30 Days of Thankfulness

Almost a month ago, my friend Katie set a goal of blogging every single day in November about something she is thankful for.  She’s done it each day so far, and while I knew posting daily was a bit too ambitious for me with my current workload, I thought it was a really nice idea and I was determined to join in with her a few times.
Going Coastal 

Fast forward to November 29th… whoops.  Haven’t done it yet.  So, since the month is nearly over, and since yesterday was Thanksgiving, I figured I’d try and come up with a whopper of a thing to be thankful for.  Something worth at LEAST thirty days of thankfulness (and truthfully much, much more).

I am really, amazingly, like I could make a really great Patronus thinking about it, grateful for my family.

Doell Clan LG Jul 07

This is my mom’s side, and most of us are either not ready or looking at the wrong camera, but that’s okay.  It’s the only photo I could find where everyone’s there – in most of them, some of the kids were off at college or Uncle John was floating around in space (and I mean that literally).  This is also proof that I am the shortest person in my entire family.

I don’t have a photo of everyone on my dad’s side, but here’s one from when my aunt and cousins came to visit from Doha awhile ago.


Actually, I don’t know if we’ve ever all been in the same place at once, since they’ve been scattered around in Colorado and Dubai and Hong Kong and I think one of my cousins might be in school in Barcelona now?  Bunch of jetsetters, those folk.  It’s tough to keep track of ‘em.  I don’t get to see them quite as often, but they’re all really special to me, too!

Even though he hasn’t been with us for almost six years now, my other little brother will always be a part of our family – I miss him all the time and I know we’ll see him again someday!  Update: in retrospect, I realize that really sounds like Camilo died.  He didn’t.  He just lives in Chile.

Xmas 5

And of course, beyond my immediate extended (is that an oxymoron?) family, there’s more.  There are my relatives on the Outer Banks who were a part of my daily life for years while I lived there – my friends, teachers, fellow coffee addicts and adventure lovers.


We even have some veritable long-lost cousins on my dad’s side, who have since become holiday fixtures and are so much fun!

Anyway, I’ve often been in awe of just how cool every one of my family members is.  They climb mountains and blast off in space shuttles.  They’re amazing cooks and avid sailors.  They’re intelligent, athletic, clever, and thoughtful.  They’re each individual and important, but overall, they are all kind and hilarious and adventurous and definitely weird, and they’ve inspired me to keep traveling and experiencing and exploring as much as I can.

If I were home, I’d be enjoying Thanksgiving with a good chunk of my family in Pennsylvania and things like this would probably be happening.

beek 009

Thanksgiving 2005.  Strange but true.

It was sad to be away from them yesterday, especially because Brits don’t exactly celebrate the day we escaped from them (I had to go to class all day and THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE CORNBREAD OVER HERE, PEOPLE).  However, I got to Skype with my family just before they sat down to dinner, which was the next best thing.

Video call snapshot 4


Anyway, Amity and I had our own makeshift little mini-feast here in London.  We did as much as we can manage with a little oven that only has one shelf and tends to burn things just for the fun of it, but it turned out all right!  We had roast chicken, apple & sausage stuffing, and a fine & proud cranberry sauce (that’s what it’s called – so British).  We enjoyed our relatively traditional Thanksgiving meal in an untraditional manner by sitting on our inflatable couch (yep… I’ll let you ponder that one for a moment) and watching Sherlock.


Chased after a good long digestion session with some midnight pie and ice cream.  Perfection.

So, not only am I thankful for a family that’s wonderful enough to miss on Thanksgiving day, but I’m thankful for a friend to make new traditions with and for our exciting adventure this year!

Fam, be sure to fill me in on everything I missed this year.  Paul texted me some of the best quotes from the evening, but I need the details.  Did Mom and Aunt Judy sing along to the John Denver infomercial special, or quote all the lines from Pretty Woman this year?  Hannah, we totally could have gone to see the next Hunger Games movie if I was home – it could be our next Thanksgiving series!  Update: they went to see it without me.  Rats!

Happy Thanksgiving, ya turkeys!

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