21 Nov

Thanksgiving arrives a little earlier here in Australia, so we’re busy stuffing our faces even though it’s really still just Wednesday for most of our friends and family.  This is my favorite of the American holidays, so much so that I requested that my mother make the full turkey feast for us on Halloween in 2011 since we were leaving just a few weeks before Thanksgiving.  We sat around the table with construction paper caps – Pilgrim buckled hats for the men, feathered headdresses for the women – and took turns answering the door for the trick-or-treaters.

Just a few weeks later we were preparing our favorites again with friends in Santiago, thrilled that we got to have a second traditional turkey dinner with expats who craved the stuffing and cranberries just as much as we did.

This year we’re in Melbourne, Australia and we’ll probably have enough food left over to have seconds for breakfast on Friday morning, which might coincide nicely with the actual meal time state side.

All month we’ve been reading the ‘Today I’m thankful for…’ posts of our friends and family on Facebook.  One of the side effects of all our travel has been that we realize how thankful we are, not just on Thanksgiving or in the weeks leading up to it, but every day and for all the things we tend to take for granted.  We all struggle in our lives to varying degrees, but this world is filled with adversity on a scale that’s so enormous many of us can’t even fathom it.  This year we’ve seen poverty in such magnitude that we thought our hearts might break on the spot.  We’ve seen sickness that can’t be treated and pollution that may never be eradicated.

On the flip side, we’ve seen incredible love and generosity between people, even in the face of insurmountable hardship.  We’ve also seen some of the amazing things that people can produce – towering monuments and architectural wonders, as well as art that only begins to scratch the surface of mankind’s creativity.

This year we are thankful for everything.  That’s right everything.  We’re thankful for the times we’ve laughed and fought and cried and sang and danced and mourned and questioned and doubted and hoped.  We’re thankful for our families and our friends and even for the people who don’t like us so much. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we’re so grateful to have our messy little lives in the midst of this one crazy and beautiful world.


18 Responses to “Thankful.”

  1. Heather Cooper November 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Great post! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      Thanks, hope you had a good holiday!

  2. Jim Richardson November 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm #


    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      Hope you all had a great time in B.A. with Eric, and a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Allison Centonze November 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Well said! Happy Thanksgiving from my mess to yours. Glad we have each other to share them with. Love you guys! XO ~ A

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      We heart you too! Mmwah!

  4. Kristin Waugh November 22, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    Beautiful blog, Ashley! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Justin. You two are definitely on our list on things we are thankful for from the last year. Enjoy your feast! xoxo

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Hope you guys had a great expat dinner as well, and have a GREAT time in Africa!

  5. Bryan November 22, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    Well said!

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks! Good luck on getting everything sorted for your next leg of travel!

  6. Carlene DeFalco November 22, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    You are your mother’s daughter for sure… remind me of your grandfather, too, maybe more of your Uncle Carl….I’m only your cousin, but am so darn proud of you …. and in awe of you….I hope to meet you some day….I am grateful for the joy you have brought to me in all of your travels with your yearly journals….places I will never travel to or maybe not even read about, you have brought to me….”Thank You”…..

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks so much for the kind words, we’re so glad you are able to follow our journey!

  7. Mary Jo Merriman November 24, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Well said Ashley. Thank you. Of all the blessings bestowed on us in our lifetime, you are on the top of the list. Love you. Mike and MJ

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

      Thank you 🙂 Love you guys too!

  8. Chad Hall November 24, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    Right on Ash! I’m greatful people like yourselves can see the world and share it with us! Thank you for that! Great work!! Hope to see you guys soon! Lazy Legs…Proud of ya Bro! :). -Wicky

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

      Good to hear from you! Perhaps we’ll get a chance to meet up in Arizona since my dad and step-mom spend their winters there and we’ll probably get down to see them one of these days 🙂

  9. Julie November 25, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    Beautiful post. A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. 🙂

    • Ashley November 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 Good luck with the imminent arrival of the twins, I can’t wait to see ‘out of the belly’ pics!

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