I always forget how much I love Thanksgiving. Every year since we moved away from Iowa, I have tried to avoid the inconvenience of putting together a replacement Thanksgiving, one that is not-quite right because we aren’t with our family back home. And every year, despite my best efforts, we have celebrated Thanksgiving wherever we were at the moment – and it has been wonderful.
Our first year in Florida was supposed to be the hardest. Instead, it resulted in a short-lived tradition that I still hold dear: a dinner with Canadian friends who also lived far from family. I loved that meal and those people, and I still miss both, especially in November. Since then, we’ve eaten Turkey in a St. Augustine Holiday Inn and in New Orleans. And, now, we’ll have our first turkey dinner in Pittsburgh.
We were supposed to go to Iowa.
I was so excited about finally having Thanksgiving back home because we only live 15 hours away now instead of 24, but then my stepdad died and we had the unexpected expense of me traveling to Iowa and spending two weeks not really working. We’re going to Iowa in December, so we decided to skip the drive this month. I decided to skip the meal all together and spend the day volunteering instead.
Do you know that it is actually not so simple to volunteer on Thanksgiving??
I’ve submitted applications and background checks, but haven’t heard back from a single organization. Either I failed those background checks, or I was too late, or they are too busy to process new applications. Whatever the reason, I found myself with absolutely no plans for the day.
So Jared bought a turkey.
And Becky said she wanted to spend the day with us.
And I woke up this morning and remembered once again that I love this holiday.
We’re going to make stuffing, cranberry sauce, and green bean casserole. We’re going to eat pie and drink wine. We’re going to put up a borrowed Christmas tree and make cards for friends and family. And, at some point, we’re going to sit around and tell each other how grateful we are for all of it.
What’s not to love about that?