Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Our pal Farrell reminded me before we hit the border that while he and his compatriots sat down to their delicious turkey dinner today, they would be celebrating Thanksgiving; we would be celebrating "Thursday."

He's right: Canadians do have a Thanksgiving, but it is held on the second Monday in October, about a day after we hit the road. There's an interesting Wikipedia entry on this (of course), which has a couple of interesting tidbits:

1. Canadian Thanksgiving pre-dates the American thanksgiving by about 40 years.
2. No Indians (/Native Americans/First Peoples) were systematically wiped out shortly afterwards.

As Eddie Izzard might say, "Hm. Interesting."

So we missed it, and indeed today was just another ordinary day in Canada, albeit with better-than-average American Football games on the teevee as its only notable difference.

Nevertheless, this being a day to give thanks, it seems like an opportune moment to "give thanks" to all the people who helped us, sheltered us, fed us or entertained us along this long strange trip, which tomorrow will be at an end with our arrival in Victoria.*

*The road trip may be coming to an end, but the journey is just beginning. The New Adventures of Chas and Heather will return after a short break ...

First thanks must go to the Rubins, specifically Cindy and Michael, who were unwaveringly supportive from the get-go despite this being the last of their children to leave Orlando. Cindy gave us the Ford Winstar we used and made sure it was in tip-top mechanical condition before doing so, and did everything a mother could or would do to help. Mark and Shelly showed us around Chicago, Seth was excited for us (though sadly we didn't get to visit him, we will soon), Aunt Judi was full of good advice and hospitality, and generally the whole clan were just wonderful.

We must also thank Chas' family, particularly Micah/Patty/Mason and the "Alabama Martins" (Bobby/Pat/Gina/Cade/Greg/Sam/Drew/Emma) for hosting us in the early part of the trip, and a toast to Melanie and Carlette for bravely remaining behind in Orlando to oversee our father's estate. We visited Aunt Austell (an early "Happy 102nd Birthday!" to you!) and Cousins Elaine and Sue (and Sue's husband Roger).

Special thanks go to Helena for going way beyond the call of duty in showing us the beauties and surprises of Columbus: she is truly the hostess with the mostest!

Secondly, our Orlando friends who really spoiled us rotten as we try to make new friends in Victoria; with people of this incredibly high quality, taste, style and generosity already in your life, Canada has a lot to live up to! Liz and Doug, Dan and Sandra, Daniel and Jennifer, Aaron and Terran, Chas/Pam/Issac, Dave and Neal, Maggie and Kirk (and baby Jackson), Alan and Heather, Mike and Laurence, Julia and all the Guardians (see you at Gally!), Joey and Todd, Bill K, Kristen/Aaron and the kids (be good!), all the fine folks that make up FL-MUG (the BoD in particular, especially Pat and Meri) and LA-MUG, our pals who work at or are customers of Connecting Point, Chas's clients, Heather's colleagues at Bright House Networks, our friends at the Enzian and many more proved once again that friends are also family if you love them enough. Words cannot express how special these people are, both to us and in the community to which they all give so much.

Extra special thanks go to Walt and Ellen, Brenda and Bill, and of course The Wares. They (along with the people mentioned above) made it incredibly hard to leave Orlando, and lent us material support in helping us purge or pack or otherwise get ready for the Big Move.

Double super sugar-coated thanks and ricochet kisses go to Bree and Tris (and Martini!), who helped make this trip doable by cutting our expenses and egging us on. Where are Earth are we going to find anyone anything like you? Nowhere, that's where!

Next up: the Orlando (and Florida) Refugees! People who successfully escaped before we did, and welcomed us along the way: Jim and Sue (now of Asheville), Tom and Elisa (now of Chapel Hill), Tina (now in Houston), Rich (now half-time in Albany), Maizie/Mike/Gunny/Maisie (now in Washington DC), TJ and Mark (now of Pittsburgh), and Farrell/Toby/Tracy (now of Fort Collins) and Aunt Judi (again!).

Others who made this trip the brilliant adventure that it was: MamaRose in Iowa City and Jenny & Matt in Seattle!

Supporting players: Franklin Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Barnabas Collins, Doctor Who, the Wii, Blade Runner: the Final Cut, Costco and Hampton Inns all across the country, and special thanks to Apple and the iPhone. Who needs a GPS?

Humble extra thanks to the border guards, both US and Canadian, that took the time and effort to help us underprepared, wide-eyed, naive kids (and their van and worldly possessions!) out of and into (respectively) their countries.

Lastly, everyone who called, offered gifts or congratulations (we still have a bottle of champagne to open tomorrow, Gary!) or commented on the blog. If we didn't mention you by name, that just means that you were so unbelievably important and special to us that we've completely taken you for granted and you're as much a part of our lives as our favourite sweaters. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Thankful? For all of the above? As John Wayne famously said, "You better believe it, pilgrim."

More to come. Stay tuned.


Kristen said...

We will miss you two, best of luck!

chas_m said...

We'll miss you and the kiddos too.