We had some firsts yesterday. It was the first Thanksgiving we have not spent with either my extended family or Indya's. It was also the first Thanksgiving I have ever had to work. I teach on Thursdays and am canceling class three times over Christmas (when they continue classes with only two days off for Christmas and one day off for New Years!), so I just couldn't pull the trigger and cancel again. We let the girls stay home from school, but poor Indya trooped off to teach as well. My parents and my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephew are ALL coming over for Christmas and New Years, so Thanksgiving was bound to be one of the lonelier days of this year.
We actually had a great Thanksgiving dinner hosted by U.S. Embassy folks and attended by Slovene and American families. We had roast turkey and cranberry sauce and the cornbread sausage stuffing I made, so the food was great and pretty traditional, and the company was excellent (and of course the wine was better than we drink at my family's house!).
But still, it wasn't the same as a family gathering. I think it is safe to say that it is one of the days we have been most homesick since we got here, especially Dahlia who is a tradition hound. Just last year my whole family came down to Knoxville and we borrowed a deep fat fryer for the turkey and then made some french fries in the turkey infused gallons of grease. Mmmmmmmm grease.
Regardless, being away for a year is a sharp reminder to be ever grateful for what we left behind. We have had some great talks about returning to the USA with open eyes, extra grateful and more aware of all of the amazing people, places, and things we have surrounded ourselves with at home in Knoxville, Tennessee. we are always big on expressing a list of our "thankfuls" at Thanksgiving. This year we are grateful not only for this year's adventure, but also that we get to go home at the end! It's a funny lesson for Thanksgiving to remember to be thankful for what you don't have, but it's a good one.