The McKendree family thought of a careful way to have a socially distant Thanksgiving dinner.
The pandemic had made it extremely difficult for their family to see each other. They missed several major moments, but this holiday, Lynda and George McKendree were determined to create a careful system so that everyone could enjoy--even if they were 6 feet apart.
The McKendree’s do Thanksgiving every year.
“Get it all on time--that’s always my thing,” George McKendree said.
This year, while the menu also stayed the same, the protocol did not.
“I’m the one that kind of had this brainstorm, ‘Is there a way to do it safely?’” Lynda McKendree said.
After missing Easter because of the pandemic, the couple was determined to find a way to bring everyone together so that they could all find comfort and joy with family.
“We did go ahead and rent 8-foot tables because we wanted them to be a little more spread out,” Lynda McKendree said.
Wearing masks inside, directing traffic flow in and out of the kitchen and limiting groups of people going inside were some house rules this year.
“The gloves are right there to the right,” Lynda McKendree said to another guest looking to fill their plate.
Soon, the backyard was filled with stories and laughter. Each family was seated together and distanced from other families.
”Weather was on our side,” Lynda McKendree said smiling.
Guests said they felt comfortable and were pleased with the precaution.
“I think it’s beautiful, and I think we can really keep up with the masks,” Ren Gilder said.
For everyone there, it was about sharing an experience together.
“It takes the edge off of all of the sadness going on right now when you’re with people that you love,” said Lynda’s mother Cheryl Tolbert.
In this socially-distanced Thanksgiving, they welcomed loved ones.
“I don’t have my family here, but I’m grateful to have them welcome me,” said friend Courtney Ervin.
“It just means so much,” said the host’s sister Kim Sexton.
Sexton traveled from Ohio to be there, seeing her family for the first time in months.
“Talk about good times and stories. I know it’s a good time to be here,” she said.
As a family, they shared a new 20/20 perspective. They were all grateful for many things.
“I’m thankful I kept a job this whole time,” one guest said.
“Being healthy, to be honest,” Ervin said.
“I’m thankful for my family first and foremost,” Lynda McKendree said.
“At least we can talk. We can see each other...Family is so important. I can’t say that enough,” George McKendree said.