Giving thanks

When we first considered the idea of moving across the country to San Francisco, the largest factor that weighed on our decision was being far from family and friends.

I was born and raised in Florida, and my parents, brother and friends are all there in a three-hour bubble.

I’m close with my family.  My Mom and I talk at least once a day, and we have always tried to get together as much as possible.  In fact, she was famous for her daytrips to Orlando, where we would go shopping and have lunch just because.

While we don’t have the luxury of quick daytrips at this point in our lives, we still have each other, and we have the chance to look forward to longer trips.

That being said, it was even before Dave and I had officially moved that we planned to host my family during Thanksgiving.  In addition to it being our first holiday as a married couple and our first time hosting, this trip by my family was significant for so many other reasons.

  • My Mom had not been on a plane in more than 30 years.
  • My Brother had never been to California.
  • My Dad had not left his business for several days in a row in a long time.
  • The youngest member of the family (me) was in need of some familiar family faces.

I have a lot of things to be thankful for:  Dave.  My family.  My health.  My friends.  My happiness.  The world of new opportunities now outside my door in the City.  And so much more.  But this year, I am most thankful for the days spent here in San Francisco with my family.

Thanksgiving 2012 was one for the books.  It was a day held in a 700-square-foot apartment overlooking a busy urban center.  It was a day with everyone hanging out in one small living room from morning to night.  It was a day where we finally pulled out and unpacked the gorgeous fine bone China, Lenox silverware and candlesticks that Dave and I received for our wedding.  It was a day where we gorged on delicacies, all of which were purchased at Trader Joe’s.  It was a day where Dave took the challenge of preparing his first full Thanksgiving meal and succeeded with flying colors.  It was a day where we sat huddled around a 48-inch dining table, with my Mom sitting on the bay window because there were only four chairs.  It was a day that was not exactly traditional.  It was a day that was exactly what we wanted.

We laughed.  We argued.  We were completely able to keep up with our usual family roles, even while perched around compact furniture in a rented apartment in the Pacific time zone.

After a great meal and a little relaxation, we went for a walk in Union Square to see the unlit Christmas tree in front of the flagship Macy’s; we stopped for a photoshoot at sunset on the rooftop to take in the views; we had dessert and we played a game of Scrabble.

The next morning it was time for the Pinders to head back East.

Their visit flew by, but at the same time it produced a lot of memories that won’t soon be forgotten.

Thank goodness our China made the move out West.
He cooked up a storm, and he looked good doing it.
This little table is thankful for the Macy’s wedding registry.
Siblings in the City.
A colorful spread, presented with care.
Pre-dinner smiles.
Ending a day of thanks with a gorgeous rooftop sunset.
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