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Giving Thanks

November 24-30
written November 28+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

In the last diary, I interspersed Marianne status reports with car stories and flower and fall pictures.  This time, it will be family things, including the inevitable Marianne update. 

Thanksgiving week started with a trip to the ER/ED, where we are definitely starting to recognizes medical staff.  This time, it was for Marianne's general weakness.  The problem with vague symptoms, with cars or bodies, is that the service people really can do little more than check for the regular suspects.  Again, the regular suspects were dismissed and we were left with no answers.  Nonetheless, since then, conditions have gotten better, so maybe all that was needed was a little medieval blood letting (aka: blood samples).

There was no travel in our Thanksgiving this year, but we we had local family and greetings from more-distant family and friends.  An e-card from Dale and Peter won the distance award.  Gabby send a cute picture of her and Ava in their Thanksgiving dresses.  Cute pair.  Marianne's brother Chris and his family sent a picture from their snow break.  Looks like fun.  We also had a Skype call from Colorado where grandson Rich entertained us with a trumpet piece.  He's pretty darn good, especially for a beginner.  Of course that's Opa's completely objective judgment.
d141127_02_yard.jpgOn Thanksgiving Day, I managed to spend a few hours out in the back yard, trimming and cleaning tree droppings. The sun was out and the 70F weather was just delightful. I am glad we were NOT in Maryland this year, weather wise at least!  For dinner, Marianne's sister Katinka (aka Babs, Bobbi) invited the local crew over for a full Thanksgiving dinner.  Kingston led us in prayer and then we all gobbled the holiday fare.

All in all a good holiday and, as usual, we have plenty to be thankful for: family, friends, good weather (not ALWAYS true), and health, more or less.  On the last, these six weeks may have taught us more we need to be thankful for: days without hospital visits; medical technology; caring practitioners of medicine.

Gabby, Ava, and Sam arrived Friday for a visit and it was wonderful hearing all the noise again!
Both "big" cars fit in the garage.  Our first real test, since there is no bigger car than Gabby's GMC limo. 
Then the kids settled in to games with Gigi.
The next morning started early, with noise and patio-play

By noon, we had a big gathering at the park:  Mamo, Bobbi, Scarlett and her kids Kingston and Zaiden, as well as our crew.
Kingston's favorite was the slide and Ava's the monkey bars.  Everyone enjoyed ice cream.

No one enjoyed Fresno's criminal welcome for Gabby's car - a broken window and a stolen purse whiel we were playing.  Back home, Opa did his best on a temporary patch.

By Sunday morning, mostly we all just remembered to smile and act goofy (especially Sam -- comes with three-years-old.)
So, we had a wonderful weekend to be thankful for after all.  (I suppose we also need to be thankful for car and home insurance too, but we won't dwell on it!)

Now it's December, and we will see how it improves on November!

John and Marianne


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