Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks....

Happy Thanksgiving! Late fall and many of you are already experiencing heavy rain and snow...we here, in sunny Florida, are enjoying the flowers, flowering shrubs and the fruit laden trees. 85 today and I actually turned the air conditioning on again...yup, the end of November.
This morning, I went out for my daily walk and this group of birds was casually walking directly down our they were out for their walk. By the time I went and got my camera, they had moved on to one of the homes on our street and were pecking away. Yes, that is an orange tree.

Today was a very special day. I have never celebrated Thanksgiving so alone and yet, with so many people. I talked and emailed friends and family and while my Hospice volunteering was cancelled, I had much to do around the house and then, this afternoon, I went to Ann's house to share dinner with her, her two sons, a daughter in law and her parents. We ate the best food ever. Ann is originally from Peru and her daughter in law and her mom are from Colombia. I enjoyed speaking Spanish with Gladis, Natalia's mom and we talked about how much I enjoyed her country and the time I spent in Medellin. She couldn't believe I attended a cabalgata which is a huge festival with hundreds of horses outfitted elegantly and ridden by incredibly well outfitted riders, many of whom play music and sing. I was reminded of all of the great Colombian foods I miss: Sancocho; Arepas; Bandeja Paisa and more. Surprisingly, Gladis had me say, "Bandeja Paisa" for her gringo husband, Jeff and he didn't hear the difference. She is someone I would like to get to know better...she and Jeff were great fun.
I missed my family but enjoyed seeing their family. Ann's sons and my sons (that would be Alex, Pat and Chris) would have loved the football, the laughing and the ribbing. Made me miss home and was so happy to be AT home.

I mentioned to Ann that I cannot sit down at such a beautifully appointed table, topped with ten or twelve different dishes and not think of the poor and what they had to eat today. Makes me very thankful indeed for all that I have.

On another note, my neighbor, Shirley and I were walking and she mentioned the Thai couple who built a home on the street behind ours. They are building a great garden and she mentioned that they brought her some jack fruit chips...ate a few last night and very tasty. And they also shared loofah with know those pieces of hard stuff you wash your back with? Well, apparently, when green and unripe, you can eat them. Gotta try it.

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