Recently, I was reminded just how significant an invitation (or lack of one) can be. That is why I was extremely grateful to be invited to the home of my friend, Sigrid, this year for Thanksgiving.
My first year here, Thanksgiving was a non-event. And last year it was a large group gathering. But this year’s observance fell in the Goldilocks category of a “just right” family celebration. One of the reasons Sigrid moved here was that she was widowed a few years ago, and both of her sons had already moved to Ecuador. One son came 4 years ago and lives with his wife and young daughter here in Puerto Cayo. The other son moved here about the same time I did and lives with his wife in Manta. So I was honestly quite honored that Sigrid would include me in this, her first Thanksgiving here with her family.
It was an afternoon event that included lots of scrumptious fare. I contributed my famous artichoke dip and cranberry & orange cookies to a spread of turkey, gravy, dressing, scalloped potatoes, macaroni & cheese, green bean casserole, corn, carrot soufflé (that rivals any sweet potato casserole), apple crumble and rum cake for dessert. Not only that, but I was sent home with an abundance of left overs. And believe it or not, they actually managed to get the Dallas Cowboys football game on TV (not that I paid any attention to it, but what Thanksgiving would be complete without the Cowboy’s losing their game?). They even insisted I sit in on a family photo, and Sigrid included me in her family tradition of giving each member an ornament for their tree (mine was a cute little owl, and I’m not even sure she knew that I collected owls as a child!)
It was a really nice day, and it once again reminded me that (as one of my favorite necklaces that my good friend, Amy, gave me says) “Friends are family we choose for ourselves” – and this year I am extremely thankful for the friends God has given me!
“God sets the lonely in families…” ~Psalm 68:6