Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

I’m not sure how it all came together but it did. I’ll see if I can back up a bit an look at the pieces. The house was hit by Tor’s Nado, Sue’s Nami and then just for fun we tossed in a few of Gren’s Nades.

Lucy had asked me to pick up some individual bottles of water to put in the ice chest as an alternative for those who might not want canned drinks. I was out and about and stopped at Sam’s where I got two cases of Ozarka; the smaller size for our guests and the 32 oz size that I keep in my work truck. While I was at it I bought a case of Sprite, a case of Root Beer, a case of Orange, a case of Mountain Dew and a case of the old fashioned small glass bottled Coke. I new we’d just bought several cases of Dr Pepper and that would give everyone a chance to find something to their liking. Lucy had a fit when she heard that I’d bought case lots instead of six packs; that’s the only way Sam’s Club sells things, they’ll eventually get used. If that’s the worst trouble I get into I’m not in all that much trouble.

I mowed, edged and swept the yard while William trimmed the hedges back into shape. He was in an awkward position clinging to a small outcropping of roof and bending down to clip the tops of some bushes when the trimmer ate the electric cord and blew the fuse box. Normally that’s not such a big deal; fix the extension cord, tape it up and reset the tripped fuse. My garage is full of all the furniture that used to be in the living and dining rooms with the fuse box on the other side against the back wall. William had to figure a way through the maze. I knew he’d done it when I heard the table saw kick back into action; a delay the floor guy had not anticipated either. The progress chart wasn’t exactly stellar at this point.

I washed all the cars and trucks just to have something to do. ( Making sure you’re paying attention ). I like to drive the little green Z3 when I pick my daughter up at the airport. I think it’s a misdemeanor to drive such a neat car in public dirty; folks should get a crick in their neck doing a double take as I zip past admiring the emerald jewel. I hope that police officer is okay; the one who was chasing me and lost it in that curve.

The hardwood floors were supposed to be completed last Saturday; yea, right. The last board was put down around 8:30 Wednesday night. They look great and once the base boards are painted we can tack down the quarter round. Most, not all, of the trim work has at least one coat of high gloss paint and the walls will need more work to cover the smudges and spots of glue the workmen left. We ended up putting a third coat in the living room, it being such a light color. The overall effect is hard to explain; but it starts with a smile forming in the corners of my mouth and takes over my entire face.

I picked Bonnie up at the other airport, Hobby, the one on the far side of town because there were no flights into IAH that would work with her narrow window of opportunity. The line of cars waiting on the arrival side was long and slow. Bonnie called just as I was within 5 minutes of the door; awesome timing. She was in the car with me by 10:20pm and we headed home via Taco Cabana where she picked up a late night snack.

This morning, around 5:00 Lucy started the baking; first the small ham and then the 21 lb turkey. Then she found a way to do a green bean casserole with French Fried onions on top, yams with miniature marshmallows and a sprinkle of brown sugar. I wandered out an hour later and started painting the base boards until my back told me to find something else to do. William helped me move all the furniture back from the various locations around the house and the garage. We’d purchased a bunch of felt pads to stick on the bottom of each piece, protecting the new floor from scratches and making it easier to slide them into position; that was pretty slick. One piece, a huge solid oak book case combination entertainment center and desk was too heavy and we enlisted the help of my Bishop and his son since they live just a few doors down the street.

Once most of the main items were moved back Bonnie helped me unhook the temporary office we’d set up in the kitchen nook so it could be placed back in the living room. The computer with all those wires and cables was taken down and then William and I moved the desk and book shelf, the fax machine and put everything back together in the living room. For some reason each time we hook the wireless modem up I have to show the computer the Lan Driver Disk or it refuses to acknowledge we have one; not a big deal and I had it ready as soon as the power came on. The speakers came to life and “Wa-ha” ( my only John Wayne impersonation; be glad for that, Pilgim. ) everything was working. I get a much better signal on the wireless since it’s directly below Bonnie’s bedroom; a good reason not to leave the office in the kitchen nook.

Lucy was in the kitchen all day as the clock ticked closer to 3:00, the time we had announced for diner. I suggested that she might want to jump in the shower and get dressed while she suggested I drive down to the local Stop and Rob to buy a couple of bags of ice for all that soda, the cases of soda that needed to chill down. William was carting off boxes of junk to be stored out of sight; putting them in the garage where there was now plenty of room. Some day I may get to put my little green Z back inside; hopefully before the next Thanksgiving diner.

We took our annual picture of the kids sitting together; a real trick as they all are grown and have lives that take them here there and beyond. They left the grand children with us so they could all enjoy a movie together; something of a tradition in and of itself. We have the Disney movie, Cars, playing for them while I write.

One last thought, not really associated with Thanksgiving. I enjoyed one of the small bottles of Coke yesterday; it having been naturally chilled by the night air, while doing the preparation work around the house. Instantly I was reminded of an old friend I would visit while working patrol, Joe Bicel. I think that’s how he spelled his last name; anyway, he owned a small liquor store and I would enjoy talking baseball with him. He knew all about Houston’s baseball history, the Buffs and the St. Luis connections went way back as he’d tell me about different ball players he knew or had played with. Joe had an old fashioned Coke refrigerator, the kind that you had to reach down into as the bottles were stacked horizontally under the sliding glass, similar to ice cream chests. He kept the temperature turned so cold that when the bottle cap was removed, the top third of the bottle instantly turned to a slushy ice. These replica bottles don’t have quite the same look, feel or taste; but that’s the first thought that came to me. Joe, thanks for the baseball stories and for the ice cold Cokes, thanks for making my patrol duties more enjoyable and, if you’re still walking around on this old earth, thanks for being my friend.
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