I hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving. We enjoyed both a nice overnight stay with our families and some time away from the kids who stayed with my parents an extra couple of nights after we left. As much as we love the kiddos, it is always nice to have a break. We are lucky to get that opportunity with some regularity. I head down to pick them up this afternoon and on the way home we are going to listen to more of Madeleine L’Engle read her novel, A Wrinkle in Time. It is my all-time favorite book and R’s first time hearing it. I’m tickled she wants to hear more (we only listened to part of it on the way down) and I really love to hear the late, great Ms. L’Engle read her own words. I enjoy hearing the author’s interpretation of what they wrote—I like to know how they heard what they wrote as they wrote it. Plus, for me, I just feel such a connection to her, that it’s a treat to her her voice.
I digress. We had a lovely time at Auntie L and Uncle D’s for Thanksgiving dinner. We hung out with Grammie and Auntie S & Uncle Fungus and got to see how much little E has grown since he stayed with us this summer. The four bigger cousins: R, C, A, and Monkey all ran around together like good cousins do, with very little tattling, fighting, or arguing which is always a bonus. Earlier in the day I had brought over the furry kids, CaseyJones and Zoe, to play with their cousin Ayla. We wanted to wear them out so they would sleep while we ate copious amounts of meat. It worked like a charm. They ran around playing fetch and they wrestled and Zoe and Ayla cut each other off from water and people, trying to prove who had the better position in their temporary pack. I was amused to watch Zoe cutting off Ayla from Casey who apparently is only allowed to be tormented by Zoe. Ayla, a beautiful German Shepherd, is the youngest, but as big as Casey who is an adult male Lab, with Zoe, coming in a close third size-wise. But my girl is tough and liked to remind Ayla that she was the elder of the two. There wasn’t any real fighting, but a fair amount of teeth showing and warning growls. Luckily, all of them are smart and good listeners so nothing ever went too far. All in all they were great dogs and they were definitely tuckered out.
After dinner, R and I went over to visit with my side of the family for dessert (not that I could eat anything, I was so full). We got to visit with some of my cousins who live even farther away than I do, which was fantastic. I’m pretty close to my cousins and always miss them even if I’m lousy at letting them know. The next generation of cousins all ran around screeching and giggling and singing like a band of pixies on crack…or frosted cupcakes as the case may be. In any event, it was good to see my family even if it was for a short time. We’ll see them again around Christmas when we head down one more time before K leaves the country.
Before we came home to enjoy the quiet, we stopped over at my grandfather’s house so K could visit with him too since he didn’t get to the night before (not that we could have heard a conversation over the screaming mimi’s). I loved to hear his stories especially the one when he was a young boy hitching a ride on the bread guy’s horse-drawn cart. Stories he told of my great-grandmother’s brushes with death always amaze me : on her way over from Greece on a freighter carrying marble, the cargo broke loose during a storm and ripped a hole in the ship, forcing the passengers into lifeboats for 2 days; and a few years later, when my grandfather was very small, their landlord set the house on fire for the insurance money but blocked the main way out causing my great-grandparents to make a jump from their house to the house next door. It always makes me pause to consider how many different times our family could have ceased to exist. I’m glad all my grandparents were so tough.
Those great stories weren’t the only treasures we got to leave with. Oh, no! My grandfather’s tenant recently passed away and apparently he was a hoarder. While his family did take care of most of what he left behind, my grandfather held on to a good chunk of the guy’s cigar box collection. The boxes are not really worth much, but for some of us, it was like Christmas come early to get to poke around and find the most unusual or useful of the many varieties. I, personally (and R, too) love wooden boxes and I if I hadn’t shown some restraint would have come home with several more than I did. Here are the ones K and I chose to bring home and eventually put to use:
I loved the shape of the inside of the box in the upper left of the picture:
It is rounded on the outside to accommodate rounder, more natural cigars.
This next one I was so excited to find among the boxes my mom had. It’s going to be my new art supply box for when I start my drawing class next week.
I love that it has all the different compartments. I don’t particularly care that the box isn’t in mint condition because it will be so useful to me. All my different pencils and erasers and sharpeners will fit beautifully in here.
I suspect I’ll be using at least one box to hold letters from K should he decide to send any while he’s away. And I might keep one for the various little things the kids make for me. I love to put things away to find later and reminisce over and these cigar boxes are perfect.
K and I have had a very mellow weekend without the kids. We slept in, started (and almost finished) watching Generation Kill, food shopped, sat in front of the fire, I went for tea with B again, K and I went to dinner, and we just generally took advantage of the quiet. I should have enough peace stored up to last me at least the drive back after picking up the kids. I’m glad one holiday is down and just one more to go. I’ve got lots of organizing to do for Christmas and even more freelance work to do before the end of the year. Fitting it all in should be quite the juggling act. We’ve got one more short time with K being gone, and then we all need to get into longer-term mind-sets of separate lives after the new year. It’s a lot to contemplate, so I’m thankful we’ve had this little quiet before the storm.