Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Thanks to everyone who emailed Happy Thanksgiving wishes to us! I’ll be catching up on emails over the next couple of days, so you should hear from me.

We had a great Thanksgiving. Cindy and John, a couple from south of Syracuse, New York, were here for the holiday, so even though it isn’t an official holiday here in Belize, it was a holiday for us. Tom, Cindy, John, and Selwyn spent the day exploring Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, and Rio On Pools, and I spent the day doing what I always do on Thanksgiving – cooking, which is something I really enjoy.

A number of people asked via email if the holiday was celebrated here, and as I was cooking I was thinking about how even though it isn’t officially celebrated, I think this is the first Thanksgiving, probably in our adult lives, when we’ve really had time to stop and think about how thankful we are for lots and lots of things. When we were kids, Thanksgiving was just a couple of days off from school, which was an event to be celebrated, but we didn’t think much about giving thanks for anything. When we got out in the real world, it was still a long weekend, definitely a good thing, but I don’t think we ever even took the time to think about the real purpose of the holiday. We were always too wound up about something else – work that didn’t get done before the holiday, travel plans for the long weekend, worry about the weather for whomever was traveling, the expense of traveling, deciding where and with whom the holiday would be celebrated, making food, fretting about other people making food, stressing because we couldn’t be in more than one place at a time, wondering if everybody would get along and behave themselves, worrying in advance about all the stresses associated with the holidays, and…all the rest of the things grown ups worry about on a regular basis, but probably more at holidays.

Here, in the quiet of my kitchen, I actually thought about all the things I give thanks for on a regular basis. A big one is that despite the great distance between our family and friends and us, we manage to remain close, thanks in part to email and modern technology, but mostly to all the people who matter and who make an extra effort to stay in touch with us like they do. Some have even traveled here to visit, for which we’re very thankful, and we’re thankful that we’ve both been able to travel and visit family and friends. On the subject of people, I’m also thankful for all the people we’ve met here who have become friends, and just for the people that regularly take a little extra time and effort to make things go easier for us and everyone else. I’m thankful that we found a place where can live happily with our animals in a beautiful warm spot in the world, and share that place with others. I’m happy that our business is going well, and that I was spending Thanksgiving not just cooking, but doing a job that I love to do at the same time, and that Tom was out sharing Belize with our newest friends and also working and having fun. For the first time in my life – no offense to former employers intended since I’ve always liked my jobs – I was able to understand how people could say that even if they won the lottery, they’d keep doing their jobs. In fact, we feel sort of like we’ve won a lottery living and working here in Belize, and we’re thankful for everything everyone has done for us over the years that enabled us to get here, including Tom’s parents who sent us here on vacation. Little did they suspect what would come of their kind action! We can only hope that those around us can find as much to be thankful for as we do – and if they can, we’re truly thankful.

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