2020 Life Logs, Day 330: Thanksgiving Day

2020 Life Logs, Day 330: Thanksgiving Day
Date: Thursday, November 26, 2020
Weather: Rainy; High 59, Low 45 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

01 Kevin Carving His Turkey

What a wonderful Thanksgiving Day we had at Heather and Jed’s today. Our ‘pandemic pod’ family gathered for the occasion. This includes Heather, Jed, and the boys, me, and the Simpkins family—Mike, Grace, and their two boys, Robert and Joey. At the beginning of the school year this pod was formed so that Sam and Robert can do their remote learning school days together. So far, all of us have managed to stay healthy and we were all so grateful to be able to spend Thanksgiving Day together. We all contributed food and had a true feast. I’ll start with the appetizers. When we arrived, Heather and Jed had the homemade pomegranate juice and orange juice punch on the table, along with a clever ‘vegetable train’—carrots and celery in green peppers making the train cars with cucumber wheels. There was cheese and crackers, I added deviled eggs, and the Simpkins brought asparagus wrapped in cheese and prosciutto. We snacked while some watched a football game and some escaped to build a marble run. We feared that we wouldn’t be able to eat dinner after such yummy appetizers, but the five boys, three of them teenagers, assured us that nothing would stop us from stuffing ourselves with turkey. And they were right. Heather and Jed provided the turkey. Jed was in charge of cooking the turkey which was moist and delicious. Thanksgiving turkeys are usually dry and just not my favorite meat. But twice in my life, today and Thanksgiving at my sister’s in 2014 when she lived in North Carolina, stand out as memorable. My very good friends, Kevin and Claire, came to North Carolina for that Thanksgiving and they volunteered to be in charge of cooking the turkey using Kevin’s special process. They roasted the turkey early, which involved using a lot of butter and basting, and when it was done, they left the turkey in the roasting pan, wrapped the pan in layers of thick towels, and let it sit for three hours. Jed’s method today was the more traditional method of roasting, carving, and serving immediately. Evidently both methods can produce a delicious turkey! I made Mark’s traditional cranberry salad and my traditional stuffing. Heather made the gravy and roasted Brussels sprouts with a balsamic dressing. Grace and Mike brought mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and corn, and their traditional stuffing with sausage. And then there were desserts—pumpkins pies, chocolate pudding pie, Jed’s apple cranberry pie, Mike’s pumpkin squares (totally decadent and delicious), and lots of whipped cream. Whew! Lots of food, wonderful conversation, and an after-dessert ‘in plain sight’ scavenger hunt. This is a Goldstone tradition and you cannot believe how it is to find things that are strategically place in plain sight. Jed placed the items and Heather was the first to find all the objects, following by Sam. It took the rest of us quite a bit longer, but eventually we were all successful.

When I first arrived this afternoon, we had a family Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. Near the beginning of the call, one of their goats wondered into the house and plopped herself right on Justin’s lap. We met Ziggy and Coco’s pet hamsters, and Jed and Justin counted up that they have twelve different kinds of animals at Finca Maravilla, with multiples of most. Heather, Ollie, Jonah, and Coco had a riddle battle, typing their riddle questions in the Chat box. “Why did Pilgrims have trouble keeping their pants from falling down? Because they wore their belt buckles on their hats.” Very silly, but a lots of fun. And then I had my traditional Thanksgiving call from Kevin and Claire. They are currently living in their motor home in Long Beach, California, and loving it. Long Beach is an industrial area and there are sometimes air quality problems, but the motor home park is ocean side and they often see dolphins on their morning walk. The weather is perfect, and they are close to Kevin’s mother, his sister’s family, and Claire’s sister’s family. I was so happy to hear that their new California life is good.

From our Thanksgiving table to yours . . . here’s hoping each of you had a special Thanksgiving Day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 329: Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

2020 Life Logs, Day 329: Getting Ready for Thanksgiving
Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Weather: Overcast, Warmer, Misty Evening; High 55, Low 49 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Not a lot to report today. Just like you, I was scurrying around getting ready for Thanksgiving Day. I will spend the afternoon at Heather and Jed’s.

2020 Life Logs, Day 328: Thankful for My Circle of Friends

2020 Life Logs, Day 328: Thankful for My Circle of Friends
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Weather: Sunny, Windy, and Cool; High 45, Low 30 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

My Dining-in, now Lunch-in group was supposed to meet at noon today in the Baranowski’s Taj Garage. But before I got my negative Covid test results yesterday, two more members of the group found out they had been exposed to the virus and now to self-quarantine until they get the results of their Covid tests. Wisely, a decision was made to postpone the luncheon. But this morning the idea of a noon time Zoom meeting was floated and everyone jumped on that idea. So that is what we did. The group is four couples plus myself. There is a lot of diversity within the group, but we have enough in common to make us a wonderfully cohesive group. I am so thankful for this circle of friends. And today I knew I could depend on Terry White to help me find the quote that I mentioned in last night’s log. After our meeting, Terry sent me an email telling me how to Google the definition of ‘state’ by Saint Augustine. Here it is:

St. Augustine: A nation is a multitude of rational beings united by the common objects of their love.
Jon Meacham: So what we have to ask ourselves at every critical point is, what do we love in common?

As a nation, what do we love in common? This is my food for thought this Thanksgiving weekend.

2020 Life Logs, Day 327:  Negative Covid Test Results

2020 Life Logs, Day 327:  Negative Covid Test Results
Date:  Monday, November 23, 2020
Weather:  Rain, Tornado Warnings; High 58, Low 35 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

Woohoo!!!  Late this evening I got the results of my Covid test.  As I suspected, I do not have Covid.  The test results validated that and stated there was is also no evidence of Flu A and Flu B.  I didn’t know the test included this, but good to know.  I continue to be free of any symptoms, so now I can come out of self-quarantine and officially start getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with Heather and family.

Not sure where my day went, but wherever, it was enjoyable.  Once in a great while I watch Nicole Wallace on ‘Deadline:  White House’ which airs on MSNBC in the late afternoon.  Today was one of those days and I got to hear presidential historian Jon Meacham.  I always enjoy hearing him put the present day into historical perspective.  Today I really wished I had a pen and paper at hand to write down what he was saying.  Unfortunately, I did not, and by the time I did, I had forgotten the exact wording.  He was talking about Saint Augustine and his definition of ‘state’.  It involved rationale beings in a commonality of love, but that is as much as I can remember.  The two main ideas, rationale beings and commonality of love, are something I believe we are missing in this country right now.  I tried to Google the definition but couldn’t find the exact quote.  I did, however, find another quote by Saint Augustine saying, “Where there is no justice, there is no commonwealth.”  We all need to think long and hard about that statement.

2020 Life Logs, Day 326: Symptom Free

2020 Life Logs, Day 326: Symptom Free
Date: Sunday, November 22, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 50, Low 48 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

You know you are feeling better when you spend your day doing house cleaning. I woke up this morning symptom free and feeling great. But I decided to continue my self-quarantine and see how the day went. I spent most of my cleaning time mopping and waxing. I have more house cleaning to do, so that will keep me busy tomorrow. I hope I get my Covid test results sooner rather than later so I can decide what to do about having lunch with friends on Tuesday and Thanksgiving with the Goldstones on Thursday. But if I continue to symptom free, I can’t imagine that I have Covid. I think it is a sinus issue, something I have dealt with every winter that I have lived on Cape Cod.

2020 Life Logs, Day 325: Praises for Technology

2020 Life Logs, Day 325: Praises for Technology
Date: Saturday, November 21, 2020
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 63, Low 40 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, Falmouth, MA

This afternoon I had a Skype video call with Justin and family. We do this at least once a month and sometimes more often. So when I went to write down the thing I am most thankful for today, it was the technology that allows me to see Ziggy and Coco in action and have long, wonderful conversations with Justin and Jo. We can talk on the telephone but seeing them on video helps me feel like I am right there with them. Technology comes with all kinds of issues, but I love and appreciate this aspect.

I didn’t do a lot today. I feel no worse or no better than yesterday, but I am just trying to rest and get rid of whatever it is I have. I am convinced that I do not have Covid. Rather, I think it is a sinus issue that was probably started by the yard work I was doing last weekend. Dumping lawn mower bag after lawn mower bag of leaves probably started the problem and it just came to a head on Thursday. I still have a scratchy throat but otherwise feel okay. I’ll be anxious to get the results of the Covid test to eliminate that possibility. In the meantime, I continue to walk with Shadow, read, and rest. Not a bad life, just not my usual, active normal.