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.)