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Monthly Archives: December 2015

An English Thanksgiving

There is no “Thanksgiving Day” in England.

To be sure, there have traditionally been harvest festivals and celebrations there for thousands and thousands of years, and in saying that there’s no “Thanksgiving” in England, I assure you I’m not in any way trying to invalidate those observances.

But, the fourth Thursday in November in England is a Thursday much like any other Thursday.


Realising that I was going to be far from my family on the fourth Thursday of November, Alex‘s mom, Kay, went to a great deal of trouble to surprise me with Thanksgiving dinner.   I probably should have been able to guess that something was up when Alex started dropping questions here and there about what Thanksgiving celebrations consisted of.   (A lot of food: turkey, potatoes, green bean casseroles, yams, stuffing, beets, pumpkin pies,  and of course the traditional Thanksgiving family brawl, the food coma, and [American] football.)

Dinner was lovely – I wish I had at least taken a picture of the pumpkin pie.  Kay really went all out on that pie – which, to be honest, is my favourite part of Thanksgiving.  We even had ham rather than the traditional turkey because, well, that’s the way we do it at my parents’ … none of us actually being big fans of turkey. There was no green bean casserole, and no stuffing, and no football on the television.   (But there was mead and four kinds of potatoes! I love potatoes.)

All of it was meant to make me feel less homesick, and like I wasn’t missing out on anything.

As much as I love my parents, and (most) of my extended family, not once did I ever feel homesick.  Not once did I feel like I was “missing out”.  Being with Alex is home, to me.  But now, I feel a little like some of his family has become my family, too.

14K Fridays: Week 6

  1. Being able to look back at things that annoyed you and laugh. Things like having my seat kicked by small children on every flight on the way to and from England makes me giggle now.  At the time, I was fairly sure someone was going to take note of the steam coming out of my ears. Today, I smile and remember that that’s just my kind of luck.
  2. Rainbows.
  3. How good it feels to know that you have supported a worthy cause. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t always have a lot of funds to spare, but I do love the way it feels when I do and can give a little to the charities I believe in.  And of course, even when you don’t have funds to spare, there are other ways to support your favourite charities.  I like to donate my hair to Locks of Love, for example, and your time is always a valuable commodity.
  4. Money you didn’t know you had. Reaching in to the pocket of your winter coat and finding a $20 bill that you’d forgotten about since last year, as an example.
  5. Knowing that someone loves you, no matter how irritated they might be with you in a given moment.
  6. Banana milkshakes! 
  7. Coming in from the cold.  I would honestly prefer to be a little too cold than a little too hot, but those first few moments when you come inside to a very warm house when you’re cold (and maybe wet) are lovely.
  8. The look of freshly fallen snow.  I do not like actually being out in the snow, but I think the world looks lovely covered in it.
  9. Travelling by train.  I really find this method of travel relaxing, particularly the lengthier journeys, provided the seats are comfortable.
  10. JELLY BABIES!  Being a fan of Doctor Who, I’d of course, heard of Jelly Babies, but it wasn’t until very recently that I got try them.  I love, love, love them. Especially the black ones.  Here in the States, the vast majority of candy that colour is licorice, of which I am not a fan.  I almost passed up the black Jelly Babies, until Alex told me that they’re black currant, not licorice.  His mistake.
A Rainbow Over Eden Project

A Rainbow Over Eden Project.
Two things to be happy about in one photo.