Friday, Nov 24th

Season of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those of you living in the US. Are you out of your turkey coma yet? I bet there is still plenty of pumpkin pie and whip cream in the fridge to keep a smile on your face. I hope gratitude abounds in your life today. It’s my hope you were blessed with connection and love with family and friends, and not just for yesterday…but will enjoy this all throughout the year.

I was feeling very nostalgic Thanksgiving morning. I may have even felt a little sad, being so far away from my extended family on that morning. My thoughts drifted back to when I was a kid. Thanksgiving at grandma’s house with all the cousins, aunts, and uncles, parents, and grandparents. I remember the smell of a 100 different wonderful things to eat. The cacophony of adult voices with 5 or 6 conversations going at once. The laughter and screams of cousins running through the house, up and down stairs, screen doors flying open and slamming shut. Eventually a reprimand from one of the adults. They were definitely good times.

Slow Down and Smell the Turkey

It is fantastic that we can slow down, take much needed down time, and spend Thanksgiving with family and close friends, people we love. I think as humans we need this level of connection to stay healthy. It is so healthy in fact that holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be just one of many days during the year we get together to enjoy each other’s presence. An opportunity to express gratitude for the people in our lives.

Connection is what makes the world go round.

Turkey and Talk

This year Heidi, Easton, and I had Thanksgiving at the Spondylus restaurant in Olon. We enjoyed our friend Soraya’s company with her two adult children, Luis and Andrea. What a great evening we all shared.


Good Food with Great People

The meal itself was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner cooked to perfection. The flavors were amazing. For Olon being as small as it is, you would be surprised at the number of incredible chefs here. We were blessed to enjoy good food with great people.

Gratitude for Health

I’m grateful to be feeling good today! Wow. I don’t know what I had but it lasted 14 days. My nights were spent with chills and profuse sweating. During the day I was so tired I would take one if not two naps. I lived on round-the-clock ibuprofen or acetaminophen to keep a low-grade fever under control. I started a round of antibiotics even though I was pretty certain it wasn’t bacterial.

The last 4 days were the worst because I started wondering if I had some exotic South American disease. Every day I took an inventory…breathing ok? Check. Eating ok? Check. Peeing and pooping ok? Check. I figured I must not be going to die if these areas of my body were functioning somewhere near normal. What I didn’t want to do was go to the hospital here. I have to admit, the thought of being admitted scared me. I didn’t realize I was afraid of this until I thought I might really need to go.

Most of my life I’ve worked in a hospital, so beyond my normal fears and understanding of what can go wrong in the best of conditions, I was left with my imaginations of what it would be like here. I have been in some clinics here and they are noisy, not the cleanest, and just have a general sense of chaos. What would the hospital be like? I didn’t want to find out.

So I am filled with gratitude that, at least for today, this is not an adventure I will have to undertake. See how my psyche works on this topic? I used the word undertake… as in Undertaker. 😉

Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow…Maybe

The weather here continues to be heavy gray clouds (hear my muffled scream?). Seriously I thought the sun would be here by now. I know it is coming…keep breathing Todd. There has actually been far less sun here than when I was living in Cuenca. Now, it has been the rainy season the last 6 months, and once this breaks there should be blue skies until June.

People tell me this has been an odd year. The cloud cover and rains came much earlier. We have had more rain this year than the previous several years, and it has been colder than normal. I don’t know though. Maybe this is just what it is like. Of course a year time period may not be the right snap shot either. Maybe it’s like a 3 or 5 year window that gives the better picture of what the weather really does. The saving grace is that, for the most part, it has been warm during the day.

From Seoul to Guayaquil

Our son Chase arrives tonight from Seoul! We are meeting him in Guayaquil and bringing him back to nuestra casa en la playa. He will be studying for the GRE while he is here. Test is in one month. I’m anxious to get the download of his time in South Korea.

So Happy Thanksgiving weekend to us! We are blessed beyond measure to have both our sons home for the holiday season.

Pic of the Week

This man owns a restaurants and grills his meat outside on the corner. It appears the coals were taking too long to heat up. Who can relate to what he did? 😉

Come On Baby Light My Fire