Thanksgiving from afar

I don’t normally take much notice of Thanksgiving celebrations in New Zealand because I know so few of the Americans who reside here.  However, yesterday, I happened to be having one of my rare TV watching moments and I saw an item on a Thanksgiving Dinner at the Downtown Community Ministry in Wellington.  The Dinner was sponsored by the US Embassy to New Zealand and 300 meals were served, with the help of Embassy staff and their families. The diners, most of them New Zealanders, seemed to be thoroughly enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner…..and who wouldn’t enjoy turkey and cranberry sauce and pecan pie and all the trimmings?   I have very happy and delicious memories of Thanksgiving Dinners in New York and also with  American friends in Cairo and Zambia…. but back to the US Embassy to New Zealand, or more precisely the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa,  David Huebner. I was charmed by his Thanksgiving spirit and his modern approach to the age-old craft of diplomacy. ( He even has a  blog!  )

In fact, I was not only charmed but  I felt inspired to rearrange a ‘grumpy’ post that had been stewing  in my ‘brain pot’ for a few days. So here it is, transformed in to my Thankful List.

I am thankful  that the days are warm and I have a lovely garden to view whilst I wait for my broken  curtain rail to be fixed.

Room with views

Room with views

I am thankful my home is, once again,  unflooded and keeping us warm and dry , even if the repairs are not yet finished and

there remains a hole in our bedroom ceiling.

There's a hole in the Ceiling, dear G, dear G

There’s a hole in the Ceiling, dear G, dear G

I am thankful that we have a wonderful library system that tells me about excellent magazines, one of which is   Frankie ; which I like so much I have to buy a copy.   And to my  delight contains a pullout poster,  by the ever so  talented  Becca Stadtlander , which just happens to be the right size to cover the vexatious hole in the ceiling; and provides a  new interpretation of vision board.

Not that I want a desk/home office on my ceiling, but I do want my home to be orderly again, one day, with everything in its place and a place for everything 🙂

Like my rugs, which have been lying, unrolled, on my  living room floor waiting …waiting….for so long….that I don’t really remember  what we are waiting for….

Why are we waiting?

Why are we waiting?

I am grateful that the path outside my house is being cut and drawn, yet again, so that soon our neighbourhood will have access to ultra fast broadband that very few of us can afford 😦

But such major upgrades of our infrastructure  are enabling many workers to enjoy employment, none more so than the temporary workers from the Philippines, some of whom will be concerned about the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in their own country, as they toil to  rebuild our broken city. I am grateful for their willingness to be so far from their homes and  their families.

And, lastly, I am ever so grateful that my home no longer looks like this,

for there are many in this city  who still live in damaged, unrepaired homes.

Now, if someone would deliver a turkey dinner and some pumpkin pie, I would be very thankful for that too 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!

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87 thoughts on “Thanksgiving from afar

      1. mmmarzipan

        That’s wonderful! It feels so good to get things done, doesn’t it? I just packed up most of the nursery in advance of tenants moving in for 3 months whilst we’re away… one step at a time! With 9 days to go until we leave, I can’t afford to delay.
        Hope you have a wonderful rest of the day 😀

        Reply
        1. mmmarzipan

          I hope to! I have at least 20 projects that I have yet to blog about… not that anyone will miss them if I don’t get around to posting them. It’s just that I started my blog as a way to motivate myself to try new things/to create from scratch and to have a way of recording all the recipes, projects etc. for future reference. So I will be disappointed if I don’t get around to posting something. I am taking my computer… so that’s a step in the right direction 😉

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Laurie, for your concern for my home. The problems are really only little and they have been there so long now that I often forget about them. I would like my curtain rail fixed before next winter though 🙂

      Reply
  1. teamgloria

    oh!

    yes.

    a gratitude list is helpful.

    but still – that’s a lot of wreckage still to be fixed and we just want you to know that we sympathize greatly.

    btw, as the young people say, those look like divine curtains.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, yes, the wreckage does seem overwhelming sometimes; sympathy appreciated. The curtains came with the house, so they are ageing now ( nearly 20 years old! )…….if it weren’t so cold here in the winter and so hot in the summer I wouldn’t bother with curtains…..I like to see the world uncluttered by material 🙂

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Not the same, indeed. Perhaps you will smile if I tell you that my curtains can be altered for summer and winter. They have a removeable lining, so, if I want to, I can have summer weight curtains or winter weight curtains. Now, changing the curtains according to the seasons is a practice from the most ancient of days, is it not?

  2. Sheryl

    A glass can be viewed as half empty or half full. I like the way you took the half-full approach. You wonderfully created a fun-to-read upbeat post to tell the story of the repair process.

    Reply
  3. tiny lessons blog

    I’m sure your home will “self repair” rather than “self distract”, have to remain positive 🙂
    We just celebrated Thanksgiving with some friends yesterday, huge turkey and all the trimmings. It was a wonderful occasion to give thanks…although we should remember to do that every day. What I dislike with passion is that the commerce has already crept in to destroy this Holiday here in the US. Many stores opened at 8 p.m. yesterday (Thanksgiving used to be, until last year, one of those few days when all the shops are closed) and then the craziness continues for the whole day today (Black Friday) with people fighting and even resorting to violence in their hunt for “deals” and bargains. That is quite sad.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh that is sad. I liked the relatively non commercial aspect of Thanksgiving too. I suppose with the economy being so difficult in recent years, retailers are desperate to take every advantage they can , and consumers are eager for bargains….still…..sad when anything is done to excess. (Oh but joy can be done to excess; that’s okay 🙂 ) I am trying to stay away from malls and shopping centres because I don’t enjoy the Christmas retail scene that takes over from now until New Year.

      Reply
  4. Just Add Attitude

    I don’t know anyone who celebrates Thanksgiving here which is a shame as it seems to be a wonderful day of feasting and an occasion for expressing thanks. I keep a gratitude diary, I don’t write in it every day, but I find that even the occasional entry works a treat in helping me to stay focused on the very many positive things in my life. I like your list. 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      A gratitude diary is such a great idea. I am sure yours is beautiful and full of lovely ‘thanksgiving’. A gratitude jar would be fun too; pop in notes of gratitude and save up all the slips as though you were saving pennies in a jar.

      Reply
  5. jaggh53163

    Being thankful for all that you do have is a marvelous way to live every day. So many in the world have so little.
    I;m off. Though I won’t be with my firwt daughter, I’m thankful that I’ll be spending the rest of the day with her 3 sisters. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I will think of you enjoying your time with your family. I hope it will be something like the Thanksgivings that your grandfather described in his letters.

      Reply
  6. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    there is no thanksgiving tradition whatsoever here (and why and how should there be one? ;)) but due to a lot of american friends and to a lot of digital lifestyle, the smell of the turkey roast and cranberry sauce arrives in berlin just in time. let alone with the tv series (tur-turkey-key from HIMYM or all the funny The Simpsons puns). which is really fascinating to learn about 🙂
    in fact, being thankful is something that we should remind ourselves to be everyday. like you just did! happy giving thanks! (I’ll post something “different” about it next ;))

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I don’t know about Germany but when we, in New Zealand, were more of a church nation we always had the Harvest Festival to celebrate each year. That was a kind of Thanksgiving. It was one of the best services of the year.

      Reply
      1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

        there is of course a harvest-related celebration, it’s called the Erntedankfest or shorter (yes, Germans like shortening word, too) – Erntedank 🙂

        Reply
        1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          it depends on the confession really. but mostly in october, yes. november is not a harvest month over here, it’s cold, grey, and rainy.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Doh, I am silly! Because Oktoberfest is traditionally about using up the last of the beer in preparation for the new brew which means October has to be harvest time. It must be a very celebratory month 🙂

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh dear.. do you think it will encourage them to drink more so as to hasten the emptying of the barrel, or drink less because the beer may possibly be a bit stale 😀 ?

  7. vsperry

    I just noticed a hole in the plaster ceiling in our dining room and need to start the process of finding someone who can fix plaster…not an easy chore in this day and age. I am so glad that you found a way to turn around your grumpiness (sort of) and I hope that all those little pesky things resolve themselves soon. And it is okay to be grumpy about little things even when others are dealing with far larger issues at the moment, but perhaps you should make a pumpkin pie to make yourself feel better??? 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I made some peanut cookies. Does that count ? They are good. Almost as good as pumpkin pie. We have such a shortage of tradespeople at the moment that getting relatively small jobs done is next to impossible. It’s at times like this that I wish I had learnt a trade. Then I would be able to fix my own house 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sometimes that is true! And blogging is more interesting than fixing a broken curtain rail! I have to wait for a new rail to be made. I was told it would take at least 2 weeks.

      Reply
      1. pleisbilongtumi

        Sounds good, so the window will be looking pretty again on Christmas. I didn’t blog last two weeks because: 1. my internet modem was struck by lightning, needed two weeks to get new replacement, 2. busy with a pre wedding photos project.

        Reply
        1. pleisbilongtumi

          That was the third order of this month. I received from a friend to make pre wedding photos for their daughter and her fiance prior to a wedding ceremony in mid December. It is a hard job actually since it took place outdoor.

          I

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, a hard job with a lot of responsibility to get the photos just right for the wedding couple. I am sure you enjoy the challenge of creating beautiful photos.

  8. KerryCan

    What a nice post–it really is more beneficial to look on the bright side. I love Thanksgiving Day here, better than Christmas and the other big holidays, because it gets us to pause and really acknowledge all the good in our lives. Or to re-frame our troubles in positive ways, as you’ve demonstrated so well!

    Reply
  9. utesmile

    It is good you have things fixed and done and are grateful for that. Compared to other people in the Phillippnes we have it all, and can only be thankful for small holes in the ceiling , and having a ceiling at all.
    I am sure your rugs find a nice spot in your home, they look lovely and should be opened up. Sons are handy with helping to fix things, I find that too. I guess you did have lots of repairs form the earthquake and it is good when everything comes together. And getting a superfast broadband… wow enjoy!
    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I am thankful all year round.
    Much love Ute x

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You are absolutely right, Ute. I have a ceiling, I have a roof, I am dry and warm, with broad band coming to my door……there was plenty of Government insurance to fix my house after the earthquakes……I have every reason to be grateful. It is good for us all to express some Thanksgiving and share some of the American spirit on their special holiday.

      Reply
  10. Juliet

    How cleverly you have reframed the glitches and turned them into acts of thanksgiving. I laughed at the way you used the poster to cover up the hole in the ceiling. Gratitude is a powerful practice.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is a powerful practice but sometimes very hard to practice! Would you believe that it has taken me almost 8 months to think of a solution to the ‘hole in the ceiling’ because my thoughts were all tied up in “why doesn’t the builder come?” and ‘When will he come?” and ” when will he answer my phone call?”

      Reply
  11. Clanmother

    I celebrate Canadian and American Thanksgiving – pumpkin pie comes on both days. Gratitude and thanksgiving – a powerful way to live.

    “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Double dips on Pumpkin Pie; love it. And I am quite sure that the very small hearts of my little animals are full of gratitude 🙂 Enjoy your pumpkin pie.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I would, wouldn’t I?!! I hope it is well stuck with blu-tack. I had to do something because every time my son walks in to the bathroom upstairs, directly above the hole, tiny crumbs of plaster fall down.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, definitely more noticeable! He will be able to help me with the curtain but we are waiting for a new rail to be installed. The old one can’t be fixed very easily or effectively, so I ordered a new one about 10 days ago. Should be here soon; maybe :).

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