A Thoughtful COVID Thanksgiving


By Jodell Haverfield, Luxury Travel Consultant ACC

Last year at this time, I was blissfully hosting a Canada/New England cruise. While I am quite familiar with both Canada and New England, I was significantly impressed by the vivid and amazing fall colors I had only heard about. I wonder if I’d known that cruise would be my last for a year, I might have savored it even more. One thing I do know is that I will never take my freedom and ability to travel for granted again.

This year I was scheduled to host 11 cruises and tours, including New Orleans, cruising the Mississippi River, exploring the Danube River, Israel, Alaska, Iceland and even a couple Transatlantic crossings. I was heartbroken to see all my planning and hard work disappear as each of my trips fell like dominos one after the next off my calendar. The good news is, by all indications, cruising will start returning by the end of this year. My calendar is rapidly filling up again for 2021 and beyond and I’m in no mood for a dominos rematch. Frankly, I am optimistic cruises and travel in general will return better than ever.

I have been asked to share with you this month, my story about the things and people I am thankful for. Well, for starters, this year has been so crazy that I am thankful it is almost over. Seriously though, as I reflect on 2020, my heart is full, as reality shows me how truly blessed, my family has been.

While no one in my family has been diagnosed with Covid yet, we have been touched by it. Early this year our 11th grandson was born, and his parents named him Covid– just kidding! Where is your sense of humor? Ryker was born in February.

My youngest son joined the Army to become a combat medic and work his way through medical school. Little did he know he would not only serve in the Middle East, he would also serve on the frontlines during a worldwide pandemic, taking care of Covid patients at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, as well as volunteering his time at Covid testing stations.

Another one of my sons has maintained a military career, serving our country while twice being deployed to war zones, this year he is preparing soldiers to deploy in our own country.

For over 20 years my second oldest son has been a law enforcement officer, protecting citizens and high-profile individuals. This year he is protecting government buildings during riots in a large city. He never expected this once respected career choice would become so hated and controversial.

My oldest grandson even survived a Covid outbreak while going through Marine basic training, still graduating healthy and with honors.

So, you see, there is much for me to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as I reflect the year 2020. Last but not least, one of the best things I can say about 2020 is that it is the second year my husband Dave is cancer free!