Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posted: November 19th, 2012
Empty nesters — where to gobble when kids are gone

There won’t be many pilgrims around our Thanksgiving table this year. My oldest is in Virginia and has no time off. Sniff. My daughter is going to her boyfriend’s house in central Pa. Sniff. The stepkids always have their own plans.

So my youngest Ryan is volunteering to cook dinner when he comes home from Gannon University. This should be good.

In years past, we’ve enjoyed the George clan gathering in New Castle where my sister’s husband’s family — with four generations — celebrate a Lebanese feast at a hall that holds 100 in the middle of beautiful Pearson Park in New Castle. But this year, I’m not ready to see so many families together when mine isn’t.

Being empty nesters is all about adapting. Nearly every holiday will change, but it’s OK. It’s changed before. I hosted up to 24 people when my kids were young because I couldn’t stand spending time at one set of parents while the others ate Cornish game hens. Then, about 15 years ago, as a single mom, I worked two jobs to take my kids to Disney. We toured the Tower of Terror, sat by the hotel pool and ate Thanksgiving dinner at Perkins. It tasted just fine in 70-degree sunshine. Nine years ago, my hubby, my kids and I ate on a cruise ship.

Adventures are good. So if this “Cooking with Ryan” gig doesn’t work out, I know that some Tim Horton’s locations are open. So is Under the Clock Bar & Grill, Victor’s, Country Pride, Crowley’s, Colony Pub and Grille and some Bob Evans restaurants. I’m just kidding, Ryan. We’ll be fine.  Then it will be time for football and shopping. Some stores will be open at night, and it’s the perfect way to burn off dinner — no matter what dinner is. Yes there’s always room for new traditions at Chez Parker.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

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