Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's Tuesday and I'm pausing work to eat my lunch, sushi courtesy of my company, listen to what Pandora has in store for me, and type a blog entry. Work isn't the best place to blog, as I'm in "work" mode, but hopefully the food and sounds will buffer that. There, I just slid off my shoes. Now we're talking.

As I said, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I drove down with my mom and Jack to their friends' house in Prince Frederick, Maryland. They are the same people who were gracious enough to host my mom's birthday party. I was glad to be a passenger because I could look at the gorgeous countryside and fall foliage. Occasionally, I'd catch glimpses of people enjoying the holiday on their vast acreage that country living provides. A kid that looked around twelve years old was doing dirt bike tricks on his homemade course, mini-hills and all, flying into the air in the crisp fall weather. I could tell just by looking at him that he was having one of those "it's good to be me, right here, right now" moments. I could practically feel the exhilaration he felt and smell the air that he did as he flew. I envied him, as it brought back memories of the freedom I felt when catching my own air on the neighbor's trampoline, flying high in the air, unencumbered for those few seconds. The trampoline stood on a hill that looked over a vast grassy field that spanned on both sides of a tree lined creek. When you flew, it was like you were flying stories up in the air, not feet. I was fearless, so I'd jump as high as I could, flipping in layouts and twists in the air, sometimes choosing to land on my back, or stomach, but mostly on my feet. I always hoped for that time that the gods would smile on me and I'd remain airborne and take off across that field like Superman.

Another family we passed stood outside frying a turkey. Two men, wearing protective gloves and aprons did the deed, standing in a tree filled yard and watching that fryer steam and spit. I could just imagine the women inside doing their bit and the delicious smell of that turkey. Another vignette was a brown Labrador carrying a very large branch in his mouth, looking down a sloped hill at an unseen playmate.

We arrived at Patty and George's house, who have a great restored old house with a barn in the backyard. The house is decorated with wonderful antique furniture and feels warm and welcoming when you walk in, rooted in history like the people that live there. Patty's family goes back several hundred years in the region and in Massachusetts, and the family name can be seen on roads and maps. They have another property in Ipswich, MA, and of course the beautiful rowhome across from my mom and Jack. They are sweetest, funniest people, and Patty's son who is my age and lives in a house across the street from them, joined us for dinner. It was a perfect time, and a perfect setting for Thanksgiving. The house is just one of those that looks like the ones in old Christmas tales. Homey, happy, warm, and traditional.

Before dinner, George and I went treasure hunting in the woods. Last time I was there, he told me about the old cars that were dumped in the woods. Back in the day, and I mean way back, people drove their cars in the woods and left them there. Several decades later, they remain. George, who is British, brilliant, interesting, and hilarious offered to show me where they were. We put our coats back on and off we went into the woods, which is a large part of their property. We navigated through thorned vines, branches, fallen trees and ankle deep leaves to find the lost treasures. One was a Ford Fairlane, the other a Studebaker, a Plymouth Fury, and a convertible, 1950's chrome grinning up at us from their leafy sodden beds. From feet away they were hard to see, and scattered around the forest. Most of the exteriors had turned to rust, but several parts were in really good condition. A chrome fin there, a bumper on another one. The model name in chrome proudly displayed on the hood, some interiors, and deflated white wall tires. Steering columns, and even a speedometer that read 15,558. We dug around and George pointed out and identified the rusted innards. One of them was one of the first cars to get power steering, dating it in the early 1950's.

I found an old Listerine bottle with the brand embossed in the glass. I kept it, as it was very cool. We made our way back after our trip through automobile history and my mom had a cosmopolitan waiting for me. We gathered in the kitchen until dinner was ready, then moved to the living room where we ate, talked, laughed, learned, and most important, shared.

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