Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving today, remembering all the things they have to be thankful for in their life and are enjoying the company of friends and family as they eat to much turkey and stuffing!

This year was my first Thanksgiving away from family and it was a little hard to wake up and  find myself thinking "humm it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving." Growing up there was always a strong warm tingly feeling I always got around the holidays with my family. There was always the excitement of getting to see my grandparents, dad being home from work, the smell of amazing food and for the extra add bonuses on Thanksgiving the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade, putting up the Christmas tree, and a big turkey meal with the family. I can remember as a child having grams and gramps drive down to Ohio from Michigan to spend the weekend with us. I would always ask grams if the stuffing had giblets in it and she would always laugh and make a special batch of stuffing just for me that was "giblet free". I have grown to love everything pumpkin as my gramps is a huge pumpkin pie fan and I have learned you can't have pumpkin pie without a huge mound of whipped cream. I have many great memories of past Thanksgivings with family and can even say that when we moved down to South Carolina and started celebrating Thanksgiving earlier in the month when grams and gramps were down it was still always amazing; maybe even better because I got Thanksgiving turkey twice.

 My grandfather, aunt, and I all have November birthdays so we always got to celebrate our birthdays together on Thanksgiving, share a cake, and sit in the "Birthday Chair." The past two Thanksgiving's I have spent with my family in Michigan, which was a new thing for me because it meant not getting to spend it with my family in South Carolina. My grandmothers house has always been my favorite place in the whole world, always warm, full of love, laughter, smiles, hugs, kisses, and so much more. The first year I went home to see gramps after he had a bad stroke down visiting us that summer and wanted to get some extra time in with him and maybe even give grams so rest by helping out with things. I got to spend time with my grandparents, aunt, and uncle that I am now very thankful for and know in some way God made sure I was there to get that time. I got to help gramps put up the Christmas tree, and got a few good chuckles as his new found OCD caused him to go around and make sure all the lights were pointing the same way, he would take all the ornaments off the tree just to put them back in the same place and then just stand back quietly and look at the tree. As he would look at the tree he had this look that makes me wish I could of read his mind. I also got to help grams by taking him to therapy and just spending time with him so she could get some down time to herself. I got to go shopping with grams a few times and took old empty wine bottles and filled them with Christmas lights to make small decorations for the top of the TV, I got to help untangle all the lights and replace bulbs so we could hang them up outside, and I got to have a few drinks with grams and laugh about life.

I also spent last Thanksgiving up in Michigan with my mom, uncle, aunt, and gramps. I flew up Thanksgiving morning early and no one had told gramps I was coming so when I showed up he had huge tears in his eyes and was so happy he was at a loss for words. I had so much going on with school and was stressed about getting ready to graduate and finals but seeing that look on his face when I showed up made me realize there were other things I needed to worry about and I put my books aside and spent the weekend with my family just thinking off all the things I still had yet to be thankful for even though it seemed like so much had been lost the year before. I yet again got to help grams put up the tree but this time with mom, I got to spend the second year in a row with my aunt and gramps for their birthday, and yet again I got to make some memories I am happy to have and get that extra time I could of never traded anything in the world for. I also got to see  Grandma and Grandpa B and say good bye before heading off to Korea for my first short little trip.

Some how growing up it never crossed my mind that one day that all could change and that when it did maybe the fourth Thursday of November would just be another day with nothing really special attached to it. Sadly I woke up this morning and that was what I felt, like it was just another day. With the help of Ryan we had a Thanksgiving lunch of sorts with chicken tenders, mash potato's, steamed vegetables, macaroni and cheese, and thanks to mom gravy.  As we ate lunch and watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving I found myself thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for this year. 
Ok so in typical Thanksgiving tradition I am going to make a list of a few of the things I am thankful for in no particular order:
  • My amazing family who loves and supports me and can always puts a smile on my face when I need one.
  • To finally be done with school
  • God and how he never seems to let my life get dull and always takes care of me
  • To have a job and to enjoy my job most days
  • To have an apartment
  • To have food everyday to eat
  • To wake up everyday and have the freedom to make my own choices
  • That things have seemed to have calmed down between N. and S. Korea
  • That I have a great guy in my life who loves and supports me
  • To have a Christmas tree (a blue one but a tree is still a tree)
  • To have friends who care about me
  • To have a boss who will let Ryan and I have time off for Christmas to see our families
  • To have students who appreciate and respect me (maybe only half of them but it makes a big difference)
  • That I have been lucky enough to end up in Korea where I am getting a life changing experience and get to see amazing things and live in an amazing culture.
  • That my parents will send me care packages full of all kinds of goodies from home to help the holidays feel more like home.

I could go on and on because I have so many more things I have to be thankful for but I just wanted to name a few.

To wrap this up we had an amazing Thanksgiving lunch and I hope everyone else is having a wonderful one also! It still doesn't really feel like Thanksgiving in anyway, shape or form today and as I keep telling myself today is a special day it just doesn't want to stick. However it feels like a new type of Thanksgiving, one where I look back and think about past Thanksgivings, think about how much I have to be thankful for, miss and miss my family however make the best of what I have. Maybe in a way it is a good thing I don't have all the holiday specials on TV today, all the black Friday hype going on and I can take a second and look back at what Thanksgiving really is.
Side note to prove we did really try to make a Thanksgiving lunch today before work I tried to take some pictures, sadly only one turned out. Also in the sprite of Thanksgiving we did the "American" thing and ate at a table and not on the floor like most Koreans do.

1 comment:

Chas said...

This is such a good post! I know your family must be so proud of you. I can tell you really get into Thanksgiving and the holidays. I'm glad you had someone special to share this Thanksgiving with. Your Thanksgiving lunch looks good too! Not bad since you don't have a stove. :) I see you found a Christmas background too. Its nice!