` Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day, November 24

Linda and I snuck out at 6:45 a.m. for a 3 1/2 mile BRISK walk through a path in a nearby state forest. The forest is full of sand pines and long-nosed pines or long-needled pines or long-leaf pines (forgot the name) and little saw palmettos. We saw one camouflaged hunter, out a day early and in evident disregard of posted hunting dates. He was armed so we didn't challenge him. He looked a bit silly in full moose-hunting regalia and I wondered what in the world he was going to shoot at. (OK, I admit, I am not impressed by the sport of gun hunting. Use bow and arrow, I say. Now that takes talent and strength.)

It was a sunny and warm day, in the mid 70s, and Rainer graduated from standing knee-deep to waist-deep to diving in and swimming in the chilly waters. Lara liked standing with Daddy in the ocean as long as she could pull back from the rushing waves.

The feast was sumptuous and festive. Bird, stuffing, Rainer's gravy, spinach salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli with olives, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, naps.

  1. Linda, pines and palmettos in full early morning light.

  2. Beach family.

  3. Rainer starts the slow, gradual immersion. Lara is airlifted to safety before he dives under.

  4. Lara nestles into Daddy's warmth.

  5. At first, she was a bit shy of the ocean.

  6. Lara warms up to the sport of wave-crashing.

  7. A great picture of Kathi obscured by my thumb.

  8. Grandpa is not in his swim suit.

  9. The strong wind blows back Mom's hair.

  10. Rainer bravely wades into the silver-gray-white.

  11. He spent a lot of time at waist level but ...

  12. ... there he goes!

  13. Down but definitely not out.

  14. Back home, the "fresh-never-frozen" bird defrosts in some water in the sink. This is a moderately gross picture. Sorry.

  15. Local architecture.

  16. Beautiful wooden shutters.

  17. Linda pushes Lara in a little playground near the beach.

  18. The nap.

  19. Lara points out a Teletubby Plot Moment to Grandma.

  20. Dad does the traditional honors. He is a master carver. Having tried to carve roasts, myself, recently, I have renewed respect for this craft. Especially given the dull knives we had to work with!

  21. "Is this really necessary, Marianne?" Kathi prepares the hot cross buns.

  22. Rainer labors over the gravy, made with turnip and celery and carrot and parsley and ...

  23. Last year the whole family will fit on a small loveseat! Without a bit more crowding, anyway.

  24. Dirndl fitting.

  25. Dad lurks on stairwase with camera.

  26. This is better than holding a camera!

  27. If Lara isn't the image of blond hair blue eye gorgeous innocence, I don't know what is. She is also very reflective.

  28. Lara loves that one little 1-2-3 counting book. I think she likes the heavy cardboard pages.

  29. "Won't you read me my book, Aunt Linda?"

  30. I think Lara approves of ice cream.

  31. Uncle Gary smiles at Lara's pantomime.

  32. Grandma seems happy! It must be the dirndl.

  33. Grandpa gets Lara to "all go down!" during yet another "Ring around the rosy" session.

  34. Grandpa plays horsie.

  35. Lara thinks being outside on the porch is rather thrilling. She is animated. But then, she always is...

Marianne Mueller
Last modified: November 27, 2005