- We have had no hot water since I returned from my trip to Kenya last week. The last hot shower I had was in Nairobi. On Friday. Five days of taking "camp baths" isn't making me too cheery. I probably don't smell great either. Deodorant and perfume only go so far. Late today the water heater was pronounced "fixed" (again) but I will believe it when I step into a piping hot shower (hopefully) later tonight.
- We don't have a turkey for Thanksgiving tomorrow. This is my first ever Thanksgiving without turkey. What is Thanksgiving without Turkey? They don't call it Turkey Day for nothing. But even I draw then line at $70+ for a turkey. For that price I want lobster with champagne and I don't want to cook it. Or do dishes either. We are having chicken instead. Chicken Day. Doesn't quite have the proper ring does it?
- My kids have school all week, including tomorrow. School on Thanksgiving. That's just wrong. They will be playing hooky. Sorry school, they are skipping you tomorrow.
- I am missing my family. Thanksgiving is the day we always get together as an extended family. Uncles and Aunts and Cousins. Fried turkey and baked turkey and spiral sliced ham. Dressing and giblet gravy. Side dishes and desserts by the dozen. Chaos and noise and laughter and long games of washers. All of it is only an ocean away.
- And my biggest reason I wasn't feeling it this morning is this is our first Thanksgiving without Dakota. It has been almost a year since he left home for bootcamp, but I still miss him everyday. Tomorrow perhaps most of all. It feels as if there is a hole in our family.
I was prepared to put on a happy face for the kids. I want them to only have good memories about the holidays and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so I want it to be special to them too. I drew up the menu, and set to work doing the prep work. When you can't go buy chicken stock in a box or refrigerated pie dough cooking a proper Thanksgiving dinner can a take bit longer than it might otherwise. Also we are having guests tomorrow and I hate to be in the kitchen when there are guests in the house. I would be rather sit and visit. So today I did as much of the prep work as possible and while I worked I put on the radio station from back home and sang along to one country song after another.
Then something strange happened I began to realize how much I have to be thankful for. So here is the obligatory Thanksgiving Day "I am thankful for" list that bloggers all over America, or where ever Americans have landed worldwide, are busy publishing on blogs, FB, twitter, or whatever their social media of choice may be.
- First I am thankful for my Mom. Mom taught me to cook and to garden. Thank you Mom, because of you we will have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Tonight my kids ate their very first artichokes which we grew from seed in our very own garden. Even better two out of three kids liked them. Dave did too, I think.
- I am thankful for the internet without which we would be in big trouble because all my cookbooks disappeared 3 international moves back. (Please God let them be in storage, Amen.) Thanks to the internet I can find recipes for virtually anything, except gratineed potato gnocchi in sage cream and that's not on the menu for Thanksgiving anyway.
- I am doubly thankful for the internet as it lets me make great friends all one the world. I mentioned earlier that I was in Kenya last week. Well I was there for a very bloggy meet up with Naoma and Alexandra. I can't even tell you how thankful I am to have such wonderful women welcome me into their homes. What an amazing gift.
- I am thankful for my husband. I love him more than words can express. When I called him at 2, after he spent his entire lunch hour picking up "a few things" I still needed for tomorrow, to tell him I forgot to put sugar on the list and he would have to go back to the store on the way home he didn't even bat an eye. He just said "OK no problem." He not only brought home sugar he also brought Pringles. Salt and vinegar Pringles, just for me. Now that's love.
- I am thankful for my kids. They are loud. They are noisy. They fight all the blessed time. They usually stink. But they are mine and love them.
- I am thankful for friend near and far. You enrich my life in more ways than I count.
- I am thankful for my husband's iPad and specifically a little app called Tunein. With that app I can stream radio stations from around the world, but especially my favorite country music station from home which for some reason will not stream on my computer. That taste of home made me feel so much better today, although it did leave me with the lingering feeling I should call Dave to warn him of a pile up in 410 so he wouldn't get caught in traffic.
- I am thankful for laughter. Just a little while ago the boys came through the kitchen and complained about my choice of music. Why didn't I listen to something more interesting, something better, something not so old. They left with their various music players blaring The Beatles All You Need Is Love, The Beach Boys California Girls, and Glee's version of Raise Your Glass. Snort! Giggle Giggle.
Happy Thanksgiving, Where ever you are!