Yesterday was our annual Thanksgiving Day party and it was fantastic. The weather held out and we were able to have people outside and inside and it was fabulous. It’s funny how much the party has changed over the last 5 years as our friends get older, settle down, have babies, and generally become more adult.
It was so fantastic yesterday to have lots of tiny humans crawling around at our feet- although unfortunately our house was quite the disappointment for one of them. After a room to room search, I was informed (or reminded) by a very disappointed 2 year old that they are “no toys” in my house.
The other fantastic thing about yesterday was realizing how diverse our friends are– and not too dissimilar from the original Thanksgiving pilgrims. Out of the 40 or 50 people who came yesterday, only about 10 were born in Australia (not counting the ones under 2!) and out of those, I can count on one hand how many have two parents who were born in Australia. Our friends are literally from everywhere- and once you throw our parents into the mix, we become even more diverse bunch. Greek, Filipino, Italian, Irish, English, American, Australian- and that’s just off the top of my head. Almost all of us have come from outside of Australia and although life here is pretty good, it’s not without some difficulties and adjustments to our new home. Like the pilgrims from the Thanksgiving story, we’ve had to ask our Australian friends and each other for help and survival tips. We’ve left loved ones and familiar surroundings to come halfway around the world. Some came for a few months travelling and stayed, others migrated here by choice but we’ve all left family and friends back Home. Over the last 11 years in Australia, I have made some amazing friends, and meeting The Runner has expanded my social circle to include his. Between the two of us, we are really fortunate to have this amazing, diverse group of friends and support around us.
I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for the pilgrims on the Mayflower who left home knowing that they would never see most of their family and friends in England again. Most of them had no idea what they would find in America and they didn’t have phones or Skype or any modern method of communication really. They couldn’t Instagram selfies to friends, when they left home in 1620, that was it. They were gone. It took two months to get from England to Massachusetts by boat which also meant that they would only have communication with those they had left behind every 4 months. 2 months for the letter to get there and 2 months for a return letter to come back. CRAZY.
I’m not going to pretend that we’re that intrepid- most of us knew exactly what Australia was going to be like and between phone calls, whatsapp messages, Facebook, email, Skype, etc being in Australia is sort of like being in the next room not thousands of miles away. However, it’s still tough being in a new place, it’s still hard to be away from family and it’s still sometimes hard to be away from home because it’s not the next room, it’s really bloody far away. That’s why celebrating Thanksgiving is so important to me. It’s a great chance to say Thank You to all of our friends for being that support and for being the adopted family that makes being far away just that small bit easier.
I was thinking back over the past year and the past 5 years about all the changes (good and bad) that have happened to the friends who were here yesterday. In the last year alone, our friends have celebrated births, mourned losses, witnessed marriages (and gotten married themselves), squealed over engagements and gotten engaged, started new jobs, finished old jobs, moved houses, bought cars, travelled overseas, and experienced so many highs and lows that make up life. Yesterday was our way to say Thank You to our friends for being there for us throughout the year. It was great to have a few drinks, eat a few pies, and spend time with the other pilgrims here that we’ve adopted as our family.
Oh and by the way, the mini pecan pie recipe- can be found here. You’re welcome.
And if you want to find out more about the first Thanksgiving and where it came from, The History Channel has a few good links and videos here.