on shakespeare, sheep, and thanksgiving

We spent the summers of 2001 and 2002 in England leading groups of BYU London Study Abroad theater students. Twenty-some plays in seven weeks, all over the city in historical districts, up-and coming areas, above pubs. It was a magical time for our family, as we had never been abroad all together. Our youngest boys were 4 and 3 the first time we went and they still talk about it, more in impressions than in a lot of real specific fact.

We took trips to castles and Shakespearean landmarks, where our third son, who is named after a Shakespearean character, found a new sense of identity, which he is still very proud of. We took the train to Wales where we saw miles and miles of carpeted hills covered with woolly sheep that seemed so low to the ground, as if God, who has a special place in His heart for these animals, had given them a small advantage in eating by making it easier for them. We saw moss-covered rock walls and foggy coast lines where the horizon was impossible to discern.

We discovered a love for Indian food and untamed English gardens. And we got hooked on the ease and convenience of public transportation. Pastries stuffed with beef strips and gravy, and yogurt that was so heavenly we swore we saw the containers lift off the table once or twice.

Today I went with a couple of friends to sing at a nearby nursing home. I was leading some Christmas hymns when one of the older gentlemen asked if we could sing something patriotic for Thanksgiving. Of course! Great suggestion! As I flipped to the page for My Country 'Tis of Thee I noticed God Save the King, which is sung to the same tune, on a neighboring page, and I found myself having warm feelings for England. It doesn't take much to be reminded of a place when you have created real memories there. So on this Thanksgiving holiday I send a salute across the pond to those early Englanders who settled my home state of Virginia in 1607. We are connected. Thank you for your independence and vision. Cheers!

*Feel free to email me your guess about my son's Shakespearean name.


Luann | November 27, 2008 at 4:28 AM

Ooo! Ooo! I know his name! Pick me! Pick me!

Sheep that God loved so much that he shortened their legs and floating yogurt. Take me to England and teach me to write like that.

Also, in honor of Thanksgiving I'm proclaiming how grateful I am that you are my friend. Let me count the ways.

LisAway | November 27, 2008 at 6:27 AM

What a fabulous Thanksgiving Day post, Kazzy!

How do you create such an atmosphere in so little writing? You are very talented.

And I'm thankful for you today! (okay, and every day.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous | November 27, 2008 at 6:50 AM

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Margy | November 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM

Yes, yes, yes. Why can't we have yogurt here that is as good as that yogurt across the pond!

Heidi | November 27, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Another perfect little gem! Being able to get an idea and a feeling across in so few words is a real talent. I, too, am grateful for my time in England and I am so grateful for you!