Remembering to be Thankful
Thanksgiving is coming up and our routine of the last three years is no longer available to us. Gathering with disparate English/ American families with no family around took on a life of it's own. A group of pilgrims ourselves in a country that didn't know Thursday was Thanksgiving. School isn't closed and pumpkins aren't quite the same. Our dinner with the Till family and others was special though in it's gathering of new friends who understood. I've been told the gathering is growing and my sweet potatoe casserole with marshmellows will be missed. As a result I am feeling melancholy and lonesome for a Thanksgiving in a foreign country. An odd feeling at best.
This year we aren't going to rejoin my family in Asilomar as we had for ten years prior to moving to France. No one could quite get it together. We didn't know where we were going to be and well it just didn't happen. Everyone says they miss it. How can they not. It too was a special time for our extended family and a few friends of twenty or more to spend four days together being taken care of on the wild beaches of Monterey. Long walks on the beach with people dragging behind, evening in the conference room where we played everything form blackjack to psychological games, and our culminating Sunday morning rendevous at Pt Lobos. Many children (Zoe among them) were initiated each Thanksgiving as they came into this world and welcomed into a joyous tradition.
This year, due to work demands (no time off for Jean) and the slow economy we stayed close to home and drove north to a family style Italian restaurant in the country town of Occidental. The joy of the holiday was the fact that we spent it with our old great friends Shelley, Kenny and our god-daughter Alix-Li eating turkey (with ravioli on the side), taking a hike in the redwood groves, and smelling the wonderful ocean air coming in over Bodega Bay. It was our choice to host a big dinner, go to friends or take the drive into the country with good friends by our side. Back in the US, with everyone celebrating Thanksgiving we had many choices, but somehow going to the country felt important. To be in nature on this day of thanks. To experience yet another small adventure. To break tradition and explore again.
So on this day of thanks, we are thankful for the phenomenal experiences we have had and for the ones we will soon have again. And mostly we are thankful for the wonderful friends and family we have near us and afar.