Today, I spent a normal day at work and tonight mein Schatz and I will order pizza and assemble all the furniture we bought at Ikea on Tuesday night.* I have yet to meet another American in Hamburg. Even so, I still have that special warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving feeling inside. Maybe it is because every Thanksgiving in recent memory has been a little different than the year before. But always with lots of good stuff to be thankful for, no matter where I am or how I spend the day.
So, here is a quick review of Thanksgivings past:
2002: I had only been in New York for a few months and definitely could not afford a trip home to Seattle so soon or so close to Christmas. So, I ate some pumpkin pie with my Greek roommate and watched the Macy’s parade on television.
2003: With a good friend in town (and after watching the Macy’s parade in the freezing cold somewhere on the Upper West Side of Manhattan), I hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Complete with friends too far from home to travel and a pre-cooked turkey from Zabar’s (you didn’t think that I could actually cook a turkey, did you?).
2004: Instead of hosting this year, we went to another friend’s home, who hosted all of those with far-away families.
2005: This Thanksgiving, my sweetheart and I cooked together, only no turkeys were harmed in the process. Instead we ate salmon, potatoes, (out of season) spargel, and pumpkin pie.
2006: Because I would be spending the second Christmas in a row away from my family, this year I splurged on a plane ticket home to Seattle for Thanksgiving. Relaxing and pleasant.
2007: Last Thanksgiving, I was a guest at a friend’s home, and celebrated with him and his family. Good times.
Each and every Thanksgiving day was special in its own way, and today is no different. I can not even put into words how grateful I am to be living in another culture, learning another language, making connections in my career — all with the loving support of my family and friends. My only wish is that I could bring all the important people in my life together in one place, but even so, I am so grateful to have a strong network of support spread around the world.
Happy Thanksgiving, from Hamburg!
* As a side note, Ikea (pronounced in Germany as: eee-kay-ah) on a Tuesday night is a DREAM. There is nobody there to jostle with, nobody else in line, and no screaming children. We were able to bike to the rental agency, pick up a rental van, drive to Ikea, buy a ton of stuff, drop it off at the apartment, return the van to the rental agency, and bike home – all in under four hours. Miracle of miracles. I will never go to Ikea on the weekend again.