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A Thanksgiving memory from November 23rd, 1978, on the island of Corfu, Greece

It is the night before Thanksgiving, and I am reading my journal from 1978. I wanted to see if I had written anything about a memory I have from Thanksgiving night, November 23rd, 1978, on the island of Corfu, Greece.



There were no notes about Thanksgiving. My only notes from that day are:

November 23/78

Morning – parked on a rock overlooking the Agean [sic] Sea, on the island of Corfu. 
So peaceful.
So glad to be alive!
Kathi trimmed my hair with her Swiss Army Knife scissors.

I didn’t write about the American Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday, November 23rd, 1978, in my journal. And, I didn’t know it was an American holiday when I woke up that day in Greece. But the memory from that evening, is fresh like the piece of toast you just buttered. The memory as clear as the butter melting in front of you.

The memory of  listening to a group of American’s on the island of Corfu, Greece, laughing loudly, and celebrating Thanksgiving together, is so strong. If I close my eyes I am there again.

It is dark— dark like when you close your eyes and the inside of your eyelids are black with the glow from the last light you saw.
It is late — late like when you know it’s past your bedtime, and one day blends into the next, and it could be today or tomorrow. And, in the middle of the blackness, you see a light from a fire, and hear laughter.

And, you wish you were American so you could sit by the fire with the group of people celebrating. Like an exclusive club of nationality, The Thanksgiving American Club, away from home, celebrating a holiday together.
It is lonely. A Canadian in Greece, away from family, traveling with a friend, feeling isolated and alone, and feeling the deep warmth of the American’s joy as they celebrated Thanksgiving.
Feeling the warmth from the outside looking in, from cold to warmth, excluded as a Canadian, and envious of the holiday they shared.

Now I live in America. I have lived here for twenty-five years, celebrating Thanksgiving each year with family and friends.

And, every once in a while over the last thirty-seven years, I remember the night in Corfu. The night I wanted to celebrate a Thanksgiving with Americans.

And tomorrow I will.


Happy Thanksgiving. May your table be crowded with elbows and love.

And to the friends I spent November, 23rd, 1978, with, I wish you well. Ellen, Maureen, Mary Kay, Phyllis, Flick, Cate, Rebecca and Kathi. Some of them wrote their full names and addresses in my diary.  I wonder if I can find them thirty-seven years after we met on the island of Corfu.

As always I love to hear from you.
Will you share a Thanksgiving memory? And if you live in another country, please share what you are thankful for.
And me? I am thankful for you.
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About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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  • La McCoy

    Thanks giving is a wonderful time.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    That makes me so sad to remember back to 1978 when you were so far away from me In Corfu, as I remember correctley you phoned me some time around there to tell me you would not be home for Christmas as you were going on to Isreal to work in a “Kabutz”, as we had a Jewish Mayor at the time I went to speak to him about where you were. He knew of the splace I spoke & he assured me you were very safe. I told y our Dad & your brother I would not take the hristmas tree down till you got back home. I believe you arrived home sometime around the end of February, tree still up, minus all it’s needles, still decorated though & saying “welcome home Pamela”. What a traumatic time for your family. Guess that is what happens when your children grow up & spread their wings. Happy Thanksgiving today Pamela & family!!

  • Robn Patrick

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your precious family!

  • Pamela, how wonderful to have those memories to look back on. I have my own memory of Thanksgiving Day 1978. I spent the day with my family and that night two friends and I drove to DFW Airport and flew to Los Angeles, CA to visit other friends. I can’t remember every Thanksgiving, but remember that one well. Blessings to you and a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Good Morning Joan,
      Happy Thanksgiving! And how fun to hear your Thanksgiving memory from 1978. Family and friends to celebrate. A double blessing.
      Hugs to you.