Since today is Thanksgiving, I figured I’d write a typical “what I am thankful for” post. Being so far from family (several thousand miles I think?) I don’t get to eat Thanksgiving dinner with them. In fact, Thanksgiving as a holiday is only celebrated by Americans (and Canadians but that’s a whole different holiday/date), so living in Europe feels a little empty at this time of the year. Luckily my girlfriend, who is Swedish, has lived in the States before and loves Thanksgiving. So this year we have found a turkey, which proved much easier this year than the past few years i’ve lived here, and we are going to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for all of our Swedish friends and family.
First, we have a good sized turkey, a can of cranberry jelly I brought back from the US, and all my family recipes for the stuffing, mashed potatoes, casseroles, bread and pies, and for all that I am very thankful. Being able to find everything I need for Thanksgiving meal in another country is great!
Second, I am thankful for my friends and family back home in the US. I had personal issues that came up last September, which allowed me to fly home from Sweden and go visit everyone in the States. My Dad picked me up from Houston airport, then I got to spend a great few days recuperating with him and my step mom. That same week my brother and his wife came to see me, bringing all their pugs with them. Once that week was up I borrowed my Dad’s car to drive all the way to my sisters in North Carolina. My sisters showed me the most loving hospitality ever, and probably took too much spare time and money they had to be with me. I got to meet my future brother-in-law for the first time, and it was fun seeing him and my sister as a couple before their wedding next year. I also got the once in a life time opportunity to see my other sister and her boyfriend win the Asheville Race for the Ring contest, which lead to a proposal and now engagement. I played over 100 holes of disc golf with friends I haven’t seen in years, and that was a blast. I visited my mom and step dad for a few days, going out on their beautiful boat, then rode with them up to Illinois to visit all my grandparents for a week, and I loved every minute of it. After getting back to NC, I got to spend a night at my cousin’s wedding, and saw the rest of my extended family (some I haven’t seen in 15 years). I ended the 2 month trip back down in Texas with my Dad and brother playing disc golf in 80 degree weather, before flying back to the cold land of Sweden. I am forever thankful for my family and friends during those 8 weeks, it was the best decision ever to come and be with you all for that time.
Finally, I am thankful for everyone who is in my life in Sweden. I haven’t been an easy person to deal with at times, whether I be going through home sickness or just winter depression (it gets very cold and very dark in Sweden in the winter!), but everyone here has shown me more love and support than I could have asked for. They really have become a family away from family here. I am also thankful for my girlfriend who has been with me for over 5 years, and put up with me for this long. We’ve gone through a hard year, but we have made some major leaps in our relationship that will carry us for more years to come. Last but not least, I’m thankful I have my pug dog Tok (kind of means crazy person in Swedish) because he is a silly and keeps people happy.
I can’t wait till Saturday, because that’s when we decided to throw our Thanksgiving party/dinner, so that I can eat all the good food and share the Thanksgiving experience with people who have never celebrated it before. It’s really a holiday that should be held in all countries. Not celebrating the historical American aspect of the holiday, but it’s mostly agreed on by those i’ve talked to in Sweden, that having one day of the year where you just sit down with friends and family and appreciate everyone and say what you’re most thankful for, really helps people grow and feel good about themselves. Some people don’t stop and think about the world around them and the things people do for them for 364 days of the year, but this holiday gives us that chance to take a day and be more human. Thanks for reading and I will be thankful for those who comment!