The original concept of Thanksgiving was one of giving thanks for a new life, new home and new friends and that tradition is celebrated around the world in one form or another by different cultures on various days throughout the year.
Although in Ireland we don’t formerly celebrate Thanksgiving we certainly are not going to miss an opportunity to have a bit of a party.. even if it is virtual.
Today the world is so much smaller as the Internet has enabled us to find friendship, love and common ground in virtually every country that has electricity. But however global our outlook, it is always great to reflect on the people in our lives and those basic needs for our well-being such as a roof over our heads and food on our table.
There are so many who still do not have these simple but essential requirements and that makes me very thankful indeed for the fact that I do.
I do know that it is the people in my life who I am the most grateful for. Sadly some are now gone, but their spirits remain a part of our family, and they are kept alive by the memories that we cherish as their legacy.
The Internet – Something to be thankful for.
I thought about how we would have coped, facing the same situation twenty years ago, when the Internet that we take so much for granted was in it infancy for the general public. In fact whilst we might think they have been around for decades, even Facebook, one of the communication super connector around the world, only hit the Internet in 2004, Twitter in 2007, WhatsApp 2009 and Zoom 2013.
Despite the fact that I think the new interfaces for the three main social media sites I use, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been designed by a disgruntled programmer from Disney, I do believe this last nine months during Covid-19 2020 would have been even more devastating without them.
There has been an incredible sense of community with people reaching out to offer comfort, to share celebrations, offer to support or help, and to simple reach out and touch another human being even if it involves a virtual hug.
Today at least we can keep in touch by phone, chat online, video call to family and friends on Skype and Zoom, and that face to face contact has been more than a way to keep in touch. For patients in hospital, the donations from charities of iPads has enabled them to have vital visual contact with loved ones. Being in hospital seriously ill is very tough, but without that personal element of the love of people close to us, it can mean the difference between fighting the disease and giving up.
If this pandemic had hit us 20 years ago there would have been no online banking or shopping for groceries and other essentials. Although many business sectors have been devastated, those who have offered services online had not only survived but thrived, particularly the grocery trade.For millions who have been quarantined, or cocooned as they say over here, without that access via the Internet to food deliveries it would have been even more frightening.
For us as a family, there have been cancellations of milestone celebrations, restrictions on travel to visit across borders, and the uncertainty of what next year will bring. But we are all still here and having the Internet has allowed us to stay safe.
Obviously there are two of us in our particular bubble, and that is something to be very thankful for. After forty years we know each other well, share the same sense of humour, love of movies and music, and we have worked together from home for the last 18 years which helps. I am very thankful that I have not had to face this alone as so many have. I am also very grateful that my older sisters live close to each other and have a bubble of two are well and I can chat to them on Skype each week to keep up to date.
For me personally the blog and books has kept me sane and engaged. My focus wavered in the first couple of months, but being able to chat to friends around the world at any time of day has been amazing. Having contributors bringing their expertise to the blog has been amazing over the years, and this year is no exception.
An amazing group of people that I am very thankful for.
William Price King – American Jazz singer, musician and composer has been writing the Music Column for the last six years. Informative and entertaining the series about singers, composers and musicians in the last 100 years has given us all a greater appreciation of music.And next year look out for The Breakfast Show every Tuesday hosted by the two of us.
Carol Taylor lives in Thailand where she ran a successful catering business and now continues to pass on her knowledge via her blog. She has written the amazing Food and Cookery Column for the last three years. Our repertoire of recipes and knowledge about culinary terms has expanded along with our waistlines. If you click on Carol’s name it will take you to her blog where you will find more food, conservation, whimsy and music.
D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies – Non-fiction and memoir author who loves to pack her suitcase and take off to warmer climes and wrote the Travel Column for two years before sharing her wise words on relationships in 2020. You will find book reviews, writing tips and frank discussion on Debby’s blog and always a warm welcome.
Silvia Todesco Our resident Italian cookery expert who has brought us wonderful Mediterranean recipes each month since 2018. If you pop into her blog, you may have a problem leaving as there are so many mouth watering recipes.. enjoy.
And I am very thankful for you.
I am also extremely thankful for your amazing support over the last seven years, but this year in particular, when finding positive comments each morning kept me motivated and determined to keep blogging as usual.
I am sure that I might have left someone off this globe but I hope that you will forgive me if your name is not there. A huge thank you for all the support.
Enjoy your celebrations, even it if does mean a virtual Thanksgiving Dinner over Zoom or a video call to parents and grandparents. Stay safe and hopefully next year things will be different for us all. With love and hugs Sally