29 November 2002

Well, we had a good Thanksgiving, how about you? We left in plenty of time to get to Stan and Judy's, so we had time to visit with them before Ben, Laurie, Alex, and Max arrived. Ben is a former Cooper family foreign exchange student who has remained close with Stan and Judy, Laurie is his wife, and Alex and Max are their kids, 8 and 3 years old respectively. The squash soup went well, and so did the rest of dinner -- mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, turkey, a salad with interesting walnuts, green beans, cranberries. Good stuff. All of us younger folks set out for a walk after dinner and before dessert, and we talked about getting back in time to fetch Daniel in about an hour.

The little ones were having a great time playing games with daddy "monstre," who was only a "monstre" on the downhills, we were informed. (Because on the uphills they might want to be carried, and nobody could be carried by un monstre.) So perhaps half an hour in, Ben said, "You may want to turn back now." Somehow this had turned into a full-fledged hike in the Marin hills, complete with unpaved trails and lots and lots of uphill stretches. So we turned back and let the monstre and the kids go on without us, had pie and truffles quickly (dark chocolate and orange, yum), and left to fetch Daniel from the airport.

He was early getting in, so he was waiting for us with his bag when we got there, and parking only cost us $1 (in San Francisco! Woohoo!). I had already gotten in to a somewhat quiet and unsocial frame of mind, so I was a little weird all night. We fed Dan and played a round of Mexican Train dominoes (only our version isn't like the rule book's at all, so maybe we should call it Swedish Train), and then we all went to bed early. I'm still tired, though. I hope I didn't catch Maxie's cold, but his parents were referring to him as "the little bioterrorist," so I'm not entirely sanguine about it.

Dan made pancakes this morning, and Timprov and I have enjoyed them so far. Mark is still sleeping, but his brother has expressed willingness to make more pancakes, so all is well on that front.

I'm not celebrating "Buy Nothing" day: we need to put gas in the car, and it would be good if we had sundaes at the Ghirardelli place or something like that. Like a normal day, basically. I've heard people say that they give thanks all year, so they feel no need to do it on Thanksgiving, and I guess I feel that way about buying habits: I'm fairly comfortable with how and when I spend my money, and I don't need to institute a new holiday to demonstrate that.

Not sure what we're doing today. If it's not too hazy, we'll probably go up Diablo; if it's hazy, we'll walk around in the Garin Regional Park, maybe, and drive through Niles Canyon and the reservoir beyond it. We're going to try to be home decently early in the afternoon so that Mark can get the grill going and we can have Amber down for Thanksgiving dinner -- the traditional Lingen/Gritter/Cooper steaks for Thanksgiving. They're thawing now. So's the lefse. It'll be good.

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