Friday, November 23, 2012

What Thanksgiving Looks Like From Here

On the 8th day, after a nice rest…and to reward the Expat Traveller…God created Skype.
 
In KC:
 
 
 
In Buffalo:
 

In Doha:
 
Oh sure, Skype is bits and bytes.  Frozen images, lost words, broken connections.  Skype is not: turkey smell, two-arm belly hugs, pumpkin pie tasting, backyard soccer, babies tossed into piles of leaves.  Skype doesn't offer up the togetherness that prompts deep conversation - like sitting at table beside a loved one you haven't seen in a while, sipping, supping…touching fingers, minds and hearts.
 
Skype can't fix a 9 hour time difference that means it's 11pm, three movies and two (and a half) bottles of wine late in Doha before the main event begins in KC. 
 
Skype won't let you reach through the computer screen and wrap arms around beloved, adored, miss-them-so-much-can't-talk-about-it:
 
Huggy, Squeezy, Melts-in-your-lap; Best Valentine's Present Ever
 
Fun, Funny, Fabulous; Best Birthday Present Ever
 
my mom is adorable
 
It's true that Skype isn't the most perfect of God's great inventions.  It's not even the "next best thing."  But when you’re here and they're there and the miles are long and far and deep…and you consider that it wasn't that long ago that there was No Such Thing as phone, computer, internet…and families had to rely on (gasp!) MAIL that took weeks to arrive, if it arrived at all…Skype's pretty darn awesome.
 
Killian IMs while skyping with Pop: note fingers at "home"
 
In Doha, Thanksgiving Day meant laundry, Arabic study, battles with housekeeping for Cindi; ten hour work day for Bob.  Frozen something that looked good in French and Greek that turned out to be mushy eggplant casserole.  MI2, MI4, wine…and waiting to Skype.
 
The next day we head to the Fabulous John and Jeanne Irvin's villa for turkey, rolls, corn, pie, beer, music, friends.  Can't wait!
 
Later, at our apartment, we'll huddle around our laptops and tap-tap-tap, warming fingers as if in front of a fireplace on a snowy day.  Because when you're far, far from the people you love most, and if you're very, very lucky - this is the what the best part of every holiday looks like:
 
 
miss these precious darlings
so
so
so
so
much
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