Our family had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving this past week. The difference between this year and years past is that the holiday of Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Scotland. It was a little odd running into the grocery store on Thursday and seeing everyone go about their business as if it were any other day. In fact, I had to remind myself that it was just any other day in Scotland. In years past our family has gone to multiple locations to visit with different parts of our extended family and friends. I have always found it a little stressful trying to make sure we see everyone we want to see. This year, instead of cramming multiple locations into one day, we celebrated Thanksgiving twice! And it was brilliant!

Dena and I had a couple of friends over on Thursday afternoon for a fantastic meal followed by a nice leisurely afternoon of resting. Then, on Saturday evening we hosted another larger version of Thursday. Several friends and neighbors came over for dinner. Dena, along with our friend Meredith, prepared an amazing meal! We had a fantastic time introducing our Scottish friends to some of our favorite traditional Thanksgiving foods. A few of the things that we introduced to them were Southern Style sweet iced tea, cornbread dressing, and pumpkin pie. Our guests seemed to enjoy the Southern dishes almost as much as I did!

Thanksgiving was a bit different for our family this year since we were away from our families. In the absence of family, we were very happy to have friends to share the holiday with. In the end, we still got to do what I think is most important for that day of the year- reflect upon all for which we are thankful. Dena and I are overwhelmed when we take stock of this. We are so extremely blessed! We are happily married and cherish the relationship we have fostered when too many marriages are lying in ruin. We have an amazing, healthy son. We have a job that is perfectly suited for us in a day when so many are out of work. And we have a deep, personal faith that gives us hope, peace and stability when life seems both good and tumultuous. I don’t think life can get any better than that.

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