Hiking the mountain in my holiday boots

I have a pair of boots that I love.  And being a flip-flop girl until there is snow on the ground, it means a lot when I say I love a pair of anything close-toed.  I love these boots.  I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve had them, maybe 6 years.  Maybe 7?  They make me feel grown up and fancy.  The clicking sound the heels make as I walk down the sidewalk make me feel important, and the fact that they are knee-high boots make me feel cool.  So because I love these boots so dearly, I am sure to wear them for all of the important holidays that warrant close-toed shoes.  Like Thanksgiving.

Okay, there was no snow on the ground.  I’d be surprised if the temperatures dipped below 50 degrees.  But I had my boots on, and it was a day worth celebrating.  I adore Thanksgiving.  It is undoubtedly my favorite holiday of the year.  Last year, Thanksgiving was sad.  I was still fairly new to Hong Kong, I didn’t know many people, and had nowhere to go.  So tofu it was.  But this year, my holiday boots and I had a lovely day.  My boots took me to work in the morning, to a wonderful interfaith service in the afternoon, and then up the mountain (well, at least up a little ways) to my dear friends home.  We spent the afternoon cooking and baking, enjoying each other’s company, and being silly and giddy over our love of all things Thanksgiving.   Dinner was shared with a German family and a Canadian.  The Canadian friend had never had sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. I asked her why they even bothered with sweet potatoes if there were no marshmallows?!  We had two turkeys, the world’s most amazing cornbread stuffing (that I could not get the recipe for – darn family secrets!), cranberries, ratatouille, and 4 pumpkin pies.  Oh!  And a delicious apple cake.  That’s why we invited the Germans – because their apple cake was beyond yummy.

As we sat around the table, outside under the trees, enjoying the night breeze (err, high winds that sent our empty plates flying), going around the table saying what we were thankful for, I realized I was thankful for that very moment.  To be in a place, surrounded by people who would feed me and make me laugh, people who listen to my opinions, and urge me to go back to the dessert table for seconds.  To be with people who appreciated this beautiful holiday as much as I do.  It made me excited to return home, to be with family and friends.  To continue in celebrating, and eating, and being thankful.  And I am thankful, for this whole experience.  For the people that I have met along the way, who have made Hong Kong a little more bearable.  I’m thankful for places of respite and beauty outside of the hustle of the city.  The whole of this experience has been as much challenging as it has been incredible.  And I am as much thankful for my time here as I am thankful to be returning home soon.

Oh!  And leftovers!  I am really thankful for leftovers.  Particularly turkey.

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