‘Oh, I’ll just add a little more of this or that.’ Wrong …


Only as Thanksgiving neared did I start to sweat the small stuff about the meal. Ellen and Reid have eaten their share of T-Day ‘mistakes’ but that’s why you prep the guests with wine – and plenty of it.

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November 24, 2014

Ellen/Reid: We endured the dreariest of days yesterday. It rained all day and it was very much on the cool side. My early-early morning walk was on the damp side but that’s why they make rain coats. You only have to look at the streams to tell the color of what we call soil; red clay. When it rains here it doesn’t fool around. The water comes down.

Managed to eke out another copy of the Caldwell newsletter at the 11th hour. Ellen, John’s mother is not doing very well so he’s shuttling back and forth from CLT to her home in Atlanta. I’m not entirely sure what the situation is.

The reality is settling in that I’m about to cook for a bunch of people on Thanksgiving. It’s different than fixing dinner for you guys since you’ll eat anything but these are my impressionable friends. They’ve never had to eat my cooking. All are folks who would otherwise be by themselves. All the makings of the meal are in hand and I’ll probably start to get to it tomorrow.

The Thanksgiving table was set with more than a little help from my friend Paula. My contribution was snipping holly just outside the back door.

The Thanksgiving table was set with more than a little help from my friend Paula. My contribution was snipping holly just outside the back door.

A pretty straightforward affair; turkey, mashed ‘taters and pan gravy, some fresh bread and I’ll yet again try another round of pumpkin pie. My pledge is to follow the instructions this time. The temptation is to always say ‘Oh, I’ll just add a little more of this or that.’ Wrong. The bird goes down for the count about 11-ish while some of my buddies play golf. We’ll eat about 5 or so while there’s still football to be seen. Alice will bring some cranberries while the others will uncork some wine. It will be good to have some people around the old house for a change.

We’ve had another reshuffling at work. I’ve transitioned to another group and am somewhat unsure how I’ll fit in. Most of the new folks are in California so I’m pretty much the sole East coast presence. Given that the meter is running on my time at the bank, that’s okay. Most of what I do is to be folded into what others are doing. I’ll go along with things and try to not rock the boat too much.

Speaking of retirement, Dave Hemminger has roped me into a sailfish-kayak tournament in Pompano, Florida in mid-January. It’s $150 to get in but you get a free tee shirt and drinks. Never in my wildest imagination, and I’ve got one, have I dreamt of fishing for sailfish from a kayak. It’s been tough enough to catch small fry let alone a snouted monster. I have absolutely no idea about lures, how far you go out, what sort of rods/tackle to have, etc., let alone what you’re supposed to do if you catch one of the things. Dave said there was one story of a guy who hooked one and was dragged for miles by the fighting fish.

No need for the gaff on this little guy. If there was a smallest fish contest from this past Saturday, this catch would've won hands down. But it was far from my first - or largest fish. More on that next week.

No need for the gaff on this little guy. If there was a smallest fish contest from this past Saturday, this catch would’ve won hands down. But it was far from my first – or largest fish. More on that next week.

I’ve never kayaked on the open ocean before. Dave said he won’t fish but will paddle along. My $150 is largely a donation to the prize pool. But it does sound adventurous. It’ll be a fun way to kick off my golden years.

Betsy and Bob just moved this weekend to a new rental house while they look for more permanent lodging. Their place sold in a flash. I need to get off the snide and do the same thing. One floor would be fabulous.

Ellen, I unboxed the Chromecast last night – it only took a year to unwrap it – fully intent to set it up but got cold feet at the last moment since I’m not sure if it will interfere with my AT&T Uverse system. Probably not but I’m just not sure. People rave about Netflix and stuff. I rarely watch HBO and the other premium channels. It’s high time to let Uverse go. I think all I really need is an Internet provider. TV isn’t doing much for me these days other than wasting time.

Okay, time to rock and roll. thanks for the Christmas list, Ellen. I’ll be on that this week. Reid, let me know about the winter coat you sound so much in need of.

Love, Dad

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