A retrospective of 2011 and all that has gone in it would not be complete without a word of thanks at Ellen’s Thursday table, sure to have her usual flair while the boys dig in. Events notwithstanding, there is plenty to be thankful for; Ellen and Tim’s good news, Reid getting on in Chicago, health, friends here and elsewhere, and good times closer to home in Charlotte.
Maybe I’m just getting older but times like this week take on increased importance. Seeing the kids at their grandmother’s funeral doesn’t count; it’s when we get together to laugh, be spontaneous (relatively so) and bask in what’s going on in their lives is what matters most. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
November 14, 2011
Ellen/Reid: Every once in a while I’m reminded why I like my neighborhood so much. Not that it has fancy homes or any of that. It’s the quiet that is so lovely. I went over to the mailbox to retrieve a week’s worth of mail, and the air was very still, and you could hear someone practicing the flute in one of the nearby townhomes. I couldn’t tell which unit, but for some reason it struck me as very nice in a neighborhood that is sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of big streets and heavy traffic. Whoever was doing the playing was pretty good. I stood there for a moment to listen to it. It was just very pleasant.
Well, the Three Daves (Hemminger and Dahlquist) and Bob (Furstenau) have come and gone. We really had a great time. We went over toward Pinehurst on Friday and played golf at a course near there, and then we played Pinehurst #2 on Saturday. That’s the famous course that hosts the U.S. Open. The morning started cold, but not overly so, then it warmed very quickly into a beautiful, windless day under a Carolina blue sky. Not that we brought the course to its knees, but we had a great walk with caddies doing the heavy lifting. That was fun. We all hit some memorable shots. It is an incredible course that’s been around for more than 100 years. The greens are the toughest I’ve ever played. The surfaces are crowned so the ball rolls off into bunkers or waste areas. As you could guess, our accuracy was lacking so we spent a lot of time chipping and putting off the surface. Reid, I’d love for you to get your game in shape so we could trundle over there.
I suppose the real joy was simply seeing those guys again. Golf is kind of secondary and is basically the facilitator of the long weekend. Really, they are a tangible tie to what once was up there. A couple of nights after good dinners we sat out on the front stoop drinking wine, puffing on the occasional cigar that Dave. D. brought to town, and just shooting the breeze and BS. We wrapped it up Saturday night at 1 a.m. so I hope the neighbors didn’t mind too much. It’s not like I’m out there whooping it up like that every weekend. It was good to hear what they’re each up to, and they’ve all been quite successful. We avowed to do the same thing again next year, and it’s Bob’s job to figure out when and where. They all met Felicia and she passed inspection with flying colors. In some ways I wonder what it would be like to live back in Iowa where I could be around all these old buddies, but with each passing month, my stake is driven a little deeper into the Piedmont. It’s not the nice weather, it’s just that I am now here for whatever that is worth. It’s certainly not the politics. It’s just that I am now here. I miss my friends, but as someone said, that’s why they make airplanes. No doubt I’ll figure out a way to get back up that way in the spring.
I won’t grind you guys down with another letter next week since we’ll gather in Minnesota. I can’t wait to be there and see you guys and cook. Tell Henry I’ll bring my walking shoes, mittens and a stocking cap.
Went to the gym tonight before we walked around the block. There are wall to wall mirrors next to the elliptical machine, and my threat is to cover the mirrors with paper so as not to see what I don’t want to see if you catch my drift. Ugh. There are a lot of spare pounds to drop between now and whenever. At least I don’t bake Christmas cookies like your grandmother did. That would really slap on the pounds. Each cookie would be worth 10 minutes on the machine.
Okay, I’m out of here. Chicken and potatoes are baking in the oven and there’s laundry to be done from the boy’s weekend. Geez, in about a week we’ll all be together. I can’t wait.