Tuesday, 13 November 2007

small things

I had a volleyball match this weekend. It was against our rival, Annemasse. I guess, my team's rival, I can't say I feel much rivalry with Annemasse. They were good opponents but still, we killed them in 3 games. The girls were nice though, their setter in particular, making the post-match potluck much more tolerable. I think the thought of meeting the girls on the opposing team is a nice idea, it's just that forced social interaction always seems so... well, contrived.

Anyway, I have been thinking about the holidays and whether or not I want to make an expat Thanksgiving dinner. I've talked it up a little too much so it might be a disappointment not do it but right now, the thought of it makes me homesick. I love Thanksgiving but recreating what I love about the holiday isn't really possible because the dinner is only a small part of it. Thanksgiving to me is my family; first with just my brother and my parents with all of our inside jokes and funny quirks and then, joining with the rest of the extended family to celebrate.
It starts the same way every year with my dad getting the car ready and packed. Letting my mom, brother and I, all know that we are leaving in 15 minutes. 15 minutes, definitive departure. 40 minutes later we pile into the car with books and pillows. It means a car trip over the pass, NPR on the radio, the obligatory rest stop at Indian John Hill, passing by the fruit stand and knowing exactly how much longer till we arrive at our relative's house, my aunt's creamed corn and another welcome opportunity to eat mashed potatoes, a difficult decision between dark meat or light, lots of chatter and laughter, pecan pie and my mom's berry pie, the carafes of coffee that come out after all the dishes have been cleared and the only thing left on the table is spots of fallen cranberry sauce or rings of spilled gravy and, candles that have burned down to short stubs. Talking, laughing and more reminiscing. Slowly moving into the living room and once everyone has found their spot from which to watch, the movie marathon begins, the turkey kicks in and most everyone slowly dozes off.
Thanksgiving is in the small details, the quirky traditions and those simple, special moments shared with my family. Here, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday. So perhaps this year, I'll just savor my favorite memories and call home to see how it's going and hear that my memories were a more pleasant version of the holiday, as memories generally tend to be.


Leah said...

Good post. Made me get all nostalgic about my own Thanksgiving memories. Personally, I am doing Thanksgiving with friends here that have become a sort of second family in my home away from home. It won't be the same as if I were at home, but I think it'll help. Have a nice time whatever you decide to do!

Karen said...

Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you have a great time with your friends. What dish are you making for the event?

Leah said...

I think the question is more what dish am I not making? Haha. Since it's at my apt, I will be making everything along with 2 friends...chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, etc etc. Can't wait!