As if…And Thoughts On Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I am looking forward to many things not least the feast that I am to prepare (because no one else volunteered).  This year will be the first time – ever – that I’ll be attempting apple pie. So if you have any advice or tips (like which are the best apples for pie?) please leave me a comment.  Much appreciated 🙂

via Penguin Books

Image: Penguin Canada

It will also be the first year we’ll be celebrating without the Mr.  because he’s away on business. It is also why there will be apple pie – Mr. hates apple pie as much as he does anything with coconut which is to say he hates it  A Lot.  He doesn’t even believe in using it as a beauty aid which is a pity really, I love coconut.

So anyway, the boys and I have decided we will end up celebrating again in November with our American neighbours.  I have no complaints.  Life is always cause for celebration.

Our family has been celebrating Thanksgiving for eleven years now despite only living in Canada for seven years.  We started celebrating in South Africa before we knew we had been accepted into Canada and I think this act of faith or practical magic definitely helped pave the way to our new home.    I am a firm believer in ‘acting as if…’  are you?

Of course what made this extra special and powerful is that we started giving thanks BEFORE we got what we wanted.  That’s the secret you see, give thanks not only for what you have (and we all have a lot – don’t believe me? use the bathroom or open a tap) but also give thanks for what you hope to attain as if you have already received it.

We went to a whole lot of trouble to find a turkey in South Africa in November (we didn’t realize Canadians celebrate in October).  We went to various (very expensive) speciality stores and got presented with game meat like grouse, quail and the obligatory South African ostrich but no turkey.  We drove out of the city and into the smaller towns and asked around and found butchers (and farm hands) selling crocodile and wildebeest, which the Mr insisted on sampling.  I tried the crocodile and I’d like to say it tasted like chicken but really it tasted of silt and muddy banks.

We found a turkey in the most unlikely of places.  Or maybe it was likely but we were nevertheless pleasantly surprised. When venturing far and beyond city limits we always stopped at our favourite ‘country restaurant’ for brunch or dinner or anything in between.  That day, we chose a table by the window with a view of the duck pond and the rolling green mountains and – yes you guessed it! – spotted a gobble of turkeys.

The Mr wasted no time in ordering one to the waiter’s amazement.   I hate to think we claimed for ourselves one of those tame ‘petting zoo’ types though I have a hard time imagining a turkey subjecting itself to a few childish pats on the head.

A lot has changed since then.   We noticed when we visited South Africa last year that turkey is sold in most stores.  In fact I got the distinct impression that more people were celebrating their own version of Thanksgiving which makes my heart smile.

To my Canadian friends Happy Thanksgiving! and if you live in a country where they don’t recognize Thanksgiving as a holiday don’t let that stop you from celebrating the harvest and the many blessings in your life ❤


37 thoughts on “As if…And Thoughts On Thanksgiving

  1. What a delightful story (except for your husband hating apples and coconuts! really?) and I wish you a great holiday with the rest of your family. BTW they always say strange meats taste like chicken and they never do. Sometimes they taste like old shoes.

  2. Oh as for apples, I use stayman-winesap when I can get them. It’s a little early for them so last weekend I got a jonathan-cortland apple that baked well. Some people swear by Granny Smith but I am not a particular fan. Any apple that doesn’t melt (like Macintosh) when you bake it will work just fine.

    • mmmm will have to hunt around for those jonathan-cortland apples… don’t believe I have seen those here 😦 we do have Granny Smith but I’m also no fan. Thanks for the tip Kate 🙂

  3. I found this quite fascinating, Yolanda! I like to learn new things, this was one of them. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and sorry your husband and you had to be separated. The idea of turkeys in the petting zoo, while ordering turkey or thinking of eating it, would bother me!
    I liked what you said about thanks, glad you highlighted it. Quite profound, my dear!

    • Thank you Robin 🙂 Happily they were not part a petting zoo but were actually for sale as were the geese and ducks but if you didn’t know better, sitting at that restaurant, you would think they were there for display.

  4. Oh, Yolanda, your quote is my very favorite Anne of Green Gables quote, and that set my heart for a wonderful post. And it was! Our Thanksgiving here is the 27th of November, but I’m already thinking of turkey, dressing and our favorite cranberry/blueberry/orange and walnut salad. I may have to make some now to tide me over. 🙂

  5. I loved reading this post Yolanda. Loved that you pursued that turkey dinner through thick and thin, though sorry to hear your husbands thoughts on both apples and coconut. Coconut oil is one of my best friends, I recommend it both externally and internally 🙂 I agree completely with your thoughts on gratitude and living as if. My rule is not to get out of bed until I have moved my thoughts into appreciation of what is and looked forward to what I will enjoy doing today……… sometimes it is a bit of a wait before I actually get up 🙂 I think every day should be a day of thanksgiving [though necessarily without the feasting – or our waistlines would not be at all grateful!]

    • LOL Pauline! I try the same thing too every morning. I’m big on affirmations so I have a few I recite every morning but there are some mornings when the mind stubbornly refuses to shift to the positive 🙂 One of the best practices I took up a couple of years ago is writing down ten things I’m grateful for everyday. I’m convinced it changed my life (maybe even saved it).

  6. What a wonderful post, Yolanda! I love the quote too! As for apple pie, I don’t know what the best apples are to use, but make sure there is plenty of cinnamon…yum! I hope you’ll take a picture of your masterpiece!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. We all have so much to be thankful for. xo

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! Best of luck with the pie baking. I’m not much of a baker, so no tips for you other than to avoid Red Delicious or Golden Delicious Apples. Something firm and crisp will work best.

    I think gratitude before, during, and after works. So THANK the Universe for helping you make a perfect pie BEFORE you start chopping up the apples. And THANK it again while the pie is baking in the oven. And THANK it again as you’re washing the empty plate.

  8. Hey Yolanda! Guess what? You and I are on the “same page” here. I love manifesting things. I did it with my Museum of Modern Art painting selection. (more later) Jim Carey, the comedian and actor, at one time, was very poor. His dad died. He made a check out to himself for $1,000,000 and put it in his dad’s coffin.

    A few years later, he broke into success in Hollywood, Pretty much what we believe in, huh? Thanks for the wonderful post and a glimpse into what a fall with all those maple trees must be like!!!! Gorgeous.

  9. I’m afraid I’m with your husband on the apple pie but not on the coconut, I love coconut cakes 🙂 We don’t have thanksgiving, but harvest is my time for giving thanks. I heard a quote from Morgan Freeman the other day where he said that if you decide to do something, he believes the universe then does what it can to help you get there. I do believe that – I’ve notice lots of little ‘coincidences’ when I’m trying to achieve something, which aren’t coincidence at all, you could say that the ‘as if’ is coming true.

  10. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Yolanda! 😀 (I’m thinking I may be too late for the party) 😉

    We don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia, but I think we should! xxxxx

    • Thank you Dianne 🙂 I think you should too! any excuse to gather around the table with family and friends is reason enough for me ;-)Not sure I’m ready for another turkey in Nov! am stuffed (excuse the pun).

  11. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, Yolanda! In the US, our Thanksgiving is more about the shopping deals the day after, not so much real thanks giving. Unless you’re giving thanks for the all the sales 🙂 Me–the day after Thanksgiving is when I stay home. I hate to shop, especially around crazy people 🙂

    • LOL! no deals here 😀 Most of our shopping deals are just after Christmas. I’m a bit of a bargain hunter so I like stocking up throughout the year – not rushing about with the herd 🙂

  12. Hi Yolanda, somehow I missed this post, so sorry about that. I would have wished you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving, but now I feel better knowing that you are going to wait until November 🙂 We don’t celebrate it in the UK but your story reminds me of how I took the American Thanksgiving holiday on board when I moved over there with my family. Not growing up with it, it was a totally new thing for me. Pumpkin Pie? I had no idea! Last year I wrote a post about my first time making the Thanskgiving dinner when I just happened to be a few days away from having my second child. I think being on my feet so long and hauling the turkey in and out of the oven definitely helped bring on labour, lol 😉 Love your Thanksgiving story, glad you can get a turkey with ease now and you are so right about being thankful before…I find that to be so very true 🙂

  13. First of all; HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE COCONUT!!! 😀 My favourite haha
    And Nooo, I don’t like crocodile either. Frankly I thought it tasted like a blubberly fish. Not tasteful at all (got to eat it in Tanzania)

    I didn’t know Canada celebrated Thanksgiving in October!? I love what you say about not only giving thanks for what we have but also for what we’re anticipating. Wise reminder for attracting more of what you want.

    Happy Thanksgiving Yolanda!

    • Exactly. How can he not like coconut. Ah well what he doesn’t |(or maybe he does) know is that I often use coconut milk in my cooking and he doesn’t seem to care/or notice 😀

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