This is my first experience living in a build site. As the holidays were quickly approaching, and we were still living amongst the dust, and chaos that is construction, we needed to make some quick decisions about just how we would celebrate important days…like Thanksgiving.
Our days at this point were an early start, working on the business in the morning with the driveway packed by 7:30 with plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Then we would go and do our ‘day job’s’, return home and then continue the construction or work on the website until about 9, finally sitting down for dinner around 10. Up again the next day to do it all again.
It was a bit exhilarating to see the progress but after almost 2 months like this, and not taking much time on the weekends to have a life, the impending holiday was a chance to put down the tools, make our bit of the house look pretty and truly celebrate the holiday by saying thanks for all that we are blessed to have.
We see Hosking House as being not only a guest house, but a place for events. The gardens are extensive and I can picture them as the perfect backdrop for intimate birthday parties, cocktail hours and wedding photos. This was our chance to host the first one…
As Rod was intent on not stopping work, I volunteered to be the Thanksgiving planner, and allow the progress upstairs to continue.
I was determined to have a proper, sit down meal, with a beautiful table, traditional Thanksgiving menu and to continue some family traditions. Finding a turkey, and a large turkey (over 8 pounds) in November in New Zealand is a task in itself. This type of experience really reminds me that I am an immigrant here in this new country – and that I need a healthy dose of flexibility and creativity to keep my own traditions going. Yes, the turkey wont’ be a big 20 pounder, but hey who doesn’t want more stuffing or sides to fill the plate? There is no canned pumpkin to be found, but the real version, roasted myself, tastes just that much better. There may be thick white plaster dust on everything we own – but it’s up to me to ignore this, focus on the beauty of this house and enjoy the journey just as much as the finished product.
It all came together beautifully. We were surrounded by family and friends, who were so generous with their time and interest into the meaning and background of the holiday. It was a first Thanksgiving for many – and isn’t that the original beauty of the holiday? The first time that the pilgrims and native Americans came together to celebrate the bounty of the harvest, to acknowledge that they had made it through a difficult time and the importance and symbolism of pausing and saying thanks.
It was a symbolic and meaningful day for me and Hosking House was the perfect host!