Since 1993, I haven't really spent Thanksgiving with my family. The first year I was away, I remember clearly talking to Daddio from the race shack on Snowmass Mountain. My family was all together, getting ready to eat, and I was on the side of a mountain watching people race NASTAR.
The wonderful thing about having lived in resort towns was that there was never a question of being alone on this holiday. There were always loads of other people in the same situation as me. We became each others family. And if that didn't work, I begged my single crazy friends from high school to come and play with me. A few years later, one small house in Idaho, copious amounts of alcohol, and a turkey. Not a bad way to pass the holiday!
The Great Turkey Chase of 2006 is also something I'll never forget. We had been invited (Hubster the non-American included) to have Thanksgiving with Miss Tennessee 1975's family and some other American friends. Keep in mind that trying to find American things in France is hard enough at the best of times, but trying to find a turkey 3 weeks before the French actually think about putting them in the stores adds a little adventure!
Miss T, undaunted, had gone out of her way to make it a "real" Thanksgiving by making fabulous deserts, ordering a turkey from the bird guy at the market, and tracking down fresh cranberries. The Saturday that we actually celebrated Thanksgiving, Mr. Tennesse (who's really from South Carolina) ended up driving all over the Auvergne to find the bird man and the turkey.
To Market to Market to buy a Big Turkey.
Home Again, Home Again, all I found was Beef Jerky!
Luckily, Mr T did track down the bird man with enough time to roast that bird to perfection!
There is one Thanksgiving in particular that has had the biggest impact on me. In November of 2000, I had been living in England for 5 months and was going through a difficult period professionally and personally. I flew home for the holiday and stayed with one of my sisters. Thanksgiving Day, I sat with my two sisters, my mom, my two beautiful cousins and their mom and we drank our way through several bottles of white wine. As we sat there, we talked.
And talked. And talked. And laughed. And cried. I felt so loved. All of them helped me realize what I needed and wanted to do with my situation and my life. Those women, with those bottles of wine, helped me find clarity and direction.
I am eternally grateful.
Today, I've been trying to explain this "foreign" holiday to The Princess and Mini-Husband a bit. They've never really celebrated a true American Thanksgiving but I think they get the basic idea. When I asked them what they were most thankful for they both said their blankies and teddies. They're on the right track.
Blankies, teddies and the white wine women. It's all the same. Love and constancy.