Alex and I never really, deep-down appreciated the closeness of family until we moved to Spokane. It's easy to take two family Thanksgiving dinners for granted when you are driving from one to the next, sleepy and stuffed...in fact, it's easy to be completely ungrateful for them and even complain about how you wish you could stay home and take a nice long nap on turkey day. It's easy until you move away, to a town where you have no family, and receive zero invites for in-town holiday gatherings.
We tried to make ourselves feel better about our first holiday alone by talking about what a nice change it would be...we would only have to consume one meal and could follow it with a nice little walk and a long nap afterward. But we quickly realized how lonely and "un-special" a holiday can feel without the chaos, the fun, and the sense of belonging we felt in the company of our families. A couple of "lonely holidays" away from home have taught us that sometimes family is what you make it and we've had a blast inviting other stragglers we know to join us for holiday meals. These stragglers have become our "Spokane brothers", "Spokane grandpas", and "Spokane moms". By now the three of us have a complete pseudo-Spokane-family!
This year we are especially grateful for our families who we WISH so hard we could eat 2 dinners with! We are equally thankful for the generous people in our lives who treat us like family even though we're not...people such as the Potratz family who have invited us to join them and their family this turkey day. If and when we move back home we will surely pay forward their kindness by extending the invite to make sure no straggler we know is left to spend the holidays alone-holla!!
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving surrounded by those you love! X's and O's.
A few straggler holiday flashbacks...