Thursday, 24 November 2011

Today is Thanksgiving Day in America, always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, it traditionally commemorates the first pilgrims' safe arrival in the New World. It also marks the start of 'The Holidays'. When we lived in the States, it was initially a novelty, which then became a much loved, adopted holiday. Exclusively American, we enjoyed it fully without the wistful tug of home, because it was just an ordinary old Thursday over there! My very favourite aspect of Thanksgiving has to be its inclusiveness because unlike Christmas, (now diluted into 'The Holidays'), it's celebrated by all Americans of every creed and colour. In fact, the previous day  is the busiest travel day in the whole year, as hoards crisscross the country (think 'Planes Trains Automobiles!'), to share Thanksgiving with family. For many, its may be the only time they see them all year.
We celebrated it mostly with our good expat friends - happily adopting new traditions of corn bread and roast turkey, pumpkin and pecan pies, all washed down with plenty of wine. Nowadays, it's the time of year, when I feel most homesick for our time in Virginia, and I often ponder what Thanksgiving would look like for us now, had we stayed there. More constructively, and in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I also try and remind myself to be thankful for so much in my life.
This year, and without boring you too much, these last weeks have been demandingly busy-I'm hitting the ground running from first thing in the morning, until I switch off the light at night...inevitably far too late,  knowing that it all begins again in just a few short hours. No time to regroup, or wind down, just a whirlwind of lists, chores and responsibilities- you get the picture! So, although I am genuinely very, very grateful for all the major things in my life-  health, Loverboy, our children, friends, and family far and near-gratitude isn't generally forefront in my mind, when I'm in the moment, feeling frazzled and wondering if there's an end in sight to this particularly challenging phase/ stage that we're going through.
So today on Thanksgiving, I'm going to be grateful for the seemingly insignificant little things that pull me through these busy days. Please understand that by noting them, I'm in no way diminishing the proper, big stuff- it's just a little nod to my day to day insanity savers. So here goes-
1. Coffee -made in the cafetiere, (definitely not instant), with hot milk on the side. A life without coffee is a life half lived.
2. Shoes- obviously appreciated from a practical point of view, (this goes without saying in November), but I genuinely experience a deep sense of peace, even in the maddest of hours, if I'm sporting fab shoes.
3. Sky + we've touched on this before-a little piece of heaven where ad breaks are a thing of the past.
4. My heated car seat- enough said.
5. Proper butter- I couldn't even contemplate margarine ever again.
6. A bath with my Jo Malone bath oil, a favourite magazine and a glass of wine. Oh, and a lock on the door, otherwise little friends come in to 'chat', which quite frankly, defeats the purpose entirely.
7. Lindt Lindor milk chocolate balls- my most special of friends, although careful self regulation is a difficult necessity.
8. Having my back scratched- the poor man's massage and I just LOVE it.
9. My new iPad- who knew there were so many great apps?
10. Walking alone with music- although often hard to go out on a dark, windy morning, I'm always glad when I do.
So these are the little things that I'm grateful for today. I possibly should have raised the Bar a little, and included Shakespeare or Radio 4, but it would have been an outrageous lie. So how about you? Any daily life savers that you're thankful for today and feel like sharing?


  1. Boys at school, Veronica engrossed in tv, hot toasted bagel with nutella on one side and peanut butter on the other, sandwiched together they get all melted and mixed up, its like reeses cups but better, hot coffee, newspaper, mmmmmm!

  2. Also, desert island discs on the iplayer, I know that sounds lame, but it's soooo relaxing!

  3. Jennifer with u on the desert island discs. Emma, 6 and 7. And look at me now I still busy busy, but u remind me of thise madder days. Mx

  4. Woah Jen- that bagel thingie sounds delish- will be trying that for sure! As for Desert Island Discs, I have to agree- I hardly ever hear it but Iplayer would solve that problem. Ah Brenda- you're the trailblazer showing me how to do it with style!

  5. Radio 4 IS my life saver. It's the only adult conversation I hear all day and there is usually some nugget of random information I like to muse over....

    I also get untold pleasure from aniseed twists, although I have found that more than 8 in one day is not good for the tongue.

    I sound like an old woman at a bus stop. but I'm only 38. How depressing...whatever happened to Friday night is party night?

    Sarah x

  6. Do you know Sarah, I think I'm missing a trick with Radio 4- I just haven't got into the layout yet- no excuse - we get the Radio Times every week. My mum swears by Woman's Hour and I do enjoy Desert Island Discs when I catch it. Will give it a whirl. As for the aniseed twists- haven't tried those but will be keeping an eye out from now on...

  7. Perfectly timed list for Christmas - though to be fair, a lot of them are gifts you can't buy.
    By the way, your Mum may be horrified to know the sort of person they're letting work on Woman's Hour these days. Ahem.

  8. Paul- no way!! I'm all starstruck !That's it,I'll have to listen to it now....