|Ada and her friend with post-parade hot chocolates|
Living a short train ride away from a world-class city...but one so accessible I can take two 5 year olds and an 8 year old to the Thanksgiving Day parade and immediately score them a "front row" curb seat to the marching bands, giant balloons, pageant queens, miniature horses, acrobats and Irish dancers. Also, my fellow city-dwellers are just so darn nice. When one of the girls whined that she was thirsty, a neighboring spectator--the same one who'd gamely tolerated them leaning against his folding chair every time they got up to fidget--handed over a sealed bottle of water.
Amazing friends who can cook. We joined our friends Jani and Steve and some old friends of theirs for smoked turkey and all the fixings. Josh made handcrafted gin-cranberry-rosemary cocktails and three pies: chocolate chess, sour cream apple crumble and pumpkin. I assembled a charcuterie/cheese board with three kinds of cheese from Whole Foods, olives, cornichons, fig jam, crackers and cured meat. Jani's old friend from Philly made 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, 10 pounds of sweet potato casserole and an almost equally insane quantity of stuffing. Zoe had turkey and 3 helpings of corn. Ada had a bite of turkey and an apple. I ate and drank myself silly.
A community where both of my kids can spend the afternoon at playdates and where we'll run into people we know at the ice rink and the shopping center. (Both happened today.)
Speaking of our great community, I got to pay it forward a bit today. The phone rang at 9am, and it was a former neighbor who moved to Colorado at year ago. She was in a panic because a realtor was trying to show her house and her tenant was nowhere to be found. She asked me to run over to her house, find the hidden key and let the realtor and a potential buyer into the place. If you're in the market for a beautiful E.E. Roberts home across from Fox Park, it can be yours for $575k!
And of course I'm thankful for my husband (and his great sense of humor), my job, my health (and health insurance, just in case), my smart girls and the awesome cat who is curled up on my lap and making it quite challenging to type this. I'm thankful for caring and generous parents and in-laws, lifelong friends (like Franny, whom I'm visiting next weekend), and most of all the local friends I love like family. As a foreign service brat who moved a lot as a kid, It was my dream that we would be able to raise our children in a welcoming, stable place where they could form close, long-lasting friendships. I didn't realize how much I would treasure that gift too.