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Today, in this season, I just wanted to share a piece of my life for which I am grateful.
A life’s lesson that meant so much to a small family experiencing the people of this new Country.
An experience without which my life’s path would probably have turned out so differently.



We came across to the United States
A small family
Peter, Eileen, Vicky, Anne-Marie, Andrew
Landed – September 21, 1981
A new adventure had begun.

Now in Europe we do not have the formal “Thanksgiving Day” as a tradition.
But we were, somehow, blessed
Blessed by the hearts of the Smith family
Norma, Will, Sandie, Brian, Matt.
No way, Norma and Will had decided,was this family
new to this America, this United States, this Pennsylvania
new to these strange peoples with their strange customs
No way were we going to be sitting alone
Wondering what the fuss was all about.

And so they invited us into their home
To share what they had.
Sort of like the Native Americans did for their first settlers.
Strange Foods – Cranberries, Turkeys, Grandma’s stuffing recipe ….
Strange Drinks – Wild Turkey, Bourbon, Yukon Jack …
Strange Sports – They called it football but played it with their hands …
And so started a tradition that we have been blessed with 31 times already
A tradition at which circumstance has decided that today the two male patriarchs will not be physically at the table
but whose Spirits must, most surely, participate.

Strangers have come and gone at our table.
Like when we provided food and companionship to a US sailor
stuck at the old Philadelphia Navy Yard
A long way from home and family.

Family has come and gone at our table
New babies, new wives, new husbands, new friends, old friends no longer with us in body.

Locations have changed – as health or other circumstances have demanded
We’ve been as many as 35 as few as 5
Sometimes it seemed as if the only tradition was that no two years would be alike

But two things have remained constant

So, for me, count Thanksgiving up there as possibly the greatest of all holidays.
It is not burdened by the man-made divisions imposed by the multitude of religious traditions.
It can be shared by all – regardless of color, creed, political persuasion or any of the other things that divide this brotherhood of man.
It is truly a poor man who has nothing for which to give thanks.

When we sit down and give thanks, may our table be blessed with
the loving spirit of thanksgivings past,
the hope of thanksgivings to come, and
the sure knowledge that one of the simplest of all gifts is a heartfelt “Thank You”.

Thank You, once again, to Norma and the Smith family
Embodiments of the phrase

“A Stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”

And to you who have blessed these words with the time you took
to read them and add your meaning into them

From Me To You




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Published: November 27, 2014, 15:30 | 4 Comments on Thanksgiving – ONE IMMIGRANT’S STORY
Category: Freedom Of Environment, Real People Helping Real People, The Story Of A Life

4 responses to “Thanksgiving – ONE IMMIGRANT’S STORY”

  1. Michel Snook says:

    I like what you said in your video about finding someone who can teach you the rules of the game to help you with your business. However, it is also important to have someone who can show you the winning strategies for playing the game as well!

    I can see that the holiday of thanksgiving has now become a tradition for your family as well. But it is also important to carry the spirit of thanksgiving all year round! 🙂

    • freedomwithpeter says:

      Hey Michel. Thanks for stopping by. Absolutely spot on with your observations my friend.

      1. The practice of GRATITUDE is a key ingredient of any success – in my own experience and in many of the teachings passed on through the ages, and
      2. Once we understand the rules, it is also, as you observed, highly beneficial to have a coach as you play the game.

      Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. prp

  2. Siphosith says:

    I enjoyed your unique story and thanks to the Smith Family who welcomed you. I know how it feels to be in a strange land with strange food, strange people and everything strange. With gratitude you have shared this season with those in need and loved ones. Thanks for sharing what a great story.

    • freedomwithpeter says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Siphosith. As you mentioned, the thaks I feel for the kindness of Norma and Will in thinking of our feelings of strangeness cannot really be described accurately – but since it was born out of love there is probably no need. Whatever your personal story of overcoming that adaptation to different countries and customs, I encourage you to share it. Our common humanity demands no less. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. prp

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