Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving {Sunday}

As it approached I wasn't committed on what we might do. Third Thanksgiving in France you would think we would have that one nailed down by now.  The first year as a very reluctant expat, I insisted that we pull the boys out of school (I know.  I had to 'force' them!....well...non.) and we had a Thanksgiving feast just the four of us (plus almost one---7 months along with Petite Fille) and although we didn't have turkey--(our standby for Thanksgiving even while in the states was duck because French Guy doesn't love turkey)-- it was a sweet, yet melancholy day.

 Last year we embraced it once again but this time invited French friends in attempts to integrate (read 'push') our holiday on them... and  This year I decided not to take the boys out of school (much to their dismay--it is the only reason they really care about Thanksgiving) and have a family meal just us five on Saturday.  Saturday arrived and suddenly we found ourselves really busy having spent the day before at a HUGE puce in Caen....(more on that soon!) and with not enough time to properly focus on cooking the now traditionally requisite duck.... we bumped Thanksgiving to Sunday!

I was blessed to grow up on the East Coast with family close by and have really wonderful memories of Thanksgiving growing up.  I had four living Grandparents for most of my child and young-adulthood and we spent the holidays with them in upstate NY.  Holidays were filled with cousins, board games, family slide shows (yes, I am THAT old) and lots and lots of food--mais bien sur!  My sister and I would play dress-up in my grandmother's bedroom--she had the most amazing collection of handbags and hats.... my brother and other cousins would spend the day down in the basement with my Grandfather and his expansive model train village.  He was a miniature train hobbyist and had an entire room with a landscaped town with tunnels, houses, trees, ponds complete with buildings that lit and little tiny street was magical--and serious business for my Grandfather who worked on it for years.  All in all, I cherish every bit of it.  It was a classic childhood memory--"over the hills and through the woods" trip from our house in Boston to see my parent's parents in NY.

This year.....For our Thanksgiving day, we were graced with opening the shutters to bright sunshine.  I Googled a recipe for Ina Garten's roast duck, set up the kitchen, sent French Guy and the 'Teen' to the market with Petite Fille and then I took Middle Garcon to the beach with me--normally I would have gone for a run--but admittedly I have slacked-off so badly since the Fall weather (read-cold and raining all of the time) that we instead basked in the sunshine and just played-around.

We met back at home for a light lunch and then the cooking-fest began!  Petite Fille napped, the boys ate popcorn and watched episodes of Top Gear.... while I slaved (happily!) in the kitchen.

We ate around 6 pm, checked the boys homework--and then off to bed for the little-ones and one final glass of bubbly and 'pumpkin' custard---pour moi!

I do get a little sad when I think I am the only one in the family that clings to this day so fondly.  Obviously French Guy has memories associated with the French holidays, but I know that I will not be able to recreate my childhood memories of a truly American Thanksgiving for my 'half-American' children.....  I can only create something that represents our life now--which is le canard roti instead of turkey, potimarron instead of pumpkin..... and on Sunday instead of Thursday ...

Still certainly a life over-flowing with blessings. So what am I thankful for you might ask?

I am learning to be thankful not for 'things' and 'haves' but for experiences....they never go away and most often teach us things that we hold dear for a lifetime... where ever we find ourselves celebrating them....

Hope your Thanksgiving was special too.

C'est tout for now!

I am hoping in the next couple of days to share exciting news! I also have amazing items coming to the shop as fast as I can shoot and list them! 

It is going to be a fabulous week!