"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into
enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order,
confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a
home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie
There is something sacred and special about celebrating a holiday in a country where no one else is celebrating it or even aware that it is a holiday. This is our fourth Thanksgiving on our world tour that we have celebrated outside of our country. We find it even more precious as the rituals and food connect us to the best in family, home and country.
It is one of my favorites because it is about gratitude, family, comfort foods and friends. Since I only have a left hand or a paralyzed dominant right hand and arm due to an accident in August, I can't cook or do much of anything for many months while my cut radial nerve heals. Thus our meal was extra simple and took a real team effort.
Some might have given up on a world tour with such a bad injury that may take a year and a half to heal, but I am proud and grateful for how we are choosing to make lemonade out of the lemons! I'm grateful for all the support and little miracles I have received like finding a wonderful Danish Physical Therapist here yesterday, who not only is fluent in English and Spanish, but also very fluent in German, so she could easily read all my medical reports from Austria! Despite my challenges, I feel very blessed!
Even in my very handicapped state, I can make my Grandmother's recipe for stuffing (well direct it any way) and remember fondly how much love she poured into it and how many times my mother has made it with all the trimmings that come with this meal and the pleasure it's given over so many years.
Today, Mozart tore up the bread as I did as a child and my mother before me. How many generations after me will enjoy the love that is shared through these simple foods? Mozart has not had a Thanksgiving in America (or 4th of July or Easter or Christmas etc) since she was five, but she knows what they are and loves celebrating them American style no matter where we are. Perhaps they mean even more to her now.
She is a very lucky kid who gets to celebrate her own holidays as well as the ones that happen in the countries that we visit! She also gets to see and talk to grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles "live" via webcams like she did today. The miracle of technology lets us be with family on both sides even though we are a continent away! Seeing a loved ones face filling a window on a laptop means everything on a trip like ours as I'm not sure we could do it without that.
Last year we were home in California in November. It wasn't Thanksgiving (we did that here in Spain) but that didn't stop us from celebrating it with both sides of our family...a little bit early. We had three big Turkey Day meals on three days! Those sweet memories still warm us with the love, generosity and goodness that is our family. All of our classic T-day photos ( except the lead picture) are from those sweet days.
Here's hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too, even if you don't celebrate it, I'm sure you understand the gratitude! I'm so grateful to all our wonderful readers of this website and all of you that watch our soultravelers3 videos. We never expected so many people to be interested in our journey and yet all of your love has added so much to it.
"When you realize how PERFECT everything is... you will tilt your head back & laugh at the sky." Buddha
We are just an ordinary family so we are thrilled that we have managed to inspire others ( as others have inspired us). I think we really are meant to inspire and lift each other up and God knows this planet and each of us could always use more positiveness, gratitude and forgiveness.
Today I was very touched by an email from the amazing Andrew Warner who I did an interview with at his Mixergy site about 9 months ago. He told me he moved to Beunos Aires largely because of our interview and that we inspired him to travel and he was loving it. That made my day!
DaVinci suggested that I do a post about all the people who have told us such things and perhaps someday I will as we are so grateful that our simple story can help others..That still amazes me and makes me happy. Life is such a delicious mystery and gratitude just makes you feel all yummy inside, doesn't it? I am so grateful for the beautiful, ordinary, extraordinary people in my life!