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Thanksgiving Weekend

November 26-29, 2015
Written November 28+
Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays - no presents, just food and talk and play.  This year, our Turkey Day celebration was at Gabby and Mamal's house, a big place filled with seven kids and their families.  I took tons of pictures so that, hopefully, every family can see themselves as part of the happy event.
Marianne and I arrived with Mamo, after a very easy drive over from Fresno.

The meal started with chatting, snacking, and holding Leia, the baby-on-duty.  Pretty soon she'll join her cousins at these events!

Of course, cooking was a main feature.  The huge turkey was delicious, whether it was cooked upside down or not.  The marshmallow topping on the yams took three tries, two blackened and one nicely browned.

Everyone was called upon to share what they were thankful for.

Kids section
I think the best part of the whole afternoon and evening may have been the kids' program.  They contribute an irreplaceable life and energy.  And a bit of noise.

Initial play was all "independent study".  The Rahimi house is built to be a giant playground, especially the outside courtyards.  The six kids managed to share five scooters with (almost) no disagreement -- without parental guidance.

Gingerbread decoration was also a hit.  After all the running around, I think the young folks were ready for some quiet activity.

Even the children's table was a playground, covered with coloring surfaces.  Again, the half-dozen little folks managed (mostly) to share a single bucket of colors.  Maybe the eating wasn't as healthy as parents would require every day, but that was true for the adults as well.

After dinner, there was one more round of skateboards, made even more fun by the dark.

Finally, a movie.  Everyone collapsed in their favorite soft spot.

d151127_02_traffic.jpgSo that was Thanksgiving.  The next day, while most of the Rahimi families went out to cut down trees, Marianne, Mamo, and I had another easy three-hour drive back home to Fresno.  Just a single "traffic event", which has to be a record for driving on Thanksgiving weekend.  Back home, we settled into normal routines, complete with gym visits to work off the extra food. 

Our Thanksgiving weekend wasn't over yet, however.  Maryland friends Chuck and Alice came by Saturday afternoon on their California trip.  Their son Josh had hosted Thanksgiving down in Southern California and daughter Shana would host a few grandma and grandpa days up in Oakland.  For once, Fresno was on somebody's trip from somewhere to somewhere.

d151128_02_chuck.jpgd151128_04_alice.jpgWe tried to get into the Christmas spirit a bit by visiting some of the local art studios.  We started at Kliszewski Glass, one of our favorites.  We also wandered around some of the other studios in the sprawling building, but were not inspired.  Some days, things look "interesting", on other days just a little weird.

d151128_06_dinner.jpgBack home, Marianne's dinner had been cooking for hours.  The dish, "Baeckofen", is a slow-cook specialty from the Alsace region in France and is traditionally baked in a large and colorful ceramic pot.  We bought the cookware about a decade ago and this was the first use!  Now that "we" have some experience, I hope Marianne is interested in trying it again, since it really was special.

d151129_02_breakfast.jpgThe rest of the evening was spent chatting.  Sunday morning, we enjoyed another nice meal, before sending Alice and Chuck off to more family visits.  All in all, a good way to spend time on our long Thanksgiving weekend.

So, now we were done with holiday visiting and eating.  Thanks to everyone and we look forward to December holidays for more eating, sure, but mostly for more visiting. 

And another story.

John and Marianne


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