I came across this poem (by an Anonymous author) and thought that it echoed the sentiments of this season perfectly:
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something.
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations.
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge.
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary.
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.
Thursday November 22nd 2012 is Thanksgiving (the 4th Thursday in November) – a traditional American holiday but one that we have celebrated since 1995 when we first moved from the UK to America. The first few years, Owen and I were always invited to the homes of our friends in Atlanta. Then we started hosting at our house – opening our home to people who could not make it home to be with their families, or those who just wanted to be somewhere different. It is one of our favourite holidays because it is all about sharing quality time with people who are special to you, good food (Turkey with all the trimmings, apple pie, pumpkin pie) and giving thanks. I am thankful for a wonderful family, brilliant friends, my health and a job that I love and that has offered such a fabulous opportunity to live and work in China.
This year, the kids were in school and it was a work day for me! But, we had decided to invite some friends from the Emerald to share our Thanksgiving meal in the evening. Owen had found a western shop that would deliver a Turkey to – deep fried ready to eat – at a cost of £100/$150!!!! We made green bean casserole, traditional stuffing, roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots, mange tout and sweet corn. I made pumpkin roll (very yummy) and we also had the store deliver apple pie and a chocolate mousse cake.
A delicious meal shared with friends – all that Thanksgiving is about! Lots of laughter and a new experience for our British friends. It is good for Isabelle and Oliver to be reminded of American traditions, as they are both citizens of the USA having been born there.
Our Thanksgiving gathering. 11 people suitably stuffed!