For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has meant making pies with my mom in the morning, followed by a two hour drive to Eugene in the company of both parents. In the late afternoon we’d reach my aunt’s cozy home, already bustling with the sounds and smells of food and family. Together we’d celebrate the holiday over a delicious gourmet spread. There would be conversation, laughter, and the exchange of updates from the year's events. We'd spend the extended evening sipping Martinelli’s (and later in my life wine) and enjoying each other’s company.
In recent years, Thanksgivings have been split between Ryan’s family and mine, with the morning and early afternoon spent with Ryan’s folks and sister (also in Eugene) snacking and talking while relaxing in their comfy family room. We'd head to my family’s dinner in the evening, just in time to join the large group of relatives and close friends.
We’ve come to love the tradition of getting together with everyone on the long weekend, and last Friday (Thursday in Oregon), when everyone we knew on the other side of the world was sitting down to dinner with family, we really felt the absence of the holiday. I have to admit that on the actually day, Thursday here, I forgot it was Thanksgiving. Korea obviously doesn’t recognize the day, and we didn’t give much thought to having a weeknight celebration. Our actual Thanksgiving dinner consisted of pizza and curry from Costco, so…. Before you feel too sorry for us, you should know that it was delicious! Not to mention that the real celebration was still to come on Saturday.
Ryan organized football on the beach in the morning, introducing some British friends to "American Football" for the first time, and kicking off the holiday in true Yankee fashion.
I stayed home to cook, clean and ready the apartment. What a good wife!
That evening, we were joined by co-workers and friends for our Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Ironically the only thing missing from our feast (besides of course our families) was the obvious turkey. I didn’t mind. We chatted over delicious roasted red pepper and cheese dips, followed by a full spread of all the traditional items, complete with one domestic friend’s homemade Asian pear butter, mini cornbread muffins and candied walnuts. There were even pumpkin, apple and walnut pies for dessert. Delish.
We sat Korean style (on the floor) at low tables borrowed from school in our crowded apartment. We simultaneously enjoyed the company of our new friends (and one's pet bunny), and the familiarity and comfort of our favorite holiday foods. We also drank lots and lots of wine. The Macy’s Day Parade played in the background (recorded from its earlier broadcast) thanks to Ryan’s dad’s Slingbox, with a hilarious episode of Saturday Night Live later in the evening. It was a wonderful holiday.
There are so many things we’re thankful for this year, but most of all we appreciate the health and happiness of our families and friends, and the opportunity life has given us to be here on this adventure together. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving from our small family to yours!