Monthly Archives: November 2017

Thankful

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When one of your dearest friends moves far away and you don’t get to see her very often, and she tells you she’ll be in town for Thanksgiving, but you’re going to be in New Jersey, and you’re devastated, but at the last minute you figure out a way to see her for just a few hours, but you worry that it’s been so long since you’ve seen each other and things may have changed and then this happens…img_2109img_2108img_2107img_2106…and you have one more thing to be thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving Book

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We just got back home after another week in Princeton, New Jersey, where our family has been congregating for many years over the holidays. We had a one day layover at Auntie Sissy’s house, where I rediscovered this immortal classic. We had given her this book my now 17-year-old son’s Kindergarten teacher asked him to write to make up for the couple extra days we took off at the beginning of the week…

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My Days Off

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Day 1: Sunday. I took a car to New Jersey. We took Route 81. We got some gas. We had dinner at Applebees. We got balloons. One floated away. We got home late. We went to bed.

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This year we stopped for lunch at Delaware Welcome Center, which didn’t even exist when the book was written. Instead of balloons, my mother got ketchup packets. Twelve of them to be exact.

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Day 2: Monday. I took the New Jersey Transit to New York and took A LOT OF SUBWAYS. We had lunch. We eated pizza. We went to my sister’s doctor appointment. We watched people ice skate.

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This Monday we took the New Jersey Transit to New York. This time we were going for my son’s college tour. We eated pizza.

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Day 3: Tuesday. I played with my little cousins. They are triplets. Julia is their big sister. We’re going to the children’s library in Princeton.

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The triplets aren’t so little anymore.

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We Skyped with Julia, who gave us a tour of her flat in Edinburgh, where she is studying.

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Day 4: Wednesday. I went to the movies with part of my family. Tonight my Auntie Sissy is coming.

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The family has expanded since then…

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Day 5: Thursday. Thanksgiving. There was some smoke and we had to fan it. The smoke comed from the oven. That was our dinner. We made a fake church! We got baptized by Julia and we did stuff in the sanctuary.

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This was our dinner. No smoke comed from the oven this year…

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Day 6: Friday. We drived home and I stopped for lunch.

Weekend Snapshots 51

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I was Hanging with the Harpies this weekend.

Friday

Harpy Sister #1 and I picked up Harpy Sister #2 at the train station and headed straight over to crash my book group, where we cackled long into the night.

Saturday

Harpy #2 signed copies of her book Tiger Pelt at the Charlottesville Book Fair. We are bursting with pride that Tiger Pelt is on the short list for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize!

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A couple of very special guests made a rare appearance to show their support…

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They are grinning so hard their faces might crack.IMG_5893

Meanwhile in Richmond, my Harpy-in-Training was tearing it up on the soccer field. The first team they played awarded her a special ball at the end of the game:

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How did you show great sportsmanship? I asked as I inspected her ball.

I was saving a ball and I collided really hard into the player who was trying to get it in, so I went over during half time to apologize and to make sure she was ok.

And what were your phenomenal saves?

Well, I tipped the ball over the crossbars once and everyone was cheering so I guess that was pretty good…Oh yeah, and I saved another ball with my face. All I can remember about that one was that it hurt.

I’m rather glad I didn’t witness that.

Sunday

We began the first part of our trip to New Jersey where we’ll be spending the week with our family. IMG_5096

We are heading out for the next leg of our journey in just a few minutes…

 

 

Weekend Snapshots 50

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Friday

8 am: This was the sight I saw as I pulled out of the driveway. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school and work we go…IMG_5828

Later that day my college friend Lizochka drove up from Charlotte to Charlottesville for a visit. She arrived at the university towards the end of the workday, so I could take her on a quick tour of the Grounds. The leaves are at their glorious peak, so despite the rain, it was a great weekend to be in C’ville.

Saturday

Our oldest son had to be at his testing site by 7:45 am for the last SAT he’d ever take. My daughter would be heading to her last soccer game of the season. As we discussed the complicated logistics over breakfast the kids asked me how Liza and I were planning to spend our day.

“Oh, we’re going to get up to aaaaaaaall kinds of mischief.” I told them.

“But what are you going to do? Are you going to go around painting graffiti or something?” asked my 15-year-old son, who is always willing to play along.

“Well, you’re just going to have to tune into NBC 29 News tonight to find out!” I replied with my best attempt at exuding an edgy, menacing sort of vibe.

My amenable son raised his eyebrows and pretended to be suitably impressed.

My daughter shot us down in flames by deadpanning with devastating accuracy:  “Are you going shopping at Roxie Daisy?”

OK, kid. Yeah, whatever:

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Unrepentent miscreants that we are, we recorded our every move:IMG_1771IMG_1772

I want to steal this chair. It was like sitting on a cloud. A really, really expensive cloud. ($3000+).IMG_1796

We hit up all my other favorite spots on the Downtown Mall too:

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From O’Suzannah to Rock, Paper, Scissors, and an obligatory stop at Caspari to say hello to the zebra finches!

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No visit to C’ville is complete without a stop at MarieBette, where we had our lunch:

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And last but not least, we poked our heads into Patina, my favorite store in Charlottesville.

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Cute book lamp!

We had a cozy dinner at home with a table full of family and friends, and then we spent the rest of the evening tucked up on the couch, watching the charming movie The Big Sick.

Sunday

A jiu-jitsu takedown? A hug? Who can tell?

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Bidding a fond farewell to my sweet friend…

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It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this boy play his guitar…IMG_4556

At choir, we got started on Christmas music… “Hey on, Sir Ass, hey!”

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Onward.