I was invited to a friend's house in Hillsborough for Thanksgiving dinner today. It was a nice gathering with others ... with the adults downstairs and the kids upstairs doing their thing. It was really nice to be immersed in Tagalog - I had to reassure people there that I could understand Tagalog and even encouraged them to speak Tagalog in my presence.
So we had lots of food, fun, and fellowship. Some of the people present had first met in Texas, where they were newly arrived nurses from the Philippines. Over the years, they kept in touch, and this group ended up in North Carolina, scattered around the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill ... Hillsborough is north of Chapel Hill btw).
Oh, I'm sure you'll want to know what was on the table. There was truly the typical Thanksgiving fare: turkey, ham, 2 different gravies to go along with them, an interesting salad, dressed with broken ramen noodle pieces, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, and a simple dressing made up of carmelised sugar, pepper, and soya sauce ... mashed sweet potato, a grits/cheese/sausage casserole, some other casserole that was a little on the sweet side ... a really nice broccoli casserole. There were plenty of desserts: bibingkang kassava, Filipino style fruit salad, a really nice buko salad, apple and pumpkin pies, tiramisu ...
My contribution to the whole thing: I brought pomelo-flavoured Tang and mixed it there. It was definitely a hit. Too bad Tang doesn't make wonderful flavours like that available in the US. Mine came from the Philippines.
In the meantime ... there are things to be thankful for. At least I have a roof over my head, I can put food on the table, and I can ensure the car has gas to get me places. Plus, I have friends around me, and the family who are not so close geographically, but can always be reached by picking up the phone or even shooting a message or two via Facebook or MySpace.
Well. The food is digesting, and I'm looking forward to preparing for my three services over the weekend. I play the Saturday 5.30 pm Vigil Mass and cantor the Sunday morning 7.45 am Mass at Immaculate Conception, and then I look forward to working with my choir at St Joseph's as they sing the first of 4 specially chosen anthems for the Advent season Sunday morning at the 10.30 am service. They will also be vesting for the first time in at least 2 years. I have already received overwhelmingly positive comments concerning the choir's vesting. So we're taking little steps.
Yes, that is another thing to be thankful for - I have the wonderful opportunity to work with talented, dedicated people in my choir. We're learning together.