Thursday, November 25, 2010

True Thanksgiving

I didn't want to be thought of as completely ungrateful and
nasty about the whole idea of Thanksgiving. So, I've repented of my ways,
decided that Thanksgiving isn't soo bad, and I've been pondering a certain
memorable one that I had about three years ago.

I lived in China for about 5 months teaching English.
It was an incredible experience that I would encourage anyone to
do. However, it was the first time I really left my home for an extended
about of time with no easy access to getting back. I missed my mom, my family,
my bed, carpet, normal tasting toothpaste, sugar, milk, simple veggies not
swimming in grease, and going to church. China is a strange place, full of
customs that baffled all of us. The unexpected was expected. Everything was
so strange and dirty.

The food is what threw us for a loop the most. Everything, I mean
EVERYTHING, was served in pools of oil. It tasted weird and did
terrible things to our bowel movements. (TMI) And to top it all off
was the fact that China doesn't believe in sugar. (I have a terrible
sweet tooth and this was agony.) It was
all okay for the first month or so, but by then the cake and brownie
mixes we had brought over were highly relished and rationed.
There were four of us that would met in the dead of the night to
cook these glorious sugary-saving treats and devour them without
any guilt about not sharing with the rest of the group. Good times.

We missed home.

Thus, Thanksgiving was a glorious event. We gave our Chinese cook
a break and cooked all day. We didn't find a turkey, but had a duck.
We made rolls, did our best with pies, and had stuffing. It wasn't
fancy, but it was amazing because it was an America tradition. We
didn't have our families, but we had each other. We ached for home,
but were grateful that we were able to keep a little of it with us. We
sung hymns, ate food, and talked about what we loved about America.

And let me tell you... that food was the best I've ever tasted. I
was grateful for every bite that reminded me of home. We weren't
worried about calories or food pyramids, just feeding our souls with
that which was familiar. Every bite was a symphony.
We ate with empty stomachs and hearts full of gratitude.
We enjoyed the smells of the slightest hint of familiarity.
We were enjoying the goodness of the earth. We teased and joked and
loved each other. It was the best Thanksgiving because I truly
recognized what was important: family, love, and the feeling of

That is the true feelings of Thanksgiving, brought to you from
all the way around the world.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Laura Wynn said...

I love this. That's truly the spirit of Thanksgiving. Ps, loving your button. Super cute.
Have a happy day!

Baby Sister said...

How I missed this post I do not know. But it sound like you had an adventure!! It's amazing how being away from home can make one grateful for the things that they take advantage of on a daily basis!!