To our great surprise, quite out of the blue, some English friends invited us to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with them in Oundle. Actually, the six who greeted us all belong to Oundle Baptist Church. Each of them had experienced the US day in one way or another and wanted to transplant it. With anglicized thanksgiving food (paying special attention to Carol's lactose and fructose allergies) we enjoyed a great time. A couple of things happened.
First, I met a distant cousin and her husband for the first time! My father's family tree was left as just a couple of twigs....my father had very little interest in tracing the past. My newfound cousin was a fount of knowledge who has promised to pass on some detailed research from another cousin (who I also have never met). Apparently, the Quickes go way back to a notorious highwayman who was nicknamed: Nick the Quick! What thrilled me most was to find that this (admittedly distant) relative and her husband are keen believers...indeed they helped to plant the Baptist church. I've not been very good looking at my past either - but this was an unexpected thrill.
Second, Carol asked each of us round the table to share one issue for which we are truly thankful. As we have found in the past on Thanksgiving Day, it is powerfully moving to hear friends share deep positive happenings in their lives. There are many disturbing things happening in our world and we should not escape them in our concerns and prayers. But there are also wonderful happenings for which we can be genuinely thankful. That remains true each day.
PS. Our hostess encouraged Carol to bring special Thanksgiving napkins and a central table decoration of a Pilgrim with a pumpkin and turker.....she must have heard about John Lewis.