I’ll warn you before you spend the next few minutes reading this blog. I’m only going to tell you how we spent Thanksgiving which, sadly, was almost a week ago now. Old news, I know. I’ll get back to the travel posts since we still have more of Germany to cover and I haven’t even started telling you about Belgium and Holland!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I know I did! This year, our last year in Germany (whoop, whoop), I decided to join the Hollywood writers and Broadway stage hands and declare my own Thanksgiving dinner strike. I told Don that I refuse to cook a large meal and entertain guests as long as we have a kitchen the size of this one:
Can you blame me?
I love to cook and have learned my way around the kitchen (albiet the hard way) but our oven is so small I can only cook one dish at a time. My disdain for our kitchen is nothing new, one of my first blog postings was about my kitchen. You can read about that rant here . Don, who hears my cries of frustration and pots and pans banging on a regular basis, was on board with me on this (smart guy) and so when my previous boss Susan and all-around wonderful person called to ask if we’d like to come over for Thanksgiving dinner we gladly accepted. Unfortunately she had to cancel last minute due to unexpected circumstances.
Earlier last week I stopped by my old office to say hello and help sort out a few questions for my friend Stacy who took over one of my programs when I ran into Tom. Tom and I worked together on several projects while I was at the Family Center. We had a few memorable meetings in the beginning as we were learning each others working styles (which we agree are like night and day). At one point it was so bad that it required a mediator to reach an agreement, but as a result we learned how to work very well together. He was the visionary and I put it into action. I grew to really enjoy working with him and I learned a lot. He was the only person who made me cry on my last day when I read his farewell poem to me. Tom and his wife Tracy had also planned to attend Thanksgiving at Susan’s and so they were looking for an alternative too. We decided to improvise and agreed to meet for Thanksgiving lunch at the dining facility on base. We enjoyed great conversation and a delicious meal served to us by a couple of Generals and Chief Master Sergeants, and ate alongside several injured Soldiers and Marines that were recovering from injuries at the large Army medical center not far from here. With everything already cooked we had time to visit and share stories and when we couldn’t eat another bite and our eylelids grew heavy we walked to our cars and drove to our homes to take our very wonderful Thanksgiving naps.
Later in the afternoon Don and I drove to my friend Lani’s, who I also met while working at the Family Center. Coincidentally Don and I ran into her just after we made plans with Tom. She scolded me for not returning a call from a few days earlier (I really suck at returning calls- I’ve got to work on that) and said that if we didn’t come to her house for dinner she would hunt us down and we “really didn’t want that.” It worked out well since she and her family wouldn’t be eating until after 6:00 p.m. (we figured we could eat a little by then). We had a really great time meeting her family and friends. Lani and her husband Bryce are from Hawaii and family in Hawaii doesn’t necessarily mean that you are related by blood or by marriage. I have always appreciated this about Lani, she’s a very genuine person and so I knew that she really wanted Don and I to join her and her family. We gladly accepted her invitation as well. She cooked the “traditional” dishes but also included several Hawaiian dishes that were fabulous. They were so good that Don and I ignored the turkey and stuffing and filled our plates with Manapua and rice and a delicious sweet chicken dish but unfortunately I can’t remember what it’s called. Don played poker and I watched the Detroit/Packers game because I also suck at most card games, ESPECIALLY poker. For our last Thanksgiving here in Germany and far away from our families we both agreed it is probably our most memorable- second only, of course, to last year when we were visting Jim and Gin in Sicily!