Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving from Ukraine.

They don't have Thanksgiving here. Pokrova is the closest it comes, the fall religious and harvest holiday. It will be just another work day for me. I'll go to Victoria's, then the Biblioteca, and try to have tea with some friends.

But I will miss sharing this time with family and friends. I have wonderful memories of Thanksgivings spent in Toledo, in Tallahassee when my mom was with us, in Washington, DC with friends. I remember the turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pies, lovingly prepared, displayed like works of art on beautifully set tables. "God gave us memories so that we will have roses in December," a Scottish poet wrote.

I love this thought. I won't have a turkey dinner this year, but I will have memories, and I will give thanks. I am thankful for family and friends in the U.S. and in Ukraine. I am thankful for my loving daughters and grandchildren and great grandson Philip. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Starobilsk, and for the kindness and generosity of the people here.

My daughter Michelle sent an email recently with this great message: The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way. A nice Thanksgiving message for all of us, wherever we are.

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