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A Different Kind of Thanks for a Different Kind of Thanksgiving

As I knelt over the sunken bathtub in our new home this Thanksgiving morning, washing dishes while the espresso machine above me pumped out some life juice, and the convection toaster oven in the family room tried its very best to cook the pecan pie that I always make for Thanksgiving (my grandmother’s recipe), so that we would not be going to the neighbors’ house for Friendsgiving empty-handed, I got to thinking about how drastically things have changed in a year.

A tear formed at the corner of my eye, not because of the intense cramp in my right thigh, or the drywall dust floating up from the white paw prints that lead from the partially renovated kitchen up to the dog with the powder-dipped nose, standing beside me (though some tears did follow after I caught a glimpse of what had been a freshly mopped kitchen floor mere moments before), but at the thought that Thanksgiving would be so different this year.

Our fall colors have gone from pumpkins, and gorgeous turning trees of yellow, orange, and fiery red… to butterflies,  shimmering emerald green waters, white sands, and bright colorful flowers; our sounds from the wind rattling through browning corn stalks, the rush of fallen leaves, and the crackling of flames against the wood in the fire pit…  to songbirds, tree frogs and the crashing of waves against the shore; our attire from sweaters and mittens… to short sleeves and sunglasses. Instead of laughing at inside jokes with family and familiar faces, we would be introducing ourselves and hoping to make a good impression. It just felt different, and that feeling of being a stranger in a strange land had once again snuck up on me.

And so, this year as I establish myself in a new town in a new state and even a new climate, I would like to say that I am thankful for all of the people out there in so many different places, whose collective knowledge of me and whose pieces of shared stories… all knit together form a comforting shawl, in which I can wrap myself mentally when I am feeling displaced. You all know who you are… keepers of stories both funny and embarrassing… and somber and melancholy…

I am thankful for those who teased me about the many times they saw me running down the street desperately chasing after the school bus. I am thankful for the very few who remember the time we accidentally flipped off the police officer in that patrol car that was tailgating us that night… I am thankful for the friends who protected me that time I nearly passed out on the floor of the tennis club bar and absolutely DID NOT need an iv… I am thankful for the friends who remember the time I got flipped over the front of a car while crossing the street and who hosted me that night and made sure I was ok the next morning.

I am thankful for all of you…even (especially) those who hold the very most embarrassing secrets about me (no need to mention any of those in the comments, Folks), and honored to be the holder of secrets in turn. And most of all, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the fact that your numbers are ever increasing.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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