This morning, an email popped up in my inbox, letting me know I'd received a Jaquie Lawson e-card from Kathy and Derek, my "English parents." I get one every year, and every year, they receive an "across the miles" Thanksgiving card from me.
Kathy and Derek were so much more than landlords to me in my year in England--they became family. I remember great discussions about books, music (they're more for the Rolling Stones, whereas I'm a Beatles lady through and through--but we all agreed that there is no band like Queen), and everything else. They explained Britishisms to me, and I helped them with Americanisms. One memorable question came one evening when Kathy looked up from her book (by and American author) and inquired, "Megan...what's a graham cracker?"
November 2004 marked the first time I ever spent Thanksgiving away from my family. With my English family, I cooked up turkey breasts, homemade stuffing (Derek's contribution), cranberry relish, mashed potatoes--the works. We sat in the dining room and used the good dishes. It was so special to me that they were willing to have a weekend Thanksgiving meal to help a homesick American teacher feel a little bit better.
I haven't seen them since August 2005, when I tearfully hugged them goodbye before leaving for Heathrow airport to return to the United States. I know I will see them again, and hopefully sooner, rather than later, but we do keep in touch via Facebook and email, and I am thankful to have had them in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy and Derek! Thank you for the card.