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During the fall of ’94 or ‘95, I was living in an apartment in Dallas, taking a couple of classes, waiting tables at Macaroni Grill, and – for a short time – working at Tom Thumb grocery store as a night stocker.

As I look back on it now, I realize how ridiculous was the schedule. It was typical for me to work a dinner shift at the Grill, drive straight to Tom Thumb, work from midnight ‘til eight in the morning, go home for a brief sleep, and then on to class. It was crazy.

On the day before Thanksgiving of that year, I worked this schedule. After a dinner shift at the grill, and a full night of slinging groceries, I left work at eight AM and was discharged into the sunny morning of an empty city.

It was a holiday, so there was no commuting traffic. Everything was closed. Everyone was at home sleeping or perhaps beginning preparations for the meal to come. I was wide awake, still wired from a night of physical activity, and not ready to go home.

My regular route home passed by the Don Carter bowling alley, and knowing it was open 24/7/365, I turned into the parking lot. It was a huge parking lot, and on this morning it had exactly one car. I parked and went inside. There was just one other soul inside, and he was sitting in a chair, asleep.

I knocked on the counter to wake him and asked for shoes and a lane. He looked at me like I had lost my mind, though I can’t remember if he asked me what I was doing. I bowled one game, wished they guy behind the counter a Happy Thanksgiving, and drove on.

Every Thanksgiving since then, I have thought about that morning. Not with particular fondness, or with regret, I simply remember. But I am glad I am here and not there.

I am thankful for Stephanie, my wife, my best friend, and my partner in everything. I am thankful for Jacob and his intelligence, passion and sensitivity. I am thankful for Tobias and his energy and his enthusiasm for all things. I am thankful for Jamiee and for her time with us. I am thankful for Sarah, her sweet smile, and her good health. I am thankful for our house, our community, our church, and my work. I am thankful for today through Sunday, when I can spend my time at home with my family.

Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 06:52AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments3 Comments

Reader Comments (3)

Lovely story. the best part being at the end. Being thankful for family and time with family. those are always the best times. I like you am very thankful for my best friend Gerry and all that we are for each other .
Also thankful to hear all about you and your family . Its like having an other son and grandchildren. It would be so great to see you. But your posts and pictures of the family are great.
Take care of you and yours
Love to all
Mary Lou and Gerry
November 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lou
And we are thankful for good friends like you and Steph! We miss you guys, and we hope you are having a great time of family, fellowship, and feasting!
November 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Great post!
Side note: mmmmm....Macaroni Grill! YUMMYY!!! Lobster Ravioli - now you have me craving it. ;)
December 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDayna

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