Thursday, November 26, 2009

En remerciement...

It’s Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving I’ve spent outside the US. Thanksgiving has always been a favorite holiday of mine because it encompasses two great things: my family and food. And my family making food is especially great. Right now, I’m missing Aunt Marie’s sweet potato casserole (with PECANS, none of those yankee marshmellows), Nana’s corn pudding, Daddy’s and Maw-maw’s corn bread and French bread stuffing, Aunt Lynne’s Pickapepper sauce appetizers, Mom’s hot pepper jelly… I should stop before I get too homesick. I’m missing all the people who make the food too. I taught on Thanksgiving in my classes this week and I tried really hard to make them understand the importance of family and being thankful, and then we made hand turkeys. I think they liked the second part better.

Some of the other assistants and I will celebrate a bit of a faux-Thanksgiving here. Faux because: 1. We’re in Europe, 2. Non-Americans will be there, 3. It’s on Friday, 4. We’re not eating turkey, 5. The only “football” here to watch is soccer. So, I will attempt to recreate a semblance of the real American holiday by participating in the tradition of listing things for which I am thankful:
  • Being in France. Obviously. Having the opportunity to be doing what I’m doing right now. It’s not always the easiest thing in the world, but the rewards have outweighed the challenges. By far, I think.
  • My Family. They enabled me to have this opportunity, both financially and supporting-ly, especially my parents. I’ve participated in everything from soccer to drama to rowing (I sometimes forget I did that) to bowling (I’d definitely like to forget I did that), student governments and youth groups, working in stores and libraries and offices. But they always supported me (though sometimes with an eyeroll or two) and for that I am thankful. I am also thankful for the way they raised me. I feel like any success I have in life is due to my dad teaching me how to work and my mom teaching me how to be happy. I’m SO blessed. And even though I couldn’t be home I am thankful for the opportunity to have talked with all of my family while they were celebrating without me…
  • My Friends. Both the old ones and the new ones I’ve made here. The old ones for everything we’ve shared and for still being my friends while I’m away and the new ones for preventing me from being lonely in France. Not only do I now have a little network of people here, I actually really like them.
  • My Country. I love seeing a new culture and way of living, but I’m thankful to be American. I mean, if I wasn’t American I wouldn’t have a reason to write this cheesy Thanksgiving post, right? And I’m thankful for my homestate. It’s definitely imperfect but as I’ve gotten older and been away I appreciate coming from Louisiana. I also like having the heritage to actually back it up, like a bonus. And I’m thankful for LSU (still haven’t had my “Geaux Tigers!” moment – keep your fingers crossed!).
  • I’m thankful that I’m happy. I think it was St. Paul that said you can be happy no matter your circumstances (totally don’t mean to sound preachy, it’s just a quote) and I like to believe that of myself more or less. Though I have yet to be tested much (thankfully).
Sometimes I worry what price I’ll have to pay for all these blessings that I have. I really haven’t done much to deserve all this… so, Merci!


  1. I'm thankful that now I have a Google account so that I can comment on the blog of my thoroughly loveable Connie. I thought of you on Thanksgiving, and though we all miss you, I'm so glad you get to be in France and that you're happy! I love the patriotism and family-love that Thanksgiving really is a great holiday.

  2. =)

    Conns, I an in love your blog. It makes me so happy, and I can actually have a bit of you while still been thousands of miles away. For this I'm thankful. (Technology is a great invention).

    I actually celebrated Thanksgiving as well. Turkey and all. There is something about that celebration that makes me happy, it might be the stuffed feeling; but definitely the sharing moment is ideal. Who said that I'm not thankful that Indians fed the British too :P

    love you and miss you much,