This year, the fourth Thursday of November was a time of celebration unlike any other. At first glance, there were all of the usual trappings, but with a little closer look, things were a tad different. In no particular order, I give you the 8 reasons why this Thanksgiving created memories that will be cherished for many years to come.
1. It’s all about the table. When visiting Paris back in October, my sister-in-law, on behalf of my mother-in-law, gifted me with a beautiful table cloth. It was most likely a wedding gift given originally to my father-in-law’s mother. That’s a lot of “in-law” speak, but are you with me? It was old, really old, like 4 generations old. And it was hand embroidered to boot with the initials of my father-in-law’s mom and dad at the time of their marriage. It’s not every day that you receive such a special gift, and then get to don your Thanksgiving table with it.
2. It’s all about the table. I know, I just said that, but really, it’s all about the table. Having my kiddos participate in creating our Thanksgiving space is always fun. This year it was especially meaningful. They created these cute little napkin rings that adorned the table – pilgrims, Indians, and turkeys.
3. Last comment about the table, I promise. I was recently telling my girls about a little anecdote I read. The woman recounting the tidbit stated that the older she got, the more she appreciated a few close friends. She ended by saying she would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies any day. I loved this analogy and so did my girls when I told them about it. A week or two before Thanksgiving, we received a care package in the mail from a very dear friend. The same friend who had thoughtfully sent us a Halloween care package. In it, was a kit to make a Thanksgiving wreath. When oldest daughter and I opened the care package, she immediately announced, “K sure is a quarter, isn’t she?” Yes, K is a quarter indeed, and as I made the wreath (not an easy task, I might add, and one that took a heck of a lot more time than I had anticipated), I was able to think about our 20+ years of friendship. Thankful for that friendship and thankful to have had her “present” at our table.
4. Of course it’s about the people too. I find that it’s easy to be thankful for what you have and what you’re familiar with. The old comfy shoe concept, right. But this year, I couldn’t help thinking about giving thanks for what you never could have imagined. Last year at this time who would have imagined we’d be HERE? Doing THIS? As we had new friends join us in the discovery of this American tradition, I was so thankful for them. These new friends and neighbors who welcomed us, helped us, included us, and just generally expressed love for us. Turning my eyes to new friends, also reminded me to try and always be thankful for what is yet to come, the undiscovered, the untapped, the new, and the unknown.
5. Comfy shoes aren’t bad either. But did you know that when you take them off and don’t wear them for an extended period of time that they are even better? So yeah, it was special to have this guy here with us for Thanksgiving. The man behind my madness, my crazy ideas, and my wacko dreams. Our Thanskgiving table wouldn’t be the same without him. Three months apart can really up the thankful ante.
6. It really does take a village. I know, that’s totally and completely out of context. But I was struck this past Thanksgiving by just how delightful it can be to live in a small town. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself enjoying it so much. After all, I’m the one who hit the road from the small town I grew up in at the age of 17 and literally never looked back. But there’s something very endearing about the small town deal here, and the butcher who jumps through hoops to get you a turkey for your special day and even offers to let you borrow his roasting pan!
7. As long as we’re on the topic of food. Just one word of advice, don’t ever ever take fresh cranberries for granted. Just saying, a certain someone arrived with a suitcase bearing fresh cranberries (I know probably a customs violation), jiffy cornbread mix, creamed corn, and Libby’s pumpkin. Some things just can’t be found in this country and some habits can’t be replaced.
8. The crème fraiche. It’s no secret that I love to cook. It’s really my number one hobby. But pumpkin pie and I have never been close friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love to consume it, but I have never felt that I did it justice in creating it. Well this year changed all of that, and the secret is crème fraiche. I created a pumpkin pie like I have never created before. In coming years, crème fraiche will have a reserved spot on the top of my Thanksgiving shopping list.
So that about sums it up – the table, the people & the food . . . With a whole lot of heart sprinkled in and around each and every memory made during this Thanksgiving in Trégastel.