German thanksgiving (Erntedank) blew right by me in a shivery autumn breeze. In fact, I didn’t really know it was here until it was over. Germans don’t bake big fat birds or eat themselves into a sleepy stupor. Apparently they just go to church. I’m not sure if it is always the case, but this year Thanksgiving was on the anniversary of the reunification of Germany. A lot of words were said by an elderly man in church that I didn’t understand. Not one single one. Because I still don’t speak German. Yet.
As promised, my post today shall be a bit more chipper. And while I am still American and will still stuff a turkey and my guests at the end of November, I can be thankful today.
In no particular order and in writing-class-assignment stream-of-consciousness-style, I’m thankful for…
- Doc Sci and my kids who miraculously have made it through the past several months and especially the last 6 weeks (mostly) unscathed. We have had rough patches here and there – but we are here and there together.
- Old friends who care enough to stay in touch.
- New friends who instantly feel like old friends.
- Friends for my boys, especially for T-Rex who is learning about friendship.
- A church with solid teaching and a home group in English (!).
- Food to eat. I’ve never sweated profusely before while a clerk rang up my groceries, totally freaking out about how I would explain – in German – I needed to put things back because I didn’t have enough money. Thankfully (ha), I hope we won’t have to worry about such things now.
- Working heat and drinkable tap water. Such things were never guaranteed when I lived in Russia.
- A busted up vacuum adorned with duct tape. I’m a better mama when I have clean floors.
- Facebook. Don’t roll your eyes. I got a super deal on a bike from an American leaving my city through FB. It also makes the Atlantic feel like nothing but a weak sauce puddle when I want to keep up with my old friends.
- A loaned washer. It costs €3 per load (washed and dried) to use the machines in my building. With this “new” washer, we will be able to eat. And travel.
- The abundance of chocolate. I have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And yes, it’s cheap.
- IKEA. It’s a bike ride away. It’s also cheap. And I found out they have a FREE family membership that gets you discounts. You betcha I am signed up.
- The view from our student housing budget flat. I have mountains greeting me in the morning, sometimes with fog, and brilliant fall leaves blasted with light from a setting sun to say adieu to me in the evening.
- I live next to an amazing park with gardens, a lake, trails, a huge playground, and an ice cream cafe. Wow.
- Doc Sci’s commute. Five minutes by bike. Through the park. Aren’t we so green?
- All the teachers at T-Rex’s kindergarten speak English. And so do some of the parents!
- The dumpster. Seriously, stop rolling your eyes. Didn’t your mother ever tell you they’d stay that way? Students moving out have left us tables, a mirror, dishes, cooking utensils, etc. So nice of them to think of us.
- I found beans – canned ones at that – at a store right across the street. I love me some frijoles. And salsa, which I am going to finally make soon. And tacos which I am going to make with seasoning packets that good friends are sending me.
- The forest. Possibilities for walks, talks, hikes, and bikes are endless. Some of our best family memories are from just being together in nature.
- My cameras. Without them, I would have to rely on my mind for memories. And other people for wall art.
Of course I could go on, but boys are waking up and you’re getting bored. As my new Aussie friends would say, we cahhhn’t have that now, cahhhn we?
It’s wee bit early for Thanksgiving American-style, but what are you thankful for? It’s never a bad time to think on these things. Leave a comment so we can all share in that touchy-feely, warm and cozy, fall-ish, thankfulness.