Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
I didn't really do much to celebrate today. It's hard to continue celebrating holidays outside of the country of origin. For example, on October 6th Andrew had me try to guess what holiday it was.
"What day is it?" he asked.
"Ummm...October 6th..." I said.
"But what holiday is it?"
"I don't know."
"It's the 6th of October!"
Silly me. How could I have forgotten? Perhaps because here it's just another day of school and work with no parades or fireworks or late-night neighbourhood parties. So today was Thanksgiving and there was no turkey, no family gatherings, no long weekend.
I did read up the history of the holiday and learned that Canadian Thanksgiving actually predates American Thanksgiving, which I don't remember knowing before. American Thanksgiving is much more romanticized and commercialized than Canadian Thanksgiving so everyone knows about the Pilgrims. Sometimes it seems like Americans feel they have a monopoly on Thanksgiving when really it's pretty common in any culture that has a harvest season or has overcome some difficulty. That's pretty much everywhere. Instead of delving into history, though, I'll just tell you what I'm grateful for, and today I'm grateful for a lot of things:
The girls and I went over to my parents' house for a while (and had first dinner there). We picked up windfall from the apple and pear trees in the backyard and while we were cleaning up around the pear tree we found a golden, pristine pear. It was beautiful. Perfect, really. We cut it open, which is always a gamble because my parents don't spray their trees, and there weren't even any worms inside.
We played at the park and the weather was so nice that we took off our sweaters and played in our t-shirts. I love days like that! We saw the bluest bluejay and some robins. Canada geese are also starting to make their appearance in the sky. We had a fairly happy day with relatively few meltdowns. That was nice.
I'm still loving the dryer...and full-capacity washing machine. I'm also rather fond of the dishwasher. And toaster. And oven. And...and...and...
I went for a nice run on an indoor track with Wendy, who dutifully drives us there. I love having someone to talk to while I run. And Wendy has seven kids and still seems to be sane. One day I want to be like her because I only have two kids and I'm never sure about my sanity. But I am grateful for my girls--they are the brightest part of my day.
Except for when Andrew comes home from school/work. He's awesome. He brought the towels up from the dryer for me because I forgot that I had put them in the wash before going running so when I came home and hopped in the shower before remembering that there were no towels in the bathroom I just yelled out to him and he dropped his homework and finished the laundry for me. He's some kind of wonderful like that every single day. I'm so lucky.
I love living close to family. It gets a little complicated sometimes, especially since we had been away for so long and completely forgot that people have expectations...but...we still love it. I'm especially grateful that Andrew's parents moved into the basement and welcomed us into their home. I like being within walking distance to my parents' house. I like that my girls have the opportunity to get to know their aunts and uncles in person instead of just over the internet.
I love being close to the mountains. They are so pretty. I'm also enjoying having seasons again even though I know that the fall weather is eventually going to give-way to winter I'm trying to enjoy it the best I can. In the ward newsletter, Brother Bassett said that he prefers "to think of autumn as the time in which everything reaches the fruition for which it was designed--the time of harvest and beauty." I think I need to adopt that view instead of continuing to view autumn as a season of dispair.
I'm thankful for the wonderful General Conference we had last weekend. I'm thankful for a living prophet, for temples, for scriptures, for the restored gospel. I love teaching the Sunbeams and can't wait for Rachel to turn four because four-year-olds are hilarious. I'm thankful for the atonement of the Savior and for the Plan of Salvation. I'm grateful for the gift of the holy ghost. I am grateful that Andrew and I were sealed for time and eternity so that we can be together forever. I am grateful for the power of prayer and for revelation. I am grateful for the power of the priesthood and am so blessed to have found someone holds that priesthood to worthily preside over our home.
I'm thankful for agency and that my parents taught me how to make correct decisions. I'm not sure where to go from here--I could be thankful for my parents or thankful to live in a free country. I'm definitely thankful for both.
I'm thankful for the opportunity we had to live in Cairo. It was an amazing experience and we learned so much and grew in ways we didn't think were possible. I'm glad to be here, back in school, again. Even though I might complain about it sometimes...I know in the longrun school is a good idea.
I'm grateful for the jobs that we have now, that we're both able to work and that we both have jobs, no matter how piddly our income may be. I'm grateful for welfare and that our girls are on the state health plan otherwise there would be no way we could make ends meet. Well, we could take out another loan but, let's be honest, debt is no fun. I'm thankful for scholarships and grants.
I'm grateful for a yard with grass and sidewalk chalk and sunshiny days. I'm thankful for books and for computers and for toys. I'm thankful for clean water to drink and good food to eat. I'm thankful for friends and family and neighbours. I'm thankful for hand-me-downs and really good sales at stores. I'm thankful for clothes and cars and houses. I'm thankful for a door that locks, for the servicemen worldwide who work to keep us safe, for helmets and bandaids.
I'm thankful for preschool and that Rachel loves to learn. I'm thankful for nap time and that Miriam loves to sleep. I'm thankful for play time and colouring time and story time and cuddle time. I'm thankful for libraries and sidewalks and trees. I'm thankful for my body and the amazing things that it can do like run and swim and incubate children and lactate. I'm thankful for all the knowledge available at our fingers via school, books, the internet, other people. I'm thankful for clean hospitals and traffic lights. I'm thankful for strollers and baby slings. I'm thankful for blankets and pillows and beds. I'm thankful for glasses and I'm pretty sure that one day I will be grateful for braces (I know Josie is grateful for braces) and maybe even hearing aids. Who knows? Right now I'm happy that I can see well enough, hear well enough, and chew well enough. I'm not really looking forward to getting old--I plan on aging as gracefully as possible--but I sure do appreciate my elders, especially my grandparents.
I'm thankful for cloth diapers. I'm thankful for toenail polish. I didn't ever think I would be, but I really am because when I paint my toenails I don't cut my toenails and then I don't get ingrown toenails, so, yes...I am thankful for toenail polish. It's like self-control in a bottle. I'm so thankful for toothbrushes. I love brushing my teeth. One of the best feelings in the world is a brand-new toothbrush (and I'm not even kidding). I'm thankful for deodorant and to live in a place where most everybody who might stink otherwise wears it religiously.
I'm thankful that it's time to go to bed because it's really, really time to go to bed and I still have to put the sheets back on. (I washed them today in a full-capacity washing machine and then tumble-dried them in the spiffy dryer that sits right next to the full-capacity washing machine. It's possible I'm in heaven.)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What are you thankful for?