Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

A holiday dedicated to Gratitude is a pretty awesome concept, when I stop to think about it. After a wonderful long weekend spent with family and friends, I feel overwhelmed by how much there is to be thankful for in my life.

I’m thankful for a reason to celebrate:

My cousin William got married on Friday to a lovely woman named Jennifer. Unfortunately, we ended up missing the whole ceremony, thanks to heavy traffic and road construction. I was pretty bummed about that, but the reception made up for it. Held at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, ON, the wedding had a small, intimate feel, yet possessed that positive energy that comes from a group of people wanting to celebrate something great. I feasted on prime rib, drank spicy caesars, and danced till my feet ached.

Will and Jennifer’s first dance
Me and my mommy

I’m thankful for long-lost friends:

On Saturday, I met with my host sister, Rayanne, whose family I lived with six years ago in Recife, Brazil. She was only thirteen the year I lived with her, and now she is grown up. It was wonderfully exciting to see the changes in her, to hear about what’s happened in her life, to brush up on my Portuguese (which has been thoroughly confused with Italian ever since our trip), and to introduce her to my colourful, eccentric family.

Me and Rayanne on the windy shore of Lake Erie

I’m thankful for good food:

love to eat, if you haven’t figured that out already. At my aunt’s house, every single meal is delicious. From hot baked scones in the morning and hearty bean soup with artisan bread and fantastic cheeses for lunch, to creamy risotto with Mennonite sausages and warm chocolate chip cookies, the feast never ends. There was a near mutiny, however, when Aunt Jane announced we’d be having Moroccan chicken and couscous for Thanksgiving dinner, instead of a traditional turkey. After a few hours of lamenting (mostly on the part of my younger cousin, though I was feeling the disappointment, too), she compromised by roasting the chickens instead and serving all the usual trimmings. As divine as it was, I’m still craving a turkey, so I think I’ll make my own Country Harvest Feast sometime over the next few weeks…

Grandma cutting up the infamous chickens-that-are-not-turkeys!

I’m thankful for family:

Being surrounded by people who give free massages, wrestle with my kid, cuddle with the baby, ask about my life, give me advice, remember things I’ve done, tell wonderful stories, have a positive outlook on life, take long walks no matter what the weather’s like, play Dutch Blitz like nobody’s business, make endless pots of tea, never run out of challenging, stimulating conversation topics — this is revitalizing and relaxing. This is my family; this is home.

We seem to spend all our time sitting around the table…. and I love it.

I’m also really thankful for this random field of sunflowers that glowed like a sea of sunshine on a very grey day. Isn’t it spectacular? These are my favourite flowers.

beauty in a field

As a side note, but somewhat related…

A cartoon that my sister made yesterday
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3 thoughts on “Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

  1. Great list. I’ve passed on to my daughters my love of Dutch Blitz, picked up year ago when I worked as a camp counselor at Hidden Acres camp near New Hamburg, not far from your corner of Ontario!

    1. Oh, I know Hidden Acres! I once went to an MCC reunion thing there a few years back. Dutch Blitz is fabulous — one of those wonderfully easy, yet terribly addictive games. Lately, my little brother and husband haven’t been able to beat me and it’s driving them crazy!

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