Lone berry, front yard

There is nothing much you can say about Thanksgiving. If you’re lucky. If it’s good it’s remarkable, but what use are words? Odd as it seems, the tongue can never express what only the tongue can experience. In the end it all comes down to mmmm, that’s good Squishy.

Tim Blair arrived Wednesday night as I was doing the podcast; he rang the bell, but no one answered. He knocked on the door, but no one replied. The bell is out, apparently; Jasper Dog was too intent on the aromas flowing from the kitchen to note the presence of an Outsider. So he had to call from a cell phone to tell me he 25 feet away. We had a fine time – stayed up late, killed some Penfold’s, yammered on and on with occasional breaks to head to the garage for combustibles. (How the aroma of a cigar makes its way from a garage through a tunnel up two stories mystifies me, but there was ample evidence of such abilities this morning.) This morning I took Gnat to church to sing in the choir- Kumbaya, of all things – and before the service I met up with Bud, the pastor who dunked me in a Fargo font when I was new, and also baptized Gnat five years ago. I told him my dad was coming down for the day, and he was delighted to hear the news. These bonds go back a half century. And change.

I wandered outside, took some pictures of the creek behind the church, one of which is above. This is what “the middle of the city” looks like around here.

Dad and Doris showed up exactly at 1:30, as promised – no small feat, considering that the interstate had been bumper-to-bumper for 180 miles. Upon learning that our houseguest was from Australia, he said he’d been there, in the war. What? He’d never mentioned that. But he never tells me anything about the war, of course; that was The Thing Best Kept From the Kids. I’m surprised he ever admitted serving in the first place. Gnat was delighted to see Grandpa, and they goofed around the entire afternoon. I cut the turkey, or tried to; so tender was the bird that it fell apart when you waved the blade over the skin. We toasted and we feasted, and it was two hours before we pushed away from the table and did that vague post-meal wandering-around you do when it’s not yet time to call it quits. Jasper got scraps. The womenfolk cleaned up, despite the menfolks’ protestations. Jasper walked around looking up with beseeching eyes. Coffee, laughter. Gnat and Dad played the game where you’re hot or cold, depending on your proximity to a hidden object; I played that with my grandfather at the farm so very many years ago, and had the same delightful glee when he was so cold he was freezing.

Dad and Doris left after sundown; big happy hugs from Gnat. I did the podcast with Tim, then he packed up his gear and took the cab to the airport.

But of course:
New today!
One of those days where you’re almost afraid to tote up the things for which you are thankful, lest the sum strike the gods as a mistake. Of course it will not be so in the future; you will have less of this and more of that, and it doesn’t matter whether you’d prefer more o
f this and less of that. Things change. But that’s not what Thanksgiving is about; it is the great day of placid summation. Not retrospection; leave that for Christmas Eve, nodding in front of the fire with a toddy. It’s a day that stands aside from the rest, a day on which the simplest and most essential things are revealed as gifts of indescribable worth. And then there’s pie.

And then there’s work; I have two columns due Friday morning. Here’s the podcast. Fifteen minutes. The peculiar creepy music in the middle is Italian jazz from the 30s; the title of the piece is “Crapa Pelada.” Here’s an interview with your humble narrator – I usually don’t link to these things because it seems self-indulgent, but Ed was kind enough to transcribe my blitherskite, and I appreciated the opportunity to promote the book and the site. So! That should hold you until Monday. Thanks again for the patronage, and we’ll see you next week.