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Turkey, Tamales, and Baklava

"We party all the time." I heard this statement from one of the internationals who came to my home for Thanksgiving. It meant that when people get together in their neighborhoods on the other side of the world, be it Turkey, India, China, or Mexico, everyone was invited. Space doesn't matter. There is always a cause to be together and celebrate. They pack in. (Sounds a little like a block of college rentals) I got to thinking about my neighborhood. We all live in houses, but we also live in a community. We need each other. Sometimes we just don't realize it. We get busy in our separate lives.

This year, I invited 5 international families for Thanksgiving. It started with just my favorite Indian family across the street. They have no extended family here. Then my mind went to the new family from Turkey that moved in, with the same situation. I invited them. Then I invited another Indian family who just moved in. The day before the event, I ran into a Mexican family. When they heard about the gathering, they kind of invited themselves, and I am glad they did. Of course, my faithful friend,Jing, from China was there. None of them normally celebrates Thanksgiving but they were happy to come because it meant "getting together and having a party!"

The two American couples who came, and I, made the American fixins. The turkey was hallal. The rest brought plates brimming with things like baklava, rice curry and veggies, tamales, and lentil balls. It was a joyful time. There were 9 kids who rollicked through my house and made me laugh. They all got along beautifully. There was plenty for the adults to talk about as they mixed and ate. No surprise.

My oldest son, and his wife, from Indy came as a surprise. They had spent the day with other family and didn't need to eat any more, but took time to honor me. This added an element of heartfelt family love.

My gratitude swelled as all 22 of us (including kids) joined hands in a big circle around my living room and shared gratitude statements. Gratitude is truly universal!