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Invernessian Diane Knox in the US at Thanksgiving counts her blessings - apart from the stuffing!

By Diane Knox

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Diane's parents Mike and Val Knox.
Diane's parents Mike and Val Knox.

The madness of Black Friday! Have you scooped up anything good in the sales?

My online search patterns have changed in 2021, that’s for sure. Instead of looking for party dresses and knee-high boots, I’m scouring websites for deals on bathroom lights, kitchen taps and rugs. I guess it’s called growing up!

We’re building our new “forever” home and are set to close at the end of May 2022. So I’ve been strictly warned that I cannot go crazy and start buying home furnishings… because we currently have nowhere to put them.

Anyway, the whole point of the Black Friday sales is that they occur the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

Every year, on the fourth Thursday in November, families and friends gather together to give thanks, traditionally for the harvest and for the other blessings of the year. It’s the busiest week of travel (avoid airports at all costs) and a holiday full of food.

Garrett and I spent the day at my parents’ house, joined by his dad and our friend Kipp. My brother Russell was absent as he’s currently in Scotland! I’m very envious of this, and to soften the blow of missing out on another annual visit, I have given him only one important item to bring back for me – paracetamol.

You can’t get paracetamol in America, and I’m yet to find a decent alternative.

Speaking of which there are some pivotal items of food with, quite frankly, mediocre substitutes over here compared to back home.

The Thanksgiving meal is pretty much the traditional Scottish Christmas feast of turkey, potatoes, gravy, the works. But one thing Americans can’t get right is stuffing – one of the best parts of the dinner.

The version over here is basically bread and herbs, and lacks any meaty substance. Give me that Scottish pork and sage dish any day of the week. They also love a green bean casserole (soggy beans, yuck!) and, the worst dessert of all time has to be pumpkin pie.

It’s a good thing my mum was in charge of the menu this year, we got apple pie and strawberry cheesecake instead. It was a brilliant day, nothing will ever beat days at home with family, food and films.

Anyway, aside from the feast that requires multiple snoozes on the couch to digest, it’s always good to take a moment to reflect on the things in life you’re most thankful for.

I used to start each day writing down five, but they became quite repetitive. Instead, I just make sure I put effort into being a grateful person.

My family is always top – I don’t know what I’d do without them. My parents celebrated 40 years of marriage last week and they are my true role models in life and love. My husband is the one I was waiting for my whole life, and I’m thankful for every little part of him daily – even when he leaves his sweaty gym clothes on the bathroom floor.

Health has to always be on the list, because when you or someone close to you has had some sort of health scare, and as you get older, you’re especially thankful for that.

And, of course, my two doggies Bowser and Barkley. Who knew these squishy-faced boys could fill my heart up?

So back to my tap-searching I go, thankful for any money saved on our future home.

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