Thankful to be cruising

Celebrating Thanksgiving on Totem this week, we sat around the table to talk about all the things we’re grateful for. Earlier in the day, the children had each made a list to share- going around the table, there were many overlaps.

We’re all so thankful for our floating home. Totem might be cozy living, but it’s more than enough. It keeps the water out, and the love in.

Gunung Agung - Totem- Sunset

I’m thankful that we’ve kept the spirit of our holidays. The cruising life lends itself to a more distilled, less commercial celebration.

That also makes me thankful I have yet to hear a Christmas carol this year. I don’t miss the consumer crush around holidays back in the states. Mairen added that she’s not thankful for skipping holidays, and reminded me it’s Hanukkah this week, so…well, I guess we’ll do some more celebrating soon.

celebrating hannukah
lighting a menorah with friends in La Cruz, 2011

Siobhan says she’s thankful for apple pie. This was probably prompted by one in the oven on Thanksgiving afternoon. Pumpkins are actually easy to get around here, and as a result we’ve had quite a few pumpkin pies in the last month- it lost the “special for Thanksgiving” edge, so apple pie it was.

I’m thankful we can still create the essence of the feast-centered holiday, even if it looks a little different. Although I am now accustomed to buying poultry with the head and feet still attached, did not count on our Thanksgiving turkey chicken from the market requiring gutting at home. We also had cranberry sauce (last stashed jar, purchased before we left Australia), cornbread, gravy for the bird, and I made my grandmother’s candied sweet potatoes- following the recipe written in her hand, a collection of favorites she wrote and gifted when Jamie and I got married.

no turkeys, but plenty of chicken at the weekly market

Mairen brought it up a level said she’s thankful for food. We are so fortunate not to go wanting. We eat simply, but we eat, and they’ve seen the harsh reality of malnutrition along our travels.

We’re thankful for the sea. Siobhan was the first one to read this from her list, but it came up repeatedly. The incredible oceans that we cherish, respect, enjoy, and despair.

dolphins in the S China Sea
lungs of the earth

The children all said they were thankful for dogs. I guess we’re dog people.

Shipyard dogs
Siobhan loving up one of the shipyard dogs in Satun

Niall said he’s thankful for the universe, because otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. Can’t argue with that!

I’m thankful for our family: family born to, family created, family chosen- from old friends to cruising comrades. We are so very rich with people to love, and be loved by in return.

As we wound down our discussion on gratitude, and the many things we’re thankful for, Jamie called out the most obvious one. It was so plain none of us had thought to articulate it, but immediately rallied around. We are so thankful to be cruising: to have the opportunity to live differently and follow our dreams.

Thanksgiving on Totem
Happy Thanksgiving, from Totem!

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