Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Going home for Thanksgiving!

November seems so innocuous. It seems like such a pleasant, in-between month, a time when no real expectations are laid, and nobody really has any major plans until waaaaaay late in the month when Thanksgiving comes and then there's a crush of OMG holidays until about the tenth or so of January. And then everything goes back to normal.

This is my sixth November in Chile, and as I bust out the shorts and other assorted summer paraphernalia, I notice it is the first time I have not gotten weather sick. Weather sick is like homesick, missing something you can't access, can't truly experience. Weather sick in November is triggered by talk of kids running through piles of leaves and zipping up coats over Halloween costumes. It's fanned by tales of hunkering down and thick stews and picking up cast-aside knitting projects. Because that's fall.

Here in the southern hemisphere, my spring allergies are raging (still have not bought that nutmeg necklace I say I'm going to get), windows are flung open and berries and chermioyas flood the markets. And while I still find it unsettling that it stays light until so late in November and summer holidays will be in January and February, the draining whiny nostalgia of what fall feels like in the northern hemisphere is absent this year.

You might think it was because I've gotten over it.

Or you might know that I have in my greedy little email account confirmation of a ticket "home" for día acción de gracias (Thanksgiving). And while I will miss the chance to plan a very gringo thanksgiving, complete with a fight over the last remaining sweet potatoes at the Vega (go in on the Dávila (back) side and find the middle-eastern veggies and stuff, there's a guy there that has them this time of year), and combing the city for celery (Jumbo is a good bet right now), and lamenting yet again that although they grow cranberries in this country, nearly all of them are exported, only to be reimported in small quantities in gelatinous goo contained in cans, well in spite of all that, I'm really glad to go see my people, and my people's people in a new/old tradition that we've been celebrating for the past three years. (did you see that sentence? and I call myself an editor!)

The tradition is called "Aunt Eileen comes home for Thanksgiving." I think everyone is pretty happy about it, particularly my nephew, (2.5) who says on the phone, "een bring suny" (suny is soft caramel candy not unlike fudge, but without the chocolate), as I'm told his supply recently ran out. Did you hear that? He calls me "een." Please cue heart-achingly saccharine music and then see if you can speed up the next two weeks a bit. There's a little boy that needs his aunt (or the candy she brings, so what?) way up north. Thanksgiving, indeed.


Abby said...

A good dato for nutmeg necklaces: http://www.palimpalem.com/6/collardenuezmoscada/ (totally reliable...it's my friend's boyfriend's little business). And he delivers!

Have fun at home for Thanksgiving. I'm weather-sick right now too.

Eileen said...

Gah! you read my mind. I was going to link to him in the text. Fixing now! Thanks! I'm a glutton for punishment though, I'll probably just keep on sniffling and sneezing. I figure it's good for my abs. Plus it ups the chance I'll get an eye infection from all the scratching. And who doesn't like that?

Lucie said...

Yes, Fall is my favorite time of the year and the time I miss the most when I'm Chile. Fall and all the preparation and anticipation of Christmas! I love a snowy white cold Christmas and can never get used to it being celebrated in the summer in Chile! This Christmas will be my third Christmas spent in Chile! I can't believe it!

Anonymous said...

Weather-sick--YES. I'm from Portland and I moved to the sahara desert and I used to LONG for cool rainy days! Morocco is much better.

And lucky you! I'm totally jealous. Have an awesome Thanksgiving! :)

HereBeDragons said...

I'm a little jealous.
In southern Cal, there are also Chermoiyas (I saw them at the farmers market Sunday - but still haven't tried) and I *won't* be seeing my family back in Nebraska.

Enjoy your lovely holiday! I can smell the turkey already.

Still Life in South America said...

Will Hakim be coming to Thanksgiving dinner?

Safe travels home, Eileen. It's sneaking up faster than I expected. We finalized tickets to fly to the next location (T) today. Going in January after the family time.

Marite said...

I'm jealous you are going home for Thanksgiving. I wish I could. But I am really looking forward to going home for a white Christmas this year (which is odd, because I hate snow and cold...I guess we can blame that on pregnancy too).

Also, I have to say, while the celery seems to be around (if you don't mind the $20 price tag), and sweet potatoes I am not even going to worry about (because you see them so, so rarely)- I would KILL for gelatinous cranberries in a can. I mean, you're talking like the "cranberry jelly" that comes in a can and once you get the top off, you just turn it upside down, and it slowly slides out and retains the shape of the can, including the little ripples on the sides, until you cut it into slices- because SURELY, this is how cranberries are meant to be consumed!?!? God, I love that stuff. I've actually put the word out amongst people here who get a lot of food imported from the States begging to have a can if anyone has any. I guess it's what I grew up with- why else would I like it so much? :)
Anyway- have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Maeskizzle said...

ooh yum. Yes Thanksgiving at home is an enviable situation. It's my fave holiday!! Luckily for us Chilegringas who are staying, Sopraval makes a 1 kilo turkey breast that's easy to cook. So there! Imagine what you'll be missing. hahaha

Eileen said...

Lucie, the payoff of living in Chile is great, but I do miss a good New England fall. Even if that makes me allergic, too!

Planet Nomad, I keep on forgetting to ask if you like houseguests. One day I'll get to Morocco and fascinate you all with my ability to ask thousands of questions and walk long distances. Also, to understand a little and speak no French. I can't imagine a PDX to Morocco transplant. Your lungs must urge you to shower constantly!

herebedragons, cherimoyas are the god's nectar. So delicious! I do get sick of them after the second or third, but the first is manjar! (chilean for ambrosia, also means dulce de leche)

Stilllife, we prefer a more traditional holiday dessert such as pecapie or tzeesecaye, but you never know, there could be some Hakim.

Marite, this is the first I've heard (but I went to go check out the details). Congratulations, and I wish I could send you some cranberry sauce in a can, but I'm certain you'd never get it...

Maeskizzle, welcome aboard. I don't mind missing the 1-lb turkey breast or any of the other associated turkey parts. It's been a lifetime since I've eaten turkey, and I don't miss it at all. What I do miss is my family and assorted add-ons, and the promised cello concert by the nine-year-olds in the bunch! And whatever other hilarity my family can dig up!

Also, I don't think I mentioned this this time, but I'm not Christian, so this is kind of the big event of the year, and I haven't regretted going, not even once, even if I do miss the Expo Rural in La Reina, every year.

dengikani said...

Any chance you'll be in DC?