2017 Life Logs, Day 321: Getting Ready for Thanksgiving Week
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny, Windy, and Chilly; High 47, Low 28 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

On Sunday, the members of the Handley family that don’t live in Florida, fly there to spend four days together. Heather and family, Justin and family, and I are the only members of the family that don’t live in Florida, so we are the ones converging on the Sunshine State. I sure hope it lives up to its name next week. I’m looking forward to visiting with family while enjoying some sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately, at this point it looks like there will be thunderstorms on Thanksgiving Day on Fort Myers Beach. Since we are planning to have dinner on the beach, the weather might present a bit of a challenge. For now, we’ll just hope the forecast changes. And if it doesn’t, I’m sure we’ll figure something out. And it is also on Thanksgiving Day that the whole family will celebrate Mark’s life. I do believe the last time we were all together was over 20 years ago. Mark and I were in Florida for gatherings in 2013 and 2015, but Heather and Justin and families weren’t there. So this is going to be a very special week with family. And it is going to be so wonderful to be with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. I am so thankful that they are going to be able to come.

I spent today figuring out the best way to pack. I don’t need many clothes, but I am hoping to fit in a lot of food items that we will need. I can buy most things there, but there are a few gluten-free items that it will be easier to take and not have to search for once there. Ziggy really cannot have dairy or gluten and that makes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner a bit of a challenge—gluten-free stuffing, gluten-free gravy, mashed potatoes without cow’s milk, pumpkin pie with no gluten and no dairy. But I think I have found a way to make room for everything I want to take to make all of this possible. I am taking a very large suitcase that Justin and Jo will take home with them, packed with the new chainsaw we will be purchasing in Florida. I am hoping to fit my suitcase inside the big one for the trip down, but if it weights too much, I’ll just have to check two bags. In that case, everything will fit just fine.

Other than getting ready for the trip, I ran a few errands, went to the gym, and spent my evening doing some experimental baking. I tried a new recipe for a dairy-free, gluten-free pumpkin pie. I will taste it in the morning, and if it gets a thumbs-up, I’ll bake another one for a Newcomers Dining-In group dinner tomorrow night. And I will take the ingredients with me to make another one for Thanksgiving Day in Florida. It requires a powerful blender like my VitaMix to grind all the nuts for the crust, so I did all that blending tonight and have it packaged up and ready to go.

I made a couple of corrections to last night’s log, but I will also mention them here. I got a WhatsApp message from Jo this morning explaining that I had given her too much credit for her participation in tomorrow’s Day of Happiness in the community of Añasco. It is a much bigger affair than I realized, and Jo reports that her art workshop is only one station among many. There is a group of people headed by a social worker who have been working with the people in Añasco since it was devastated by Maria. They are organizers of tomorrow’s festival.