We will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving.  No, the rest of Germany has not started celebrating this very American holiday, but  here at the McKay Horst & Rackley house we will be roasting a bird.

Like most Americans, we have never celebrated the original meaning of Thanksgiving, you know, where the pilgrims came, ate with the Native Americans, then stole their land and gave them V.D. and small pox. I do remember having Thanksgiving Day plays at school, something about learning to be a good citizen and share, but they never told us about the sharing of  V.D. and small pox bit.

In my family, Thanksgiving has always been a time where we have celebrated family and good food. We do enjoy getting together and cooking lots of food, for any reason.

So this holiday, more than any other, is a little hard for me since we are so far away.

This year will be even more different for us.  The whole clan is not able to be together.  Last year was new, we were far from the States, but our little family unit was all together.  This year, Sierra will be Stateside, and the rest of us are here in Germany.  We are cooking a turkey (Truthahn is the German word for turkey, for those who wanted to know) and all of the other Thanksgiving Day required items, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole,pumpkin pie, (for me, and me only since Cheyenne and Dirk do not like it…I know, they are crazy.  I had to buy the canned pumpkin mix at the import store.)rolls, and we have managed to get some cranberry sauce. Suzie brought some for us when she came to Germany for a visit.  (Yes, I had her bring me two cans of cranberry sauce from NC so that we would have some for Turkey Day).

So, obviously, I am a bit sad about the family being apart.  I thought I should make a list of the things that I am thankful for to help remind me that, well, I am thankful for a lot of things.

  • My husband.  He is amazing.
  • Healthy and successful kids.  All three of our kids are doing well.  Can’t really ask for more than that.
  • Jack the Dog, he entertains me every single day.  He also forces me to leave the house, even when I am not feeling like leaving the house, and this is a good thing.
  • Newt the Cat.  He is actually a bit of an asshole.  He reminds me to never get too comfortable, or something will bite you in the butt…usually him.
  • My ever growing plant jungle.  I just love to see the plants thriving, they give me such joy and the green helps me get through the dark winters.
  • Our neighbors.  Without them I would not have so many lovely plants, and furniture.  They have helped make our apartment a home from our first day here forward.
  • All of my blogging friends from all over the freaking world, you know who you are.
  • Universal Healthcare, it rocks and everyone should be able to have it.

What are you thankful for this year?  What is your “must have” dish for your Thanksgiving gathering?  Are you a Thanksgiving purist, or do you try new dishes each year?


The beginnings of the Thanksgiving meal, more to come of course.  Now let’s hope I can find some collard greens this year!


40 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. I love to read about Thanksgiving. I don’t celebrate it though. But yes, why not celebrate something that we are grateful for. I enjoyed reading your list. All your kids are doing well which is truly wonderful. I loved reading about your dog and cat. I have a Labrador, and he is such fun to be around. 🙂 Wish you Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanksgiving isn’t something we celebrate in Australia but I have written a similar post – about being Thankful, using photos! Your meal and plans sound great. We’re gearing up for Christmas and one of our daughters won’t be with us due to her living in the UK. It’s hard being apart at special times and I feel for you Cherie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being an expat really highlights those special moments of celebration, doesn’t it? For me, it’s the week between Quebec’s National Day and Canada Day. I miss the BBQs, bonfires and fireworks. Thankfully I get all that in the Uk in November with Guy Fawkes Night! I’m glad to see you have so much to be thankful for, and that you are keeping traditions alive! Happy Thanksgiving Cherie!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I understand what a let down it can be when all the kids can’t be there for the holidays. Even though mine all still live within an hours drive, they have things like jobs or spending time with in-laws that sometimes keep them away. Why did they have to grow up??? LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am thankful that I never, ever have to eat canned green beans in my life, ever again. Ever.

    I must have been nearly 30 by the time I tried fresh green beans and discovered that they weren’t poisonous and disgusting. Who knew?

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, I am also thankful we met 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good for you, going the extra (many) miles to try and forage all the Thanksgiving fixings. I’m sure it’s hard to not all be together, but a full table is a balm, I think! I don’t have many takers for pumpkin pie either, which I love–and which also means I eat it for breakfasts after! Mine is my mom’s recipe, which calls for sweetened condensed milk, which makes it so caramel-ly and delicious! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Truthahn”?? Does German have a Th sound? Does the word have any connection to another country? When we were in Kazakhstan, I learned the many other words for “turkey” all having to do with where the folks thought this unusual bird came from and most of them thinking it was India. Only English thinks “Turkey.” Happy T-day. This year I’m cooking goose. Never did like turkey.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Confession time: I’ve never had pumpkin pie and I really want to try it. Would you mind popping a slice in the post for me please? That sounds like a lovely list of things to be thankful for. I’m mainly thankful for the obvious things: my lovely baby girl, my gorgeous husband and my new house which I adore. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I do believe it is only a short 1hr30 minute flight from London to Koln (not sure how close to London you are)just saying, and the last time I looked, the tickets were about 25euro, just saying. Would love to share some pumpkin pie with you. Dinner will be on the table this Sunday at about 2pm……
      Lots of good things to be thankful for, that is for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this. I hope you all have a fantastic thanksgiving!

    Like Hayley, I’d never tried pumpkin pie until I came to North America. I like it…but I have to admit, I like the other fruity pies (like blueberry) more… I still find it strange how few savory pies there are here. I like pies with a bit of meat! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am thankful for good health, especially as I start to “mature”. Thanksgiving must-have has to be turkey, even though I don’t really care for it. I’ve been in Italy for 15 years and did the traditional meal with Italian friends for “show and tell”. Which brings me to the final question and I am happy being a non-purist…when I’m not stateside – less fuss!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had to read your post, because I am also a transplanted Michigander! 😉 (However, I have just moved to the exotic land of Houston, LOL!) Your “feast” seems lovely and nostalgic. It’s sad that your whole family can’t be together, but it sounds like you will have a great time and perhaps start a new tradition! #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Visiting from #MLSTL and it’s so fun to see the canned cranberry jelly thing in your pile of stuff! Isn’t that iconic for the holiday? I shopped yesterday and it was amazing to see everyone buying the exact same things…so I understand your need to re-create it even being in Germany. The traditions of our childhood are hard to break! I’m not cooking the whole meal this year… that’s a hard thing for me to deal with. Not cooking the turkey, not getting to smell it cooking all day, not having a ton of leftovers for the weekend. So it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on the TV (another childhood tradition for me) and then off to friends for dinner. I’m bringing the stuffing….which feels weird as it’s not stuffed in the bird. Ah well, it’s what I was asked to bring to share. A different type of holiday for us but family dynamics have changed – I’m thankful for good friends who invited us to share in their family meal this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Thanksgiving from Australia (where we don’t celebrate it at all) – it’s one of the few American holdiays we haven’t adopted – we now have Halloween in all it’s ugly glory and I could wish that one had stayed in the US and we had Thanksgiving instead! Enjoy your German turkey and sides and the family you gather together to share it with xx
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


  14. We as a nation celebrate different things to the USA. We join in the same Christmas traditions but Thanksgiving passes us by. I am usually kind and send happieness to those who do. But celebrating the ruining of the indiginous tribes of first nations😲 and purposely giving them Small pox !
    And VD. I need a lay down now. Canned pumpkin sounds horrendous, but then I dislike everything pumpkin. But I do hope your version of Thanksgiving is wonderful and oodles of fun is had. Make new and different traditions of your own.

    Liked by 1 person

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