Thursday, November 25, 2004

Giving Thanks

A wonderful thankgiving to all our family and friends. I hope your day is filled with love and friendship. We are all truly blessed.

Last year we spent the Thanksgiving holiday with just our little family. The kids didn't get the day off (it's an International School after all, can't give off everyone's holidays, though a bunch of second grade parents did put together a Thanksgiving Day celebration, so that was fun) so I'd made a small chicken and some sides, and we had a basic dinner at home. I guess it was better than going out, but not much. Ask Ian and he'll say it was pretty sad.
Fast forward to this year. Nine kids and fifteen adults gathered poolside at Seafront to celebrate the companionship of each other, along with plenty of turkey and sides and desserts. My worries over a turkey that simply wouldn't register 180 on the meat thermometer were unfounded. Both Laura's turkey and mine were yummy and so far no one has come down with salmonella poisoning. I should probably look up what the time table for that to develop is, shouldn't I?
The kids played, ate and swam. The adults ate, chatted and doled out food. We all smacked at mosquitoes and tried not to step on the stray cat circling our food tables. Lisa and Matt took turns watching the kids, which I am grateful for because I didn't get my lazy butt up and over to the pool to do it. Catherine and Laura brought Liesl and Audrey, so I got some nice baby time. Stephenie lent us tables even though she's at Club Noah right now. Chris brought drinks, everyone pitched in with too much food (as is expected for Thanksgiving) and even better, some new arrivals joined us at our impromptu table. One couple is on their second tour, after a stint in Benin. They arrived on Tuesday and are still on the time difference roller-coaster, so I was double impressed that at 6p.m. they were relatively functional.
For today, those of us away from family with no traveling plans, spent time together. In logistics it wasn't much different than many other potluck get-togethers, but with such a family oriented holiday it was important that we share it even as casual as shorts and San Mig. We even neglected (not on purpose) a prayer of thanks before eating.
But I don't think it was any secret that we were indeed thankful. For each other and for our families back home.
Just for today, we were each other's Manila family.

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