Monast Law Office - November 2017

Workers’ COMPanion

LAW OFFICE MONAST

November 2017

www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913

A TIME OF GRATITUDE and Reflection

This Thanksgiving, Amy and I are doing Thanksgiving a little differently from years past, heading out to our daughter Whitney and her husband Robby’s new home in Alexandria, Ohio. Lucky for us, all five of our children and their significant others will be joining, along with our adorable grandbaby, Oliver. We’re excited to celebrate at their new place — this impressive, hundred-year-old Victorian house with an old root cellar and towering ceilings, nestled in the small local community. It’ll be a thrill getting the whole family together this year. When we travel out of state for holidays, a kid or two is almost always unable to attend. It’ll be a welcome respite from a difficult year. In late January, Amy’s sister Karla — who she’s always been incredibly close with — was diagnosed with cancer and tragically passed away Easter weekend. The diagnosis came out of the blue and dealt a huge blow to Amy, Karla’s husband Steve, her children, and all the relatives. Such a loss in a close-knit family can make traditional gatherings like Thanksgiving painful at times, but it also goes to show how vital it is that we spend as much time with our loved ones as possible while we still have the opportunity. As you all know, life can change at a moment’s notice. In the past we typically traveled out to Morton, Illinois, to be with a huge group of Amy’s family to meet up, chow down, and reconnect. It was always a massive affair, with everyone bringing their favorite dish, along with whatever “signature”dish had been inevitably requested by another member of the family. My brother-in-law would smoke, bake, and fry three separate turkeys, as everybody milled around in the kitchen all day, concocting the most delicious fare you can imagine. In the end, it’d result in a spread that looked like something straight out of the banquet hall in “Game of Thrones.”

This year, the food is certain to be just as good, if a little less extravagant. I’m responsible for the fresh turkey, and, of course, I’m bringing my legendary (if I do say so myself) cranberry orange chutney. It’s sort of like a sauce, but thicker, made by reducing down the cranberries until they pop in the heat. It’s always a big hit, but I’m not sure that it can compare to Amy’s garden salad, which is essentially five different kinds of vegetables steeped in a mouthwatering, sugary sauce.

Besides losing at Settlers of Catan, catching up, and laughing with those closest to me, I’ll be spending a lot of time reflecting on the many things in my life for which I’m thankful. For one thing, our children and grandson are all healthy, happy, and have a firm connection to their faith. I’m also glad that we’re not so spread out across the country that we can’t manage to meet up for gatherings like this one, even as life gets more confusing and challenging over time. I know that not every family has the privilege of gathering and enjoying one another’s company. Though Karla’s absence will surely be felt around

many Thanksgiving tables this year, she lives on in the relationships and memories we’ve formed as a family. - Jim Monast

“Besides losing at Settlers of Catan, catching up, and laughing with those closest to me, I’ll be spending a lot of time reflecting on the many things in my life for which I’m thankful.”

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