Hello and Happy Thanksgiving from Lockdown 2.0! I apologize for being MIA lately, but there’s not a lot of travel stories to tell when the furthest you go is the grocery story. I do have one story up my sleeve from when we headed to the Postal Museum on Halloween (aka the day they announced Lockdown 2.0). That’s right… I was in London that day and had a lovely panic attack (yay anxiety). It ruined my last trip of freedom, to say the least…thus the reason I’ve been hesitant to write about it. But I will, I promise. It’s a wonderful museum full of interesting facts.
So, the UK government instated a four week lockdown 2.0 in hopes that numbers will be down enough for families to spend their Christmas holidays together. That however, doesn’t mean much to us expats. At least not Tim and I. While I will be grateful for the ability to maybe see friends during Christmas, American’s still aren’t allowed over here without a two week quarantine. That means my parents’ holiday trip is officially off. Mum refunded her ticket last week. To say that it made me sad would be an understatement. While I knew this was a possibility for months, I really hoped there would be some sort of work around for expats and their families (i.e. testing before and after a flight, etc). Unfortunately there isn’t, so we’ll have postpone our Europe adventures to another day.
The other thing the UK government (obviously) doesn’t take into account when locking everyone down to their homes for all of November is… Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorite holidays. While I ADORE the actual Christmas season of carols, decorating, getting together with family and friends and the big Christmas feast, I always find Christmas can add just a little too much stress. Especially when it comes to finding that “perfect” gift. Thanksgiving is really the best parts of Christmas season, without the carols (ohh… someone write some thanksgiving carols!). I love just being with my family, eating some of my favorite foods and playing a board game or two. No stress over gifts, no let downs, just pure unadulterated thankfulness. With the advent of “friendsgiving,” this has been multiplied! Usually we get not one but two thanksgivings!
This year is a much quieter affair. I’m still making my favorite meal and actually will be boxing up left overs to leave on the stoop of a dear friend who’s never had Thanksgiving dinner before. I so wish I could be there with her to watch her eyes light up when she tastes sweet potato casserole for the first time, but I’ll settle for a text and imagine her joy in finding new food loves. (I know you’ll love it Norma!!)
This is also the first Thanksgiving without my grandpa and that is definitely taking a toll on my immediate family. Grandpa was one of the best men I ever knew. A true “hillbilly” from Kentucky born at the beginning of the great depression, he had very little growing up and worked hard for every penny he ever had. He taught me what it was to be thankful for all I have and I definitely miss him even more today.
This Thanksgiving is very different indeed, but alas, that’s life abroad. Actually… that’s just life in 2020. If this year has taught me anything, it’s to be grateful for all the little freedoms we took for granted before. And I’m especially thankful for Tim, my family and close friends who have all helped me get through this year. It’s been a tough one but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Bring on the 2021 travel!
Now, go, fill your bellies and tell each other what you’re thankful for!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Love from the farm.