Giving Thanks

ImageThanksgiving is a day when we gather around a turkey with family and friends and show gratitude for a life where we experience many freedoms thanks to both our forefathers, and many brave individuals who have fought to ensure our rights.  

I have to be honest, sometimes I get overwhelmed at home with all the preparations, and the rush to get it on the table. Thankfully I have a husband who truly enjoys cooking (this is a blessing), so I help with the side dishes and clean up. This year I’m on my own and I miss it, all of it. I see posts on Facebook and I see the email traffic about preparations and realize I am missing out on a lot.

As a team on this side of the world there are about 30 of us from the US. One of the guys (Bob) decided we should have a dinner of our own. Since we all work a lot of hours Bob contacted one of the few restaurants in the area and arranged for them to make us a Thanksgiving dinner. I was so excited, and then I heard dinner was being held on Sunday, not Thursday. So I declined since I had plans to have dinner with my friend Jen Nie and her family on Sunday. Fast forward to Wednesday night and I find out that I was wrong (yes, twice in one week), and dinner was scheduled for Thanksgiving evening. I ran to Bob’s office and asked if I was too late, ‘yep, sorry, we’re booked solid’. I was disappointed, but put on a smile and moved on. I figured I don’t need a turkey to be thankful; I have leftover I can eat, and be thankful for them, and my life blessings.

Thursday morning Bob calls me and tells me Leslie (his wife, and my friend) thinks I should just crash the dinner, show up, if there isn’t enough food, order a pizza (Jook Joint has great pizza), if there isn’t a chair sit on a stool. That’s all the encouragement I needed, I said I was in and I’m going to dinner.

Thursday evening rolls around and we showed up for dinner, the restaurant was packed, and it wasn’t just our party.  

After visiting for a few minutes the waiter bought out our pre ordered dinners. Turkey (turkey roll to be exact), dressing, mashed potatoes, peas, corn, cranberry sauce (with a soup consistency) and fried cabbage (didn’t know fried cabbage was a traditional food).  Much of the food wasn’t what I was used to, but for me this evening wasn’t about the food, for me, it was about spending time with people, and remembering what I am grateful for;

I’m married to a good man, who is a keeper. I’m blessed to have my mother who’s in reasonably good health. My three daughters are healthy and doing well. I have beautiful (and handsome) grandkids that I love. We all have food on our tables, roof over our heads and clothes on our back. I have siblings that I love and I know they love me, even if we don’t talk often. We live in a country where freedom is guaranteed through our Constitution, unlike other places I have visited. . When home, I have the freedom to worship in the church of my choice. I have been blessed with friends. A few of them I’ve known since my grade school (we actually walked to school back then). A few of us have raised our kids together. Some are newer friends that I hope will be in my life for many years. I have a job that challenges me and has it offers me opportunities to grow professionally. I’ve been blessed to visit many countries, and to live in several interesting places. I am blessed to have been in this country for the last 9 months, it’s been a challenge, but I’ve grown and I have learned to be resourceful.

On a lighter note I’m thrilled to live in an age where technology is so readily available, which makes it easier to keep in touch with my world back home. I love that I’ve seen most of the Marvel movies and the ones I haven’t seen my husband will buy the DVD’s so I can watch them later. I blessed with health, I ride my bike in the evenings and I can see the clouds and the neighborhood kids playing (I’m over the monkeys, they’re a bit of a pain, and they aren’t cute anymore). I’m excited that I have a new coworker with the same work history starting soon. This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me it is.

I hope that on Thanksgiving this year you take time to be grateful for the little everyday blessing and joys in your life.

I’m giving thanks in Mountasia for each of you. 

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