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I was all ready to have a quiet, almost non-existent Thanksgiving this year, but then everything changed.
First, Toby and Miriam decided we should prepare a Thanksgiving feast for all the people who have been to Bethel in the past several years as well as a few of Toby’s friends. Miriam’s boyfriend is visiting at the moment, so he got in on it too. On Thanksgiving day they started preparing at 9 am, and I joined them at 3 when I got out of class. We prepared a 17-pound turkey, pumpkin, pecan and cherry pies, green-bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, zwieback, cranberry salad, stuffing, and sweet-potato pie.
We had 13 guests, and about half of them were experiencing their first Thanksgiving. We even kept the tradition of everyone going around and saying what they’re thankful for, some in English, some auf deutsch.
It was a more memorable Thanksgiving celebration than I had had in years. Besides the fact that it’s in Germany, I had so much more ownership than I ever had before.
Then, a man who studied at Bethel years ago invited us to the German-American association’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Miriam, William and I were 75% of the Americans there. We got there and realized we were a bit under-dressed, but we had a really good time. There were quite a few high school students who just studied in America last year, including one who was in Wichita. Another one studied in Austin, Texas. Let me just say, if you’ve never heard a German-Texan accent, you should seek one out. It may be the greatest combination of syllables possible.
We had yet another amazing meal of turkey, all the usual Thanksgiving staples, plus an appetizer of New England clam chowder. People kept asking us if this was what real Thanksgiving food was like, and exclaiming about how good it is.
There was also a pianist and a men’s sextet that sang for a while. They were actually really good. It was nice to hear some good live music. When the pianist played the theme song to Titanic, Eva, the wife of the woman who invited us was moved to tears. Seriously.
The couple who invited us was incredibly nice! Eva, doesn’t speak very good English, which was good, because it kept me speaking in German to her. If I do say so myself, I was quite successful with my German. They bought us tickets for a raffle, in which we could have (but didn’t, unfortunately) won such prizes as American-flag printed placemats, potholders, candles, a KC Chiefs hat, Red Sox and Bears hats, a basketball jersey, and other American memorabilia.
It was a great Thanksgiving.
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