Friday. But this was not all with one swing, and I almost got away unscathed.

It started with coverage of protests over the grand jury decision in Ferguson. Mo. Listening to the anger and frustration in the protesters’ voices was depressing.

Most of the protesters were young people, some in high school, across the racial divide. However, the upside was that they had suggestions for a way forward.

Then Thanksgiving came, and I remembered what one protester said: “There’s nothing to be thankful for.”

In my two months here, I’ve made some friends, and so I had two, wait, three of them invite me over for Thanksgiving dinner. No, I’m not that popular, at least not yet. On Thanksgiving eve I got a message from another friend who was going through a rough time. The news made my momentum toward a Thanksgiving crawl fizzle out. I couldn’t see myself going out and having a blast knowing someone else was having it rough.

So I spent the better part of Thanksgiving at home, brooding. Reading of terror attacks back home in Kenya didn’t help. But then I came across an article detailing the origin of Thanksgiving and in particular a quote from Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation on March 30, 1863:

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.”

What was remarkable is that the announcement came in the midst of the U.S. Civil War! The history reminded me of the reason for the season. So I went out and had my first experience of an American Thanksgiving, complete with turkey and cranberry sauce. The family I dined with reminded me of my family back in Kenya – loud and fun-loving. Everyone had a story to tell, including their 90-year old nana, who told me all about her efforts toward making the crosswalks safer for seniors in Montgomery County, Md., just outside of Washington. The conversations were lively, and time flew.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a turkey experience that sent me to Red Hot and Blue in Lansdowne Center in Kingstowne, two train rides away to the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, Va. I had ordered a turkey to donate toward a Thanksgiving dinner for homeless people here in D.C. In my eagerness I had not seen that the turkey needed to be delivered hot and ready to serve. On the Friday before the dinner, I got an email reminder with “hot and ready” written in bold. After frantic back and forth emails and consulting, I placed an order for a precooked one and managed to deliver a 12-pound turkey in time. Phew!

As I settled back to my apartment after Thanksgiving dinner, I recounted the events of the day and was then reminded of "black Friday."

It comes the day after Thanksgiving. There are a number of stories about how it got the name. One is that in the rush to get deals, people would cause traffic accidents and even become violent. Another is that, in business terms, the day officially ushers  consumers into the Christmas shopping season and moves retailers’ accounts from the red to the black - loss to profit. 

I was curious to see this played out, especially after calls by some to boycott black Friday.

Thankfully, I managed to get a new camera unscathed and saved a ton in the process. But then, I  picked up a cold.

As I nursed my cold, I wondered if it was related to my first snowfall experience earlier in the week. I have since apologized for being unable to make it to the other two invites. They understood. Not bad for a weekend. As I near the end of this program, I am thankful that I get to carry all this with me. Indeed, there’s always a reason to give thanks. Hello December.

 

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