We celebrated Thanksgiving tonight—with turkey, gravy, bread stuffing, corn bread, mashed white and sweet potatoes, tyttebær sauce instead of cranberry sauce (tyttebær are similar to cranberries), broccoli, and pumpkin pie. Caroline and Marius were together with us and it was a very enjoyable evening. I used the entire day and part of last night to prepare the meal, and it’s always worth it. I love doing it and as long as I do I’ll continue to do it each year. Thanksgiving is my holiday as an American abroad, and for each year that passes that I am not in America, it means more to me. I am always reminded of my mother and father when the holidays arrive. My mother spent most of Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen—we had to force her to sit down and eat with the rest of us, as she was always busy serving us. My parents would make some pies together at Christmas time. My father would sit and roll out dough that my mother used to make the latticework on her Italian ricotta cheese pie (which I can promise you is out of this world—delicious).
It has been snowing the whole day, but there hasn’t been much accumulation. It wasn’t heavy snow. It is bitter cold and windy, so when I have opened the windows to air out the kitchen, the arctic air permeates the room immediately. Winter is definitely here and has made its annual entrance with a vengeance.
Earlier today, I heard bells ringing from, of all things, an ice cream truck that usually drives around the city during the summertime. When I looked out the window, sure enough, there it was--the blue ice cream truck. I had to laugh—somehow the incongruity of its being there was almost sweet. Here we are, in the midst of a freezing cold winter, and I wondered who would buy freezing cold ice cream. I also wondered if he had any takers. I almost felt sorry for the driver and considered going down to buy some ice cream, but of course common sense took over. We don’t need ice cream since both of us cannot really eat it anymore due to health reasons, but mainly, what would we do with it on a freezing winter day? Or during a freezing winter generally?
Today is also the first Sunday in Advent. I set up my Advent candle holder with four purple candles. I always like to decorate the house in preparation for Christmas. I do it gradually, so that the house slowly begins to look Christmas-y. I look forward to putting the tree up and decorating it. Trond and I usually go down to the local Christmas tree store—a temporary affair that they set up in a vacant field each year—and pick out a tree. I always want a taller one than Trond wants, and we always end up compromising. Each year the tree is always just perfect. I have a hard time picking just the right tree, because I usually want to take home the ones that don’t make it to #1, like Charlie Brown. I feel sorry for the trees that are left behind. I would be impossible in an animal rescue shelter—I’d want to take all the animals home. I’d probably be the same in an orphanage. I cannot even imagine how one could choose just one child and leave the rest behind.
It makes me wish I had so much money that I could own a big piece of land where I could build as many houses as were needed to take in stray people and stray animals. Of course there would be enough money to hire kind people to help take care of them. I wish it could be so.
I wish there was more kindness in the world. Just plain kindness. More listening, more caring, less arrogance, less unfriendliness, less rudeness. That’s my wish for Christmas and for the New Year. I’ll do my part to help make it happen, I promise.