Sunday, November 28, 2010

I spent this weekend with around twenty new and newer friends at Imogen's country house in Ribérac. The house was perfectly at home in the French countryside, with its red barn door, fireplace and full library. Though there was no heat, we managed to stay toasty wrapped up under blankets and drinking wine around the fire.

On Saturday, Ellie and I went for a long walk around the village and the outlying farmlands. It was a perfect late-fall day, sunny and cool, with big fluffy clouds hanging in the distance over the town of Ribérac.

With a significantly high ratio of English to Americans in attendance, I wasn't sure how the dinner would pan out. In actuality, the Brits embraced the holiday and we ended up having an amazingly successful Thanksgiving meal. There were all the traditional fixings, plus some English goodies, too, like cheesy leeks, Yorkshire pudding, and pigs in a blanket (which, my friends, is not sausage wrapped in pastry but in bacon). Dessert was four pies, including a pumpkie pie made from scratch by Alaina (I may or may not have tried all four). After the meal, Alaina gave the same Thanksgiving lesson she gave her kiddies at school. Then we all went around and said what we were thankful for, which turned out to be really lovely and touching.

For the record, I'm thankful for:
My endlessly loving and supportive family
Friends who ask you how you are and want to know the real answer
Having the opportunity teach in one of my favorite places in the world, and getting to speak French everyday
Warm French baguettes in salted olive oil
My house here and my roommates and my bright yellow room and my warm purple comforter
Two-hour lunch breaks
My health, and being able to walk to school every morning, and go for runs in Bergerac at dusk


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