Friday, 27 November 2009

Being thankful

So, my first American Thanksgiving was a thoroughly good one.

The boys gave us a fabulous 8am lie-in (well, there's something to be said for them staying up too late) and after breakfast we went for a walk down to the harbourside, where the sea was as calm as a millpond. It was eerily quiet, as it can be on Christmas Day in London, without the usual stream of SUVs up ond down Main Street.

After watching the final 10 minutes of the Macy's parade on TV (the Littleboys were not enthralled and for some reason objected violently to the singing of White Christmas; meanwhile I was marvelling at how young the 60something Carly Simon looks), we went round to our friends for a delicious lunch. An expat from Germany, my friend had given a Teutonic slant to the meal, so we had turkey with mushroom gravy, sprouts, carrots and cranberry sauce accompanied by excellent German potato dumplings. Then we walked down to the nearby beach, where the Littleboys and their friends threw pebbles into the sea, an activity that kept them satisfied for at least half an hour, while we all basked in mild November sunshine.

After that it was back for more - fruit cheesecakes, coffee and gingerbread men, before, stuffed to the gills, we returned home. We then spoke to various family members on Skype (who coincidentally had all been having a drinks party and were suitably merry). All in all, it felt quite like Christmas.

So, in the spirit of all things American, what am I thankful for this year? Being lucky enough to be living in a beautiful place, whose attractiveness still hasn't lost the ability to impress me at any time of year. Having made some lovely friends here who were kind enough to give us Thanksgiving dinner. The Doctor and the Littleboys, the three men in my life who make it all worthwhile. Passing my New York driving test the other week (Hallelujah - let this be the last driving test I ever have to take). Skype, for allowing us to see and speak to people halfway round the world. And my blogging friends, who always have the ability to make me smile. Luckily, despite the shenanigans at Pond Parleys and the odd anonymous commenter here, the blogosphere is MAINLY peopled by friendly souls without an axe to grind - long may that continue....

13 comments:

Nicola said...

Glad you had a lovely first Thanksgiving. Sounds perfect. And congrats on the driving test! Isn't it insane how nervous you get taking a test again? Threw me right back to being 18. Mind you, it was a real confidence boost, as the examiner told me I was a better driver than my husband. Oh it's the little things that just make your day...

Fourdownmumtogo said...

Amen re: blogsphere and staying up late boys, mine still awake at 10pm, bad mother!

Glad you seem so happy in your new life.

Expat mum said...

Despite my aversion to the green bean casserole (cough cough) Thanksgiving is a great "Holiday". The Ball & Chain worked magic with the meal and is still on form, having used the extra bread (for the cornbread dressing) to make Delia's chocolate bread n' butter pudding. Mid life crisis methinks. Better than a Harley and a younger version of me though!!!!

Lorna Harris said...

I've never had green bean casserole and now, thanks to Pond Parleys, I really feel I should try it!

We watched in the Parade in awe of the celebrities who don't seem to be aging. Another one was Gloria Gaynor - she looked just the same. The Parade just seems like a three hour commercial for NBC which seems a bit sad.

Mickle in NZ said...

What a lovely day you've had, I do like the sound of it. A walk on an empty beach must have been great.

Here, downunder, I'm gathering my strength for Xmas. I love cooking and, as usual, will take over my parent's kitchen - if only the temperature was a little cooler on the day!

Sending kind thoughts to you all, Michelle and Zebbycat

Potty Mummy said...

Sounds like a perfect day - with (courtesy of your friends) no real tidying up to be done at the end of, no wrapping paper to dispose of, and no new toys to be squeezed into the cupboards. I may buy into this Thansgiving lark, after all...

Vinogirl said...

Successful driving tests and Skype...a great alternative list of things to be thankful for :)

Mud in the City said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being a bit more thankful is something we could all do a little bit more of.

xx

nappy valley girl said...

Nicola - I was incredibly nervous and really thought I might fail. But go no point deductions - unlike the Doctor who got points deducted for being too hesistant at a Stop sign!

Fourdownmumtogo - at least having your evening ruined means no 6am wakeups....

ExpatMum - sounds delicious. Glad to hear Delia is still alive and well in deepest Chicago...

Lorna - I didn't really see enough of the parade to get that sense, but there did seem to be an ad break every 2 minutes!

Mickle - Christmas on the beach..yes must be strange but then again I suppose you don't have to put up with miserable grey Januaries...

PM - lack of wrapping paper is definitely a bonus. Only problem I found was the lack of Boxing Day to recover....

Vinogirl - not facing the prospect of a driving test is really rather wonderful. I'd better not move abroad again....

Mud - absolutely, and I think it's a nice American tradition; long may it continue.

Thames said...

So glad you had a nice holiday. It is really one of my favourites -- Seeped in family, and like Christmas, but without all the hassle of presents. And lots to eat.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Sounds like you had a great time. And go Little Boys on the 8am start. Anytime they want to give mine some top tips on that front they are more than welcome. Ours stayed up until almost midnight on Friday night (oh Bosnian mother I am becoming) and they were still up before 7am. Sigh.

Iota said...

I think Thanksgiving is a great annual celebration. Not for the historical event (because that all went a bit wrong, not long afterwards, didn't it?), but because it's very good to be made to stop and think of all the things in our lives that we should be grateful for. That we ARE grateful for.

I still haven't worked out why the turkey has become the symbol of Thanksgiving. Seems to me that the turkeys were the big losers in the whole event.

nappy valley girl said...

Thames - I approve of it thoroughly!

Brit in Bosnia - I'm not sure what the answer is; they seem to have got into the habit of staying up late, and that makes them sleep late. I think if it's a one-off, they don't automatically adjust though.

Iota - yes, turkeys would seem to be losing out. And what's all this with the president pardoning a turkey? What did it do wrong?....