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Thanksgiving Week

November 20-27, 2017
Written November 22+
Dear Diary and Friends and Family,

I suppose a Thanksgiving diary should start on Thanksgiving Day, but the local trees have developed such good color that I needed to show off the neighborhood. I will consider this like decorating the house for the holiday.  For me, this was also an opportunity to appreciate our neighborhood, with its characteristic bungalows and some bigger Arts and Crafts homes from the 19-teens and 1920s.  As an older, city-center neighborhood, we have some problems, but a walk through Fall foliage helps put that out of mind.

On Thanksgiving, we took Magdalena down to Gabby's for a big family dinner -- two- or three-dozen relatives and a 30 pound turkey.  Should be fun, but before we left, I wandered around the back yard snapping more color.  Why?  Just because some of these colors soon may be gone for 2017.



The drive was uneventful, and surprisingly free of bad traffic.  After hotel check in, we arrived at Gabby's for the grand dinner.

These gatherings all start the same: lots of hugs and greetings.  Then they move on to lots of chatting and catching up, whether it has been days or months since the last conversation and whether one is 8 or 80.
Thanksgiving eating started with appetizers - and more chatting.  The weather was perfect for outside munching, something I do not remember from past lives in Germany or, especially, Kiev.  I am thankful for having moved away from real winter.
Inside, Gabby was checking on her little 30-pound bird.  As soon as it was ready and properly rested, Ali was designated duty carver, based on his excellent work in years past.  And it was another great performance.

d171123b_20_dininghall.jpgd171123b_28_dinner.jpgTables enough for everyone were set up in the pool house, with the youngest cousins clustered in their standard circle.  I did not get pictures of adults eating, probably because I was too busy myself.  However, pictures or not, I assure you it was as generous and tasty as any tradition could expect.  Thanks to the hostess, host, and all the contributors!

d171123b_30_kidspickle.jpgBefore and after dinner, the pickle ball court got heavy use.  Ava won the fancy-dress contest among the players.  The best news was that everyone survivied uninjured and players and fans were happy.
The next cute-photo op was the decorating of a whole gaggle of turkeys - gingerbread turkeys.  Everyone concentrated, even youngest Layla, and for the most part, were  satisfied with the results.  (The only complaint came the next morning when garden ants had discovered the frosting and made themselves at home.  Oops.)


Gabby set a few "formal" shots too, her initiative as usual,  and one that I appreciated.

As the day wore on, kids reverted to their hand-held comforts, a dolly for Layla and screens for the others.  Darn cute bunch.
Fortunately for Gigi and me, Mamo had to leave relatively early.  Reports were that others stayed until 3:00AM!  Not within MY capabilities.

We were back for breakfast on Black Friday, even before the late-party folks had stirred.  (No pictures, because it just didn't seem worth intruding.) 

We bid our farewells and hit the crowded highways.  Despite a navigator-ordered detour, and a mid-way break, it was a nice drive.  I expect the mood was a carryover from a positive Holiday.  Thanks to the whole Rahimi family (plus us Fresno folks, I suppose.)

Coming up will be a road trip to Arizona.

Stay tuned.

John and Marianne


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