Thanksgiving... and afterwards -- 11/23/01

((If you're wondering why the little decorative turkey and cornucopia images that appear in today's heading appeared as missing images in my pre-Thanksgiving entry, it's 'cause I forgot to move those two little .gif files to Geocities when I moved the .html file. Sorry 'bout that.))

We had a very pleasant Thanksgiving here... hope you did also (or, if you live elsewhere and Thanksgiving Day isn't on your calendar, then I hope you had a very good Thursday, November 22nd)

I'm not sure exactly how many people were involved in our Thanksgiving celebration... somewhere around thirty, counting children. It was a three-stage event: a pre-dinner gathering at our house; dinner at my mother-in-law's house; dessert at my sister-in-law's house.

The gathering began around noon at our house -- assorted munchies -- a chips and dips kind of thing... veggies (carrots and celery and peppers and broccoli)... many different kinds of chips... salsa, French onion dip... peanuts, cashews... various softdrinks and juices (and beer and wine) and coffee and tea... Mostly a chance for everyone to exchange family news, catch up on each other's lives... and also be out of the way of Thanksgiving dinner preparations...

Between two-thirty and three o'clock the crowd made the transition to my mother-in-law's house. A few family photo ops on the lawn and then inside for dinner... A traditional Thanksgiving dinner: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, peas, corn, mashed turnips, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, etc. Matt, Nancy's youngest brother, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, delivered a few thoughts on Thanksgiving and then led us in saying grace. After dinner the little ones were sent off to play while the grownups set to work clearing the tables, washing the dishes, folding up chairs, removing the extra tables, vacuuming, bringing the living room furniture back into place...

And then came dessert across the street at Janet 's and Tom's house... Jane's dinning room table could have served as a cover illustration setting a festive holiday table, ladden with two pumpkin pies, two apple pies, two chocolate pies, plates of cookies... The little ones mostly gathered in the family room... teenagers in the basement (for an impromtu ping-pong tournament)... some adults around the kitchen table, the rest in the living room... Their eldest child (a recent college graduate no longer living at home) was playing classical music in the living room until a few missed-notes (due to too much time on computer keyboards and too little recent practice on piano keyboards) frustrated him and he decided to join the teens in the basement... so we badgered Tom until he finally got out his guitar and began to play... There were a dozen or so of us gathered around, mostly listening, sometimes joining in singing along... Tom began with American Pie and then played lots of Simon and Garfunkle, some Garth Brooks, a little Dylan... after almost an hour he passed his guitar to a mid-twenties niece and she played a couple of songs and then passed the guitar on to her father.. who strummed a few chords but begged off on playing due to lack of practice.

A very pleasant day... hope yours was as well...

Nancy and I did a little shopping this morning -- no, not a giant shopping trip -- but she did want to pick up a few things and I wanted to buy Learn French Now software just to see if I could do a little something to help my 40-year old high school French before I head off on this up-coming business trip to France... after my last trip there I bought a similar software packages and it is installed on Jennifer's PC... I would like it on my laptop but we can't find the CDs... and Staples had it on sale for twenty dollars -- plus had a twenty-dollar manufacturer's mail-in rebate... so it would essentially be free (except for sales tax and postage)... much easier than spending time searching all over the house for the old software... While we were there I managed to pick up a present for Nancy but I can't tell you what it was, just in case she reads this (she doesn't usually, but sometimes she does)... and while we were there (Wakefield Mall in Wakefield, RI) Santa Clause arrived... in a helicopter! Little kids were jumping up and down with excitement.

Now I have a mob of teenagers (okay, Sean and five or six friends) waiting for me to feed them... so I had better go fix some food and get them fed and out of here so I can then make dinner for Nancy and Gillian and myself plus Nancy's brother Matt and his girlfriend.

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