The other day fellow ex-pat, Phoe, kindly sent me a link to an online, UK based store that sells hard to find American groceries. Strangely, just a few hours earlier, Matt and I had been discussing Thanksgiving and I was saying I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find canned pumpkin. I don't know how they make pumpkin pie here or if the whole UK has something against it (gasp) but pumpkin pie - my mother's pumpkin pie anyway - is one of my very favorite desserts. I'd rather have it than birthday cake - birthday cake from Taste of Elegance/ele Cake Co. even (although it's a close tie). Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie - even if it's a Thanksgiving that's being celebrated in a country that doesn't have Thanksgiving.
Anyone that might be trailing us on a trip to Tesco knows that Matt and I are serious impulse shoppers so within minutes of perusing the website, we placed an order that arrived this morning (before I'd even had a chance to shower - I hate that).
We can now have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (and Christmas)! We also ordered some barbecue sauce to make barbecue chicken pizzas because the sauce here is just too sweet. It's not our favorite flavor but it is our favorite brand so I know it'll be good. The Jello Instant Pudding is the not-so-secret ingredient in my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Each batch takes a box but I think I may stretch it and use a half box for each. The Junior Mints are just because I miss Junior Mints (even though After Eights are pretty close) and the candies are some UK sweets they threw in which is, um, sweet.
All this talk of the holidays, along with the Christmas decorations that are popping up everywhere, is really Getting Me Down. I checked ticket prices to go home for Thanksgiving the other day and they were reasonable enough (although,only two or three days later, they've already gone up £25) but I just didn't think it was a good idea for me to go home. I've spoken the words "I might not come back" out loud without entirely meaning them but still meaning them a little bit. I'm having a lot of trouble and a lot of that feeling is because I didn't take the decision to move here as seriously as I should. Not that I wouldn't have done it anyway, I would (most likely), but I would have realized how important it was to give up my family and everything I've known for the past 35 years. I spent the entire summer with this vague feeling that this was all happening to someone else (that's the only way I can explain how easy it was) but now I'm painfully aware that it was me all along. Don't get me wrong, living here isn't "a jail sentence," as Matt kind of joked the other night as we talked about going home for Thanksgiving, it just isn't home yet.
This topic of going home for Thanksgiving only came up because we're not going to Ohio for Christmas. It was insanely expensive to ship my cats so it's just not possible this year. This fact crushes me and is the reason I'm having so much trouble. I think I'd be in a better state if I'd had more time to get used to my new life in general without having the most family oriented holiday come up within first few months. I know eventually you have to start your own family and your own traditions but, after waking up at my parents' house (my house for a lot of those years) for 35 Christmases, waking up in an entirely different country, knowing that I'll only see my family on a video chat...I can't even think about it without fighting off tears or downright sobbing.
That said, I should probably stop trying to ruin an otherwise perfectly good Friday, take a nice hot shower and start prepping the conservatory for the light but bright yellow paint we bought on Wednesday. We'll give it a couple of coats tomorrow, finally unpack some of my decor and make it a nice cozy room in which to have a Thanksgiving dinner for two.