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Traveling Holiday, Wash Your Hands and Tribute in Pink

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Good morning, I hope a lot of you are waking up with just a half day of work or a day off ahead of you. Welcome to your Thanksgiving weekend.

28 million people are going more than 50 miles to celebrate with family and friends. If you are flying remember to bring clear plastic bags for toiletries you carry on. If you are picking someone up at the airport, bring your cell phone. The new cell phone lot opened yesterday. If you are driving, bring your credit card. Gas prices are up. And no matter where you go…Bring your patience.

Norovirus Scare:
About 1000 people reported symptoms of Norovirus around the state including 170 people at a school in Manchester. That’s one of seven confirmed incidents of Norovirus. They’re still trying to determine exactly what caused 71 people to get sick after eating at the Greenbriar restaurant in Johnston. This place is an institution. I applaude the owner for getting up with health officials and talking about the problem. His business is going to take a hit anyway, but he did the right thing is getting the restaurant and its practices checked right away by state officials. That way they could get up and give the Greenbriar a clean bill of health. Point of the story? Wash your hands and be very careful cooking this weekend. With so many people traveling around the state and so many people gathering in large groups…We could have a lot more sick people by the end of the holiday weekend. As an aside, we used to do those “Dirty Dining” reports; I saw a lot of inspections for the Greenbriar and I can’t remember one where the inspector saw a violation that would cause someone to get sick.

Sixteen year-old Erika Schwager is still in the hospital after her accident with a fire truck in West Des Moines. Her classmates at Des Moines Christian Academy paid tribute to her at the girls basketball game by wearing pink ribbons in their hair and pink sweatband. Her parents continue to ask for the community’s prayers.

Holiday Bowling
The Hawkeyes are headed to the Alamo Bowl. Murph says they’re probably going to play Texas Tech. I hope Missouri gets the nod instead as the Big XII representative.

The First Kind of Holiday Shopping
We talked to the manager at the Windsor Heights HyVee this morning about last minute Thanksgiving shopping. I know I need ice. I’m not sure what else we forgot. I almost forgot to get the turkey. Thank god Hy vee still had a fresh one for us. There’s going to be six of us at dour house for dinner and we’ve got 19 lbs of turkey. AWESOME!
What did you guys forget at the store?
It’s Trisha now. Ian has to go back today for pumpkin pie ingredients, because I didn’t call him to tell him exactly what we needed until he was already in the checkout line last night. My take – it would’ve been a lot less time-consuming for him to have gone back and gotten the stuff then and there, instead of making a second trip today, which is what he opted to do! I tried telling him this would be the busiest grocery day of the year, but he wouldn’t hear it. I think it was a guy moment – he was in a hurry to get out, and couldn’t be derailed.
Sigh. My luck he’ll be in and out in 2 minutes today and my point will be moot.
Thanks and Giving
Last but not least, Liz Klinge has an awesome story about a four year old little boy who’s been fighting a rare form of leukemia this last year. His name is Liam Renier, and he’ll be featured as the Thanksgiving story for the Today show’s Thanks and Giving series. Liam is quite a young man. Doctors told his parents he had no hope of surviving. St Jude’s hospital told him otherwise. The doctors there shepherded his family through a year-long process that has given him a chance. Here’s Liam’s web page (sorry for those of you who tried earlier. I tried to fix the link. Now it will take you to the caring bridge website. click on the link that says: visit a Caring Bridge site. When you get to the page type Liam’s name and you’ll be there. Sorry that’s a couple extra steps. It’s worth it.) Now you can read more about him.
You can see more of Liz’s interview with Liam and his family tonight on our evening newscasts.
We get really caught up in the stupid stuff around the holidays. This family has something to be thankful for. I’m glad I picked up the phone when his aunt called us about the story Monday. Thanks Liam!
This little guy seems like a great ambassador for St. Jude’s! What a sweetie. I got tears in my eyes each time we heard his story, thinking about my own 4-year-old son, and our niece who battled leukemia. It’s totally overwhelming to think about watching your child fight a life-threatening illness, and totally humbling to see what a great attitude he seems to have in spite of it all. -TS

Let the Games Begin!
I am thankful for my wife’s family this year and their willingness to pick up and come to Des Moines for the holiday. Sally and I have always spent Thanksgiving together in DSM. I have to work every year so we have to stay put. We are lucky that Sally’s family understands. Her Dad Rick was in television news for a lot of years and his family always worked around the holiday too. I have great in-laws who make this easy for us.
My folks are spending their last Thanksgiving in the house I grew up in. They moved in the month before I was born so it’s the only house I’ve even known in Chicago. The two of them are downsizing to a condo in Downtown Evanston(just north of Chicago). My parents are getting more hip as I get older. I will miss being there with my family, but they are sending my mom’s homemade stuffing with Sally’s parents so I get a taste of home (Thanks Mom!).

I’m off to go to the store, get a haircut, catch a quick workout, and maybe put up the Christmas lights before everyone shows up.

I hope any of you who are traveling get to your loved ones and friends safely. Please be careful. We’d like to see you back here Monday. We’ll be back tomorrow with what we hope is a fun show and some Thanksgiving thoughts.

Have a good one,
It’s Trisha again – I’m planning on being a little sleepier than usual tomorrow morning. I’m taking Cal to Disney on Ice tonight. He has no idea we’re going. I hope he’ll love it as much as I expect him to.

Ian’s dad and stepmom are in the car right now making the long drive from rural Ontario, Canada (not far from Detroit) to Des Moines. They’re the best kind of guests – fun and helpful! They’re going to help us cook and celebrate Thanksgiving, even though they already had their Canadian Thanksgiving last month! (did you even know their holiday was at a different time? I never did until I married into a half-Canadian family!)

I’m so glad not to be in charge of the turkey. I’m not a very good cook and I get totally panicky under the pressure of a big family occasion-meal.
I already called the 1-800 -BUTTERBALL hotline to settle a dispute Ian and I had over whether I’d thawed the turkey for too long. I won – they said we’re okay!

Here’s a shot of Pat manning what we call the “nutline” this morning. People call the newsroom with all kinds of crazy stuff. Sometimes of course they’re normal requests for information, but lots of times, people just want to rant about something. Pat was on the receiving end of a pretty long and windy rant today… glad it wasn’t me! He did a good job staying patient!
Safe travels, everyone!! If you’re up early tomorrow on your day off, we’ll all be here to give you the news!


  • Anonymous

    I hear you loud and clear Trisha on your comment on Pat manning the Nutline…and I can tell you his expression was alot like mine today…very exhausting,draining ,watching the clock tick, and wondering who on earth turned up the heat. 4:30 couldn’t come soon enough. what did make me smile is my little trip I had to make back to the store. I forgot shortening for my homemade apple pies (a little something I forgot Patrick) An elderly couple who looked like they had been married for 60 yrs. hand in hand, she muttering that she hoped Fred would like Blueberry instead of the Cherry Pie she always makes.And hoping his flight went well. The husband said simply “Don’t worry your Pretty Little HeadMom…Don’t worry your pretty little head!” I smiled and walked away and oh yeah I was welling. before I go I’m proud of you Trisha…I think all of us would have choked through that but you did well and GOD BLESS YOU LIAM! Thanks for taking that call Patrick!-BRENDA E.

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