Happy Gratitude Day!

I’ve said it before. I don’t love Thanksgiving, for a host of reasons. But I’ll admit, it does feel weird to be walking around and it’s just another day in Valencia. It’s also weird that the ‘Black Friday’ signs are every where here. In Brazil the signs said ‘Black Day’, but its the same thing. Most retailers had a sale that has lasted all week. No ‘Destructor de Puertas’ here at 4 am on the Friday after Thanksgiving. There is no way the Spanish would get up early for that nonsense.

But in honor of the holiday I did cook a roast chicken and vegetables – we don’t like turkey. And I passed on my family recipe for Scalloped Potatoes to our oldest child. He’s clearly cooking up a feast in Boulder with his girlfriend and their cat. I was happy that someone in the next generation asked for the recipe.

While the chicken was in the oven, we ventured out and enjoyed a beverage and waited for it to cook. And we did our usual ‘What are we grateful for this year?’, that we always do. And with this being our first Thanksgiving in Valencia – a new country and a new city – we have plenty to be grateful for. So here goes:

I’m grateful we live here this year. Last year, it was still just beyond our reach. This year, we’re here, we’re settled. We’re home.

I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met who are part of my life now. Both in person and virtually. They’ve enhanced it in ways they can’t imagine, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I’ve needed to this year without them.

I’m grateful for letting go. Sometimes in life we let things build up. Old hurts or old baggage. Sometimes it takes us longer than we’d like to leave that stuff behind. No amount of compensation can speed up the process or grease the skids. I guess it takes as long as it takes. But I’m grateful I am making progress in that direction.

I’m grateful for old Friends. People we’ve known for years who are still in our lives. People who, no matter the miles, are still those we can count on. Who accept us for who we are – foibles, warts and all – and who know we will be there no matter what. And who will be there for us. There is comfort in that.

And, I’m grateful for Family. Both the one I grew up with, and Jeff and the kids; the one we made together. Families aren’t perfect. They can drive us crazy! But in the end, they’re ours and no one else knows us quite like they do.  But they love us anyway, and we love them.

My wish for you – all who read this blog – is that you know I’m grateful for you. Your suggestions and help has been invaluable over the last year. I hope you’re spending this day with people who make your life better. And that the next year brings many more blessings than the last. Happy Gratitude Day!