Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Dozen Week #13

Realizing that things could get a little busy for folks by Wednesday, Lid has moved up the weekly Random Dozen meme to Tuesday. And it's all about Thanksgiving this week.

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous? I've already admitted we won't be doing Thanksgiving this year (horror! gasp! Can it be?)  We probably could get together with some American ex-pats in the neighboring city but Thursday happens to be a very busy day for us. I'm helping with exams all week at the English Institute and Ivan will be attending a recital concert with co-workers (whose daughters play piano). So no turkey with all the trimmings for us this year.

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.") My hubby. He stomps spiders so I don't have to, and rubs my head when it hurts. He also makes an incredible asado. He has many other wonderful qualities and skills but I do not have time to list them all here.

3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for. ANTICIPATION! I love looking forward to things...my daughter's arrival in Argentina in December for a nice long visit, the part she's bringing that will allow my handyman husband (another of his skills) to fix my Macbook, the little quilty coming my way as part of the Four Seasons Holiday Quilt Swap, wonderful rain that will nourish the ground and fill up the lake... those are just a few of the things I'm anticipating.

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory. 1967, the year of the Detroit riots. We'd spent the summer with a family who lived closer to where my mom worked, so mom wouldn't have to drive across town at night. Even though the riots only lasted a few days, the potential for more violence was ever present as the city simmered in the summer heat and racial anger. For almost two months six kids and two adults occupied a two-bedroom trailer and for the kids, who didn't really understand what was going on around them, it was a grand adventure! When school started we moved back home and didn't see our friends again until we returned for Thanksgiving dinner. I vividly remember how the trailer was steaming hot from all the cooking going on that day so we had to open windows and the youngest child stripped down to his underwear which nobody thought the least bit odd. Like any reunion we had fun playing "remember when" and picking up our friendships (and rivalries) where we'd left off. 

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year? I have no answer for this one. Thanksgiving is just not the same when you live overseas.

6. Do your pets get any left-overs? What pets? Unless we want to count the big Mama toad and her 13 offspring that are inhabiting our back yard, which Ivan uncovered when he moved some lumber yesterday. I'm hoping they prefer the spiders and eat lots of them, so Ivan doesn't have to stomp to the rescue as often. 

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying? Yes to joining hands. Different ones pray each year. Generally a spontaneous prayer but we've been known to sing a prayer of Thanksgiving on occasion. Spontaneously.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing? Nope. Refer to #1 for what we'll be doing.

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing? Never had them. I've used the same stuffing recipe for years but do plan to try something new this Christmas after seeing PW's mother-in-law's recipe.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving? Not really. You going to set us straight, Lid?

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying? If I could, I'd have pecan pie. Sadly, pecans are the one nut I haven't been able to find here :-(  A few years ago my DIL made the most incredible chocolate pecan pie I.Have.Ever.Eaten.The memory of that pie is sustaining me through my pecanless existence.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!) Am reminded of the Thanksgiving episode on West Wing when C. J. made the president pardon both turkeys. Unlike C. J., I don't feel for the turkeys because I am a hard-hearted, turkey-eating woman.

For not even doing Thanksgiving this year, I sure had a lot to say. (Sharon, stop laughing!) It will, in all honesty, be the first time we've missed it. The year we were in Uganda we hosted a potluck at our house for all the Americans and Canadians (who didn't mind celebrating a month late). Last year we were in Buenos Aires and were invited to another potluck hosted by a group of American missionaries at a campground. That was a memorable meal since a huge (and I do mean HUGE) spider suddenly appeared on the table out of nowhere and this southern girl moved with the speed of light! But as we adapt to another culture I guess it's inevitable that things change. We may do Thanksgiving next year or we may not. One thing we've learned is that for a missionary, flexibility is the key.

(And physical flexibility is crucial when trying to de-tangle oneself from a picnic bench after being surprised by giant arañas. While the hubby is busy taking photos instead of doing his usual stomping act, because he's thrilled with such a large specimen.)


SouthLakesMom said...

Kim, I pray that you'll have the opportunity to share your thankfulness on Thursday anyway and that some of your students will be curious about why this day is important to Americans in the US!

Thank you for being on the front lines with the spiders!

Thena said...

Interesting answers. You can keep the spiders. lol We have a pecan tree in our front yard. Last year it gave us zilch, nada, but this year it's loaded. We here in America take so much for granted. Like us and the tree to have pecan pie.

Jenny wren's nest said...

I love our cat for killing spiders, and crickets, God bless the cat.
thank you for the stuffing recipe it saves me looking thru all my cook books.

Mocha with Linda said...

Enjoyed reading your answers. I know you're busy with other things Thursday, but I remember years ago my sister saying that Thanksgiving was the holiday the missionaries really deliberately celebrated together in a special way and bonded over. Other countries have Independence Days, other countries celebrate Christmas and New Year's, but Thanksgiving was so uniquely American.

Mocha with Linda said...

BTW, Absolutely I will send a book to your daughter if you win Booked for the Holidays! Thanks for sharing the button!

Susanne said...

Loved reading your answers. Now you have me craving chocolate pecan pie. :v)

Even though you are not "doing" Thanksgiving this year, I hope you have a wonderful doing what you will be doing.

Jessie at Blog Schmog said...

Haha! Awesome answers. Your thanksgiving memory was great and the spiders oh so sneaky!

I spent one Thanksgiving in Japan and one in Canada so I know what you mean about it just slipping by like yet another day.


The Bug said...

My dad has a pecan tree which produces more than we can usually eat. If he has extra this year I'd be happy to mail you some - just let me know (I'm pretty sure my email address is in my profile). I can send other ingredients as well. I think that everyone should have the ability to enjoy pecan pie (it's my favorite!). I'll try to remember to not put soap in the package - I remember getting a package from home when I was in Zambia & all the chocolate tasted like soap. Sigh. We ate it anyway :)

skoots1mom said...

2. THIS CRACKS ME UP...our youth minister is "anti-spider"...he'll jump halfway across a room if someone says the word spider...your hero,hubby, saves you! love it...

Fixing our Macbook is INDEED a priority :D

Oh, the frogs will help Ivan kill the spiders!...still laffing

Love this idea: singing a prayer of Thanksgiving

I make an incredible chocolate-bourbon pecan tarts...there's only 2-3 tablespoons of bourbon that cooks into the gooey sauce...they are YUMMO, the crust from the tarts keeps them from beeing too sweet.
I give them away as gifts, too.

Spiders definitely get your attention..."appeared on the table"...praying you have NO spiders as you're working with the exams on Thursday...
NO surprises by giant arañas, please Lord!

Sharon said...

:) what I lack in words I make up in thoughts...thoughts of you that is. I've ordered the beads and am working on the fabric stash

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

I am working all day today to get all my pre-thanksgiving food done so I can enjoy the day on Thursday as much as possible.

I admire you flexibility. I have found the older I get the less and less flexible I am. I think that is why I keep being placed into situation where flexibility is required, God is so persistent in those kinds of things.

I know that even thought you will not be having a traditional thanksgiving you will be celebrating the true meaning of what it means to be thankful as you live out your example of a life of service.

Happy Thanksgiving

Susan said...

I love all of your answers and getting to know you a bit through this meme. Wow...what a neat mission you are in. Praying God's blessing on you as you continue your journey.



Tami said...

i'll enjoy a slice of pecan pie for you - on thursday AND saturday ;-)

(love the colassians 1:6 verse in your "about me"!)

Amy said...

Our dog eats spiders, or at least kills them. However spiders who are big enough to have to pay rent might do her in!!

Great answers and have a Thankful Thursday!!


SnoWhite said...

anticipation is a good thing to be thankful for that I really hadn't thought about :) thanks!

Melli said...

Well, ya know - Thanksgiving is still Thanksgiving, no matter who you're with or what you eat! So, I hope that Thursday will STILL be a blessed Thanksgiving for you and your Super-Hero Bug Stompin' Ivan!

Joyce said...

Oh I do know what you mean about the day not being the same when you are away from America.

I hope your Thanksgiving is special and filled with gratitude!

Lhoyt said...

I love your picture of Pepe Turkeyhuahua. Or is it Francisco el perro pavo?
Enjoyed your answers to the Random Dozen.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

If I could send you a pecan pie, I would! Be blessed tomorrow. You are special.

rita said...

Another fun-filled, well-written, meaningful post. You are amazing! Throw anything at you and you turn it into a delightful read. No wonder you get so many comments.
We (M & I and Diane) went to Steph & Karen's today and had a Mounts Thanksgiving at the Kochs. Great fun with 15 kids under 15, four adopted (1 VietNam, 3 Ghana).
Tomorrow whole Koch family here. Mike is cooking up a storm!

The Bug said...

I've got the pecans! Just e me your address (danabug1964@woh.rr.com).