Sometimes living overseas traditional holidays are just not quite the same. Thanksgiving is never on a Thursday for us as it is not a day off and taking vacation time just doesn't seem like a good use of the limited vacation days we have. But we do celebrate in our own way, just on the weekend. Marking the traditional holidays back in the States is often so automatic, it is done by the length of the day, the tempurature outside, the giggles and excitment of the people around us. Not so much the same here.
Halloween is just a day for young adults to dress up in Ghost or Blood Covered costumes and get drunk at a club, trick or treating really only happens up around the American School and with over 1500 kids wandering the streets my 3 and 5 year old are just not quite big enough this year. We did a small trick or treat here in the halls of the condo, but we were the only ones in our building that understood the practice and it wasn't quite the same.
Thankgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. Eating as a celebration. What a great idea. I love food, good food, more food it is all good. No expectations as to gifts, no feelings of discomfort over the gifts you got, or didn't get, the gifts you gave which weren't appriciated or understood. Thankgiving was simply a reason to get together with the family, play a good game of Trival Pursuit and eat good food.
This is the holiday where I miss my family the most. The joy we have of sharing and being thankful for what we have.
So, in honor of my family back home, this is for you.
I am thankful for my mom and dad. Thanks for raising me right for teaching me values that follow me to this day, for teaching me that my actions have consequences, both good and bad, and how to know the difference. Thank you for my college education. Thank you for the loans when times were tight. Thank you for understanding my less than ordinary path. Thank you for appriciating that my once in a lifetime experiences-be it Germany, China, Japan, or jumping out of an airplane have shaped me to the person I am now and thank you for only screaming internally when I hit you with my latest wild hair. Thanks for being there in my worst year when I was injured in a moped accident that would forever change my life and thanks just for raising me to be a good person.
Thank you to my Sisters. From our childhood until today, I am proud and honored to be your sister and I am thankful that for all my bullying as a child you didn't just pop me one in the kisser :-)
To Jeff- The man who became my partner, my friend, my life. Thank you for being that goof ball that you are, even if it means I have to occasionally peal my kids off the wall when you have gotten them riled up right before dinner.
To Jeff and Bonnie and Amy, Hasn't anyone ever told you people that I am supposed to be the evil daughter in law? The woman who stole your son and brother and moved him around the world? So why are you always so darn nice to me? I am thankful for having the luck of the draw that you are my spouses family. Thanks for allowing me to be part of your family too.
Linda- Thanks for making Dad happy, for wine tasting trips and sharing a love of old movies and Hollywood trivia. BUT NO THANK YOU for besting me on the American President movie trivia. I will never live down the shame.
Nancy, thank you for all you do around here. You have no idea how your quiet presence has enriched our lives.
And thanks to God, the Universe, The Earth, The Sun and all that surounds my life. Opportunities given to me, lessons learned, beauties seen and shared, life lived fully and to the edge. This is a great life and I am thankful for every minute.
Finally, thanks to the pookie and monkey boy. Because of you everything else is better.