Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thanksgiving by the numbers

20 adults
10 kids (run amok)
5 pies
3 dogs (not on the menu)
2 turkeys
1 jello dish
1 bottle of moonshine

The bottle of moonshine was supplied by my dad. Someone he knows was building a still, and dad helped build one of the parts. The part didn't work, but the guy got the still running some other way, and gave dad a big bottle o' moonshine as thanks. I sampled a bit (imagine a kid sampling cough syrup from a spoon and you'll understand my sampling technique). The moonshine had quite a strong nose, somewhat reminiscent of rubbing alcohol. The taste was quite inoffensive, something akin to whiskey, and the finish was actually quite smooth. No way to know the alcohol content, but it was definitely there, judging by the warm trail it laced down my throat.

This was by far the largest Thanksgiving dinner our family has had. All things considered, my cousin Mike did a great job of hosting. And it was cool to finally see the house he built back in 2002 (and when I say built, I mean he did all the work himself, with help from a few family members, with the exception of the concrete, plumbing, wiring, and drywall.) All the doors are 36" wide in preparation for the likelihood that his wife will be wheelchair-bound someday. She has MS, and it's gotten worse since she had to go off her medication while she was pregnant. I don't know much about the disease progression of MS, but to me it seems irresponsible to have a child when the mother has a disease which will 1) likely get worse as a direct result of needing to go off medication while pregnant, and 2) likely result in decreasing ability of mother to care for said child as it grows up. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh, but just because you want a child doesn't mean it's a good idea to have one.

That night, my sis (who is now a high-powered attorney, but still bike-commutes) and I stayed up chatting until like 2am which was quite fun. Too bad my brother didn't make the journey from AZ to join in on the Thanksgiving fun. Can't say I blame him for staying home.

Friday, Grandma and Grandpa were invited for a late lunch. Grandpa has a dandy new cane he fashioned from this wierd right-angle tree branch he found growing in his woods. Dad had been commenting earlier that he wants to convince Grandpa to get a hearing aid - I know his hearing is failing, but he seemed to be hearing everything pretty well this day.

So between Thanksgiving dinner, and lunch with the grandparents, I had two huge, rich meals in less than 24 hours. By this time I was feeling like a giant slug, so I figured I'd go for a run. It was raining slightly when I started, but despite that it seemed I might have a good run. That feeling lasted only for the first mile, at which point all the eating, combined with the inactivity started to catch up. And I started to really feel like crap. I made it as far as Steinthal Road (about 2 miles) before turning around and heading back. I had a stitch in my side and really felt like walking, but walking during a short training run like this would be unacceptable, so I just slowed down a little and stuck it out until I finally made it home. Those last two miles seemed to take forever.

Drove back home Saturday, after helping Mom post her Subaru on carsoup. She and I had words because she couldn't tell me anything about where she had previously tried to post it. She couldn't tell me what site she had tried posting it on, or where she wanted it posted. She made it sound like she just needed help with the digital photos, but it turned out she needed help with the entire process. And their rural modem connection is a blazing 22Kbit/sec. Ughhh.

Anyway, I finally got on the road around 11am. The rain started to turn to snow around Wausau, and I briefly considered calling Bradley and sitting out the snow at his place Saturday night. But despite the flurries, the roads seemed wet but not yet freezing, so I just kept driving at a slightly slower speed and made it home without incident. Driving into Minneapolis, the sky to the west was clearing and it shown with a lovely pinkish hue, also reflected in the clouds overhead.