Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanks Giving

To be honest, this is the hardest week for me to be away from family in America.

I miss the Thanksgiving holiday. There's nothing like it here...the smells, tastes, sights, and sounds of what the family camaraderie, football, and big meal are all about. No gifts showered on any one person. Just being together and eating the good food that's become our traditon. And being thankful, of course.

So, while I picture you there around your tables of plenty, surrounded by family, I will concentrate on something else. One thing for which I'm thankful, over and above which is everything else I cherish here and count dear. One thing I'm picking this holiday to draw attention to and simply say "Thank You:"

Last week I read this from Jimmy Wales, Wiki founder:

Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 400 servers and 95 staff.

Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 454 million different people every month – with billions of page views.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission, and leave waste to others.

If everyone reading this donated $20, we would only have to fundraise for one day a year. But not everyone can or will donate. And that's fine. Each year just enough people decide to give.

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

And without blinking an eye, right on the spot, I donated to Wikipedia. Do you know why? Because I use it almost every day of my life, sometimes more than once. I couldn't do a lot of what I do without them.

So, here's one huge THANK YOU to Wikipedia, without which many of us would still be in the dark.

And THANK YOU to you, too...each and every one of you...without whom this blog would also be in the dark.



  1. I am well aware that you miss the Thanksgiving, it is one thing we don't celebrate the way you do 'back home'.
    Maybe our Christmas dinner will come in close, our whole family togehter, no gifst, just the friendship.
    The wikipedia deserves all the money they need and it was very nice that they wrote you a 'thank you' e-mail to you. People like you do make a differnce.

  2. Astrid: I know you know, MLMA. Thank you for feeling it with me. The thing is, I can feel the loss in spite of all that I have gained, which actually may be part of what thanks-giving is all about. I live with the tension.

    And yes, the celebrations to come are the kind of traditions we'll build on. Thank you for helping me/us do that.

    In the meantime, GO WIKI. :)

  3. Oh Boots. :( I miss you. But we will skype tomorrow. Too bad I can't hand you some turkey and stuffing through the laptop screen. I remember how it was when we lived in Istanbul, so so far away from loved ones.

    Thank you for this about wiki. I saw that there was a message from Jimmy Wales when I went into wiki a dozen times in the last few days, but I did not open and read his message. Shame on me. How can I take this service for granted, which is not just gratis, it is now indispensable. How often I say, what would we do without wikipedia! So I will go donate now.


  4. Ruth: The same thing happened to me, too, Sister. I had seen the message there day after day and then finally read it. Once I donated, I received a wonderful e-mail back. I didn't realize they are a tax-exempt, charitable organization. Who would have thunk.

    Thank you for feeling this week with me. You know...and care. I can sense it.

  5. Even though you were not sitting round the Thanksgiving table with your family, I'm certain that they were thinking of you and Astrid. I hope you had a happy day in spite of being the other side of the ocean.
    We have so many things to give thanks for every day, not just at thanksgiving!

  6. Sham: You're so right, of course. Your day in Canada has come and gone but ours is yet to come, on Thursday the 24th. All my kids are traveling, either to L.A. or to FL, so they wouldn't have been home anyway. I'll be on the "other side," thankful for all I am and have. I'm a very lucky lady! Thanks.

  7. I'm not having family for thanksgiving, other than my mom. What my hubs do is invite our older friends/couples who have no children to break bread with us. It's no different this year. I'll see my family - bros and their families on Christmas or New Year.

  8. PC: If it were a holiday here, Maria, we'd invite friends/family from here, of course. But Astrid will work, as usual, and I'll do my thing, as though nothing else were going on. Such is life as an expat! We WILL celebrate Christmas, of course, and that will be nice.

  9. I absolutely miss all of the thanksgiving people or traditions of being together when we finally have become a bigger family... What I don't miss is the food that I shouldn't be eating!

    That is so right about giving just a little back! Great for you! Wikipedia is awesome for sure.

    Just know that the neighbors to the north are working on Thursday as well. I'm fine with that though. :) Except for my looming back to work date of less than 3 months. (Feb 20th) Boo.

  10. ET: I know you know! Thank you. But with your little girl, you miss your family all that much more. I hope it works out for you to see them often! In the meantime, happy holidays in your second/third country!

  11. I donated to Wiki last year but think I will do so again... like you, I use it almost every day for one thing or another and find it an invaluable reference source. Every now and then, I find something I know to be incorrect and wish I would have the time and energy to send a correction... in the meantime, I'll give them some more money!

    As for Thanksgiving, I have very little family in my area and usually spend the holiday with cousins (2nd cousin Jane and her husband Ed and their son and daughter-in-law). This year, we will have 4 more at the table, a cousin of Ed's who lost her husband this past January, her two sons and one son's girlfriend. They will not have to spend the holiday in their own home missing their husband/father.

    And once again, I'm blathering on and on! I hope you know that others besides just your family will be thinking of you this Thursday and sending thoughts of thanks into the universe that they have you in their life. I know I will be one of those people. :-)

  12. Victoria: I just told Astrid that I will start "donating" some of my images to the many sites I have visited throughout all our travels. It's the least I can do to say Thank You to Wiki, especially now that I know they are a non-profit organization. I had no idea!

    Thank you for your very kind words for Thursday's significance. It means the world to me and reminds me that sometimes our "real" family isn't the one we were born into.

  13. I love how we all have our different holidays to celebrate. We celebrate them at different times but they all boil down to the same thing.

    Our real family are not always family by blood/genetics. Our real family presents itself over our lifetime. Our challenge is to recognise it :-)

  14. Cherry: I couldn't have said it better! Thanks for stopping by again, Lady.

  15. If I ever decide to leave the States again and return to Europe or live in some other country, Thanksgiving will be the holiday I'll miss the most. Without the football, though. I'll send some warm thoughts over the ocean to you on Thursday, Ginnie!

  16. Carola: So you know, even though you didn't have it as part of your past experience! Thanks for sharing this and thanks for your warm thoughts. I'm alreeady feeling better. :)

  17. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Ginnie!

  18. Happy Thanksgiving, my dear! I know you're with your far-away family in spirit today and they with you.

    Although we always have our own little Canadian Thanksgiving here, I do miss the old family dinners back home. It's just not quite the same. But we have to make the best of it, don't we?

  19. Anne Thank you, dear Lady. And to you and yours as well!

    Christina: THANK YOU for stopping by here today, dear Friend. It's strange, isn't it, how these holidays away from "home" affect us. And yet, after all is said and done, I'm exactly where I want to be and I am very grateful!

    Go out and treat yourselves to a huge turkey sandwich!

  21. Sham: What a sweet-sweet thought! Now, if we could find someone who sells turkey meat.... :)

  22. I would miss Thanksgiving if I lived somewhere it was not celebrated. It is a wonderful time of year. But I like that you are practicing Thanksgiving anyway in being grateful for Wikipedia. It is a wonderful resource. Obviously, it's not the same as being with family; but you are practicing the spirit of Thanksgiving in a very real way.

  23. Tim: Thank you for understanding. It means a lot to me. I am thankful for so much, which in and of itself is getting me through this day. So far so good. :)

  24. My daughter debated in class that Wikipeida was a reliable source and a good thing to have around. There is a lot of controversy about it, but her team won (thanks to her input, I must add - she won as MVP) Perhaps a future lawyer?

  25. Margaret: What an interesting thing about which to debate! The thing is, common people like you and I are able to add stuff, which may be the sticking point? I would have loved to hear the debate. Was it recorded???