Stories of this Canadian girl's adventures exploring Europe...join me!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, my Canadian friends.

Sitting here on a cool, fall day, the air filled with the sweet, almost rotten-fruit smell of the thousands of grapes in the area, being squashed and readied for their barrel homes, I am feeling melancholy, knowing that I am missing Thanksgiving in Canada.

So, I have been trying to infuse my days with snippets of Thanksgiving-like activities. Last weekend, there was a holiday Monday here in Germany, so we invited great guy’s family over for a Canadian-style Thanksgiving feast. We had sweet potato soup with cornmeal biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, shredded beet and carrot salad, cauliflower with cornflake-crumb topping, and, of course, a turkey…thank you Food Network for the scrumptious sage-infused turkey recipe. Oh, and pumpkin pie made with the Station’s awesome pie crust! It was so much fun cooking and then even more fun having a lovely family meal together. Afterwards, as everyone complained that they had eaten too much, I said that that was also a completely normal and expected part of Thanksgiving in North America…feeling stuffed!

Other days have included buying pumpkins, decorating with those tiny, weird-looking squash, finding recipes for the pounds of left-over turkey meat (even though the only turkey I could find in the supermarket here was a baby turkey), enjoying cool walks with my loved one in the afternoon sun, and regretting the many pieces of pumpkin pie which I couldn’t help eating.

And today, most importantly, I will think of the things I am thankful for… and will share them you.

I am thankful for:

-friends who send me notes that say things like, ‘I will continue to send good vibes across the ocean so that waves of happiness find their way to you and flow into the river outside your door.’ Friendship.

-the physiotherapist telling great guy that he does actually have ONE very well-defined muscle…his coughing muscle, and if only he could work on developing a few more muscles that would be a good thing. Funny.

-nephews…my nephew…many prayers were said in the creation of that little guy’s life, beginning years ago…thank You.

-on that note, baby kisses…I am thankful for his way of grabbing (with lots of baby force) your face with both of his tiny hands and pulling it with all of his might towards his wide open mouth…you cannot help but feel the love! Love.

-Stieg Larsson, for writing books which engrossed me at times when I really needed to ‘get lost’ in something so far from my current reality. But now I really want to go to Sweden.

-being invited to ‘jag at 8’ even though I am millions of miles away….it’s awesome knowing that you guys are thinking of me. Go Riders!

-the 2 rivers who join almost at our doorstep, carrying ships and boats, and nourishing the picturesque wine hills all around us, and whose existence caused the counts and emperors to build all these incredible castles here…like one every km! Pretty.

-Canada Geese…and the perfect tattoo which I have of them on my forearm. I will always be thankful for the artist who drew it so spontaneously for me. Beautiful.

-the strange-looking cat who sometimes graces our presence and who, if she feels like it, lets us pet her until she gets bored. Great guy and I stop everything we’re doing the moment we see her…we really need a pet…or a baby?

-that it’s difficult to buy Thanksgiving or fall paraphernalia here…or Valentine’s or Easter or St.Patrick’s stuff for that matter. These ‘holidays’ aren’t so grossly over-marketed here, as in North America, and it’s kind of refreshing. If you want to buy something for one of these holidays you do it because you really want to and not because you are bombarded with messages saying that you have to.

-three, four, and five year-olds (not that I want to discrimate, of course). I am thankful for their hilarious questions and insights into how they think the world operates (like thinking that the best way to take a cat for a walk would be by putting a slinky around it’s neck), and I love that they always want to hold your hand.

-my good health…don’t know why I have it and others who I love don’t…so, I will be thankful for mine and try not to waste it.

-for great guy… even though he sometimes makes me crazy, most of the time he just wants to make me laugh.

-for my wonderful friends and family, who I know would be so happy to see me if I showed up on their doorstep at any time of day or night…but don’t worry, I’ll call first…I’ll need a ride from the airport!

-and, I am so thankful for everyone who is reading this….THANK YOU for your encouragement!!
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