My husband and I moved to Germany a few months ago, so this is the first major holiday we’re spending away from extended family and friends that we’ve known for many years.
However, it’s a normal day in Deutschland.
My husband went to work, just like all the other employees in the country.
Grocery stores and post office are open. Trains run on their typical workday schedules instead of the reduced-frequency Sunday/Holiday timetables. No greetings of “Happy Thanksgiving” from people walking by. Here in late November, the undercurrent of excitement is from the openings of the Weinachtsmarkts (Christmas-theme outdoor markets) in each major town, starting this week or shortly thereafter.
I can’t find canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, or stuffing mix in any of the local grocery stores. I have no idea where to get a whole turkey, fresh or frozen. Cranberries are mythologically hard to find. Pumpkin pie has not been spotted in any store or bakery we’ve seen thus far.
Yet, I am thankful.
Moving here is a 15 year headstart on a long-time dream. My husband is employed in a job he loves. People are kind when we speak our beginner-level German but butcher the pronunciation and grammar. I can walk to a major grocery store within 10 minutes. I can hop on a train and in less than an hour indulge myself in several old downtowns crammed with gorgeous 5-storey half-timber (fachwerk) houses.
I am grateful for the internet, which allows me to seamlessly continue serving my USA based clients and gather new ones here. Social media helps me keep in touch with my friends and admire their gorgeous Thanksgiving dinner tables from afar.
We are in good health and have access to the universal health care mandated for every person staying in this country longer than 90 days.
I can pick up a phone or connect a video call over the Internet to hear loved ones’ voices on a whim.
And, I’m grateful for you. Regardless of the country you live in, thank you for reading my posts. I appreciate your time and send you best wishes for a joyous end-of-year holiday season.
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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