Thanksgiving Down Under

holidays

Now, that last post did meet the literal goal of daily posting. And for that, I thank a fellow blogger who understood why she needed to log me onto her computer in the midst of a heated game of dominoes so that I could dash off a pre-midnight blog post. Also, thanks to a partner who kept me cognizant of the time because he feels that he’s suffered through nearly a month of constant blogging, and is disinclined to see all his hard work fly out the window. I’m not sure, exactly, how he  has been inconvenienced (perhaps, he hasn’t been able to commit as many crimes without his partner-in?)It’s good he’s committed to the project one way or the other.

However, a measly few sentences tossed off in haste does not meet my personal goals of writing quality posts everyday. So, though I did not make it home from Thanksgiving festivities before the witching hour, I can still write a more respectable entry. I owe it to you. I owe it to me.

For most of the past decade, Thanksgiving has always been a wonderful, but unusual holiday for me. I rarely spent it with my family because I was always either too poor to buy the plane ticket or too frugal to use a vacation day to get Friday off, keeping me close to wherever I was living. So, every year has been different, and always becomes a symbol of which friends comprised the core of my urban tribe from year to year.

This morning, I recounted a few memories to Partner-in-Crime. These ad hoc holidays are always full of revelry, laughter, and unbridled love for my company.

The year that I was a theatre intern, we all gathered together in our big house and cooked a feast. My clearest memory of that year is of my dear friend Tina playing Dar Williams on her guitar, while we sang along.

Then, there was the first of three years that my brother came in to town to spend the holiday with me. I was living in New York City, and we rose early to watch the Macy’s Day Parade in person, and then later ate one of the best Thanksgiving meals I’ve ever had – at a kosher deli.

The first year that Partner-in-Crime and I were together, we spent Thanksgiving with our friends Rob, Christine, and Eric – one of so many days we spent together laughing, playing games, and falling in deep friend-love with each other. Rob, I must say, is quite the Martha Stewart.

So this year, while I faced down my seasonal confusion and missing home, it did feel appropriate that we would gather with our American friends for an intimate and festively gluttonous meal, even if it was not on the actual day. Everyone was in such good spirits – thanks in part, I suppose, to the freely flowing spirits – and the food was abundant and incredible.

What a testament to our need to build comfortable homes through the carrying on of traditions that we celebrated our American holiday, as we looked out the window at…

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Partner-in-Crime and I were in charge of wine (we’re good at wine!) and appetizers. It’s hard to know how much to put out for pre-gaming the biggest meal of the year, but our spread did turn out pretty.
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We had a couple of hours of excellent conversation before the guest of honor was ready. Meet Kyle. Thanks to the proximity of Thanksgiving to Christmas, turkeys are actually available at the grocery store. We may have had to take up hunting Australian Bush Turkeys, otherwise.
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Next to Kyle…
Mimi’s sweet potato casserole. I think this was my favorite dish.
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More companion pieces…
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Tell me this Australian Thanksgiving is not every bit as beautiful as a traditional American one. 
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Following dinner, and a long sit to regain our composure – two kinds of pie AND chocolate cake. No, really. (Mimi’s homemade pumpkin pie – from scratch thanks to no pumpkin pie filling in this country – not pictured, but definitely worth mentioning)
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We ended the night having such fun with each other, playing games. We competed in boys v. girls “Celebrity.” How inappropriate the clues got when we drew celebrities like Bill Clinton will remain a secret of the night. What happens at Thanksgiving stays at Thanksgiving. Also, I can’t really remember who won. I’m sure that it must have been a close game. Right, ladies?
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Punchiness began to take over as it got later and we delved into dominoes. Here’s what we were playing when I ran off to Blogomogo.
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Triptophan/wine/general fullness set in a little after midnight, and we gave in to nature, calling it a night. As we departed, we all wished each other a happy Thanksgiving one last time. Never mind that it was Saturday or that we were in the wrong hemisphere. The greeting was not ironic in the least. Tonight, it was a truly meaningful and authentic Thanksgiving. This one will go into my bag of Thankgiving memories, another unique celebration with beloved friends, full of companionship, hilarity, and generous hearts all around.

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