Thanksgiving holiday approaching for US citizens…Pumpkin pies…Do we miss it all?

Our condo in Scottsdale, Arizona in November, 2012 where we lived for a few months as we finished the final preparations for leaving the US.  We had the table set for company when two of Tom’s sisters and one brother-in-law were coming for dinner (not on Thanksgiving Day).

With tomorrow’s Thanksgiving holiday celebration, the second most celebrated holiday in the US, next to Christmas, in our past lives this would have been a busy day for me. Tom always worked and at times, based on his schedule on the railroad, he may have had to work on the actual holiday, missing all or part of the meal.

With Thanksgiving always occurring on the last Thursday in November, Wednesday would always be my pie baking day…pumpkin pies to be exact, making no less than eight pies, often more, depending on how many were coming for the holiday dinner the next day.

I rolled the dough for each of the pies, but typical for pumpkin pies, a doughy top crust isn’t included, just ample room for gobs of whipped cream for those who prefer to indulge.

Whether we had a houseful or not, which some years we did not, I made the pies. We’d eat a few and share the remainder with our family and friends. Never once did a single pie go to waste.

With the change in my way of eating in 2011, I still made all of the traditional foods on that last Thanksgiving before we left, making a few extra side dishes befitting my diet. Nothing was lacking in tradition or taste. 

We left Minnesota on Halloween, 2012 (October 31st) and I haven’t made a Thanksgiving dinner since. Many countries don’t offer turkeys for sale in the markets, although resorts and some restaurants may order them from their suppliers to fill the needs of tourists from the US on this special holiday.

Before the storms of the past few days, a blue sky inspired this photo of the cotton tree.

The last time Tom had a Thanksgiving meal was when we dined outdoors (the first time either of us dined outdoors on Thanksgiving) while we spent the last few months in Scottsdale, Arizona completing our “paperwork” and digital needs before leaving on our journey. 

There was much to do for the final preparations and we’d decided to spend it in a warm climate, close to Tom’s sisters in Apache Junction, Arizona, and no more than a five-hour drive from eldest son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, eldest sister Susan in Las Vegas and my younger sister Julie in Los Angeles, California.

We stayed in a lovely condo in the Old Town area of Scottsdale. With Tom’s car still in our possession which son Richard took off our hands at the pier in San Diego, the day we left the US, we were easily able to get around Scottsdale. 

When Thanksgiving approached, we decided to try a popular buffet known for extraordinarily great food at a local casino in Scottsdale, the Talking Stick. They didn’t take reservations so we decided an early meal might be advantageous.  Once we arrived at the casino, the line for the buffet was at least 200 deep. It would take hours in line. 

We left the casino, heading to a popular eatery in quaint Old Town, and somehow managed to snag a cozy table for two on the patio. It was a sunny, warm day. 

These red flowers continue to thrive in the rainy weather.

Tom ordered the Thanksgiving meal while I ordered a meal prepared to befit my diet. Apparently, in looking back at old posts during that period of time, I didn’t write anything about that day, at that point not as committed to our daily ramblings and photos as we are now. 

The Thanksgiving years from there on; 2013 was spent in Kenya, 2014 in Maui, Hawaii, and now, here in Fiji.  Last year in Maui, we opted out of making the meal, although all of the ingredients for making the big dinner were available in the markets.  

Last year, making a Thanksgiving dinner in Maui wasn’t worth the trouble when Tom was also following my way of eating. Plus, it wouldn’t be the same without the pumpkin pies which was equally meaningful as the turkey itself.

Do we miss it? We’ll always miss big family celebrations. But, not with tears in our eyes. We chose this life and have accepted the reality that we’ll only see family (in person as opposed to “face time”) every few years. 

With the holiday actually occurring tomorrow where it will be Thursday in the US (it will be Friday here) we hope to speak to everyone at some point. The huge time difference makes it challenging but we’ll figure it out. 

To all of our family and friends in the US, have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, enjoy every last morsel of the scrumptious meal while we’ll be thinking of you with love in our hearts and smiles on our faces.

Today, our usual shopping day, we’ve postponed it to tomorrow. There a huge tropical storm (not necessarily dangerous). Neither of us sees any reason to go out in the high winds and pouring rain when tomorrow will be just as fine. We have plenty of food for dinner and with only 10 days until departure, we don’t mind using what we have on hand.

Photo from one year ago today, November 26, 2015:

One year ago today, we visited Whalers Village in Kaanapali Beach, Maui, a favorite tourist attraction. We had a fabulous day, enjoying every moment. For more photos, please click here.

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