‘It’s truly about seeing family’: After year apart, Spokane couple excited to be with family for Thanksgiving again

SPOKANE, Wash.– Families across the nation and right here in the Inland Northwest are glad to be together this Thanksgiving.

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic ruined many traditions. For the Rye family, that meant setting their table for just two.

Things are different this year. They added nine more plates to the table. Gina and Tim Rye say they are happy to have their family back together for Thanksgiving again.

“It’s not just even about the holiday, it’s truly seeing the family. Because we’ve seen them each individually throughout the year, in outdoor meetings even lately in their house, but only one family at a time. This is truly the first time we will all be together indoors. So, really, really happy and excited,” Gina said.

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition for the Ryes. They’ve been doing it for 20 years and usually have anywhere from 11 to 20 people there.

That wasn’t possible last year. They wanted to keep everyone safe so they have a Thanksgiving drive-thru. Family members went by to get food but then has to head back to their own homes.

“Our kids are grown, so they don’t live at home. So, we didn’t have them at home either. That was part was really hard. That’s one of the few opportunities we get to spend a bunch of time with them all at once, so it was hard to miss that,” Tom said.

The Rye family is feeling much more comfortable hosting this year because of the vaccine.

“Before the vaccine, we didn’t, we never really went out. We had groceries brought to us or curbside, we did not. I mean, we followed the recommendations really to the letter,” Tom said.

Even with the vaccine, they were still a little nervous. They said they wanted to be sure they were keeping their families safe so they ordered tests to take Thursday morning.

Now, the Rye’s hearts and stomachs are full. They got to have a more normal Thanksgiving with their loved ones.

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