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This year my daughter Emily, her husband Ingmar and their two daughters were the hosts for a delicious and thankful dinner.  Clara made a poster of a turkey and supplied blank feathers on which each of us could write a few things for which we were thankful. And after our delectable feast we played a game of guessing who had written each feather. One of them had the word “books” written on it, but not by me! Clara also made place cards for each person with a different illustration for each one.

Alice thanksgiving 2017 1st

There were twelve of us gathered together: my children and grandchildren and I and Paul’s youngest sister Alice and her husband Barney. They usually  join us for holidays since their children live in the states of Washington and Alaska, a far trek to  northeast Ohio. But their daughter Poppy visited recently and I think one of their sons will be here over the Christmas holidays.

Alice Thanksgiving 2017 3rd

Ingmar roasted two turkeys! Everyone had their choice of white or dark meat! Such juicy and flavorful meat it was! And Andy, our vegetarian, roasted his traditional Field Roast en Croute. It is also delicious and many non-vegetarians had a taste of it. http://fieldroast.com/product/hazelnut-cranberry-roast-en-croute/

My dd Alice made fabulous Smitten Kitchen stuffing with leeks, apples and chestnuts and some of the bread in it was from Ingmar’s pretzels. She also brought a spinach dish and dilly beans and olives. Alice made a beautiful flower arrangement which she used my mother’s copper planter to hold….

Her oldest son, Nathan – about to become a teenager in less than a month – came to our house early in the morning to help Andy make the potatoes. This is the third year he has enjoyed doing this….And the day before, Andy made the green bean casserole, all except the thin fried onions on top which he finished while he and Nathan peeled potatoes. All so comforting and satisfying. Ingmar made a gravy which was vegetarian. Emily made cranberry relish and two magnificent pumpkin cheese cakes in pie plates. We had every good thing you can imagine to drink, including several non-Alcoholic sparkling fruit juices. And Alice and Barney brought two enormous bowls of cut up fruit which was so very refreshing. We keep our menu rather simple and traditional and satisfying and potluck, and no one gets terribly stressed out. And their is always a surprising amount left over!

In between the main meal and dessert, most of the diners went for a hike in Emily’s yard, down to the river and into the National Park which their land adjoins. It was a beautiful day with a fair amount of sunshine.

Alice Thanksgiving 2017 4th

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Happy Thanksgiving!

nature from the conservancy at thanksgiving 2017

Trying to be calm in this holiday season!

My sil Mike had fun last week as a father at his first grade son’s Career Day where he spoke of engineering and the kids were very interested.

Mike 11 2017 career day 1

Stephen was very happy and proud with his Daddy’s presentation.

Mike 11 2017 career day 2

Yesterday afternoon and evening our family gathered at Em and Ingmar’s still new home for an event imagined by youngest granddaughter Clara and implemented with some help from her Mama and Papa…..She wanted to have an apple party, and so she did….When we arrived, around 4pm, we were served with apple crisp and baked apples which Clara had helped bake….Delicious! Served with this were coffee and cider and lots of whipped cream for whatever you wished.Then there was a game invented by Clara which involved following a string around  and finding treats for specific people. Next, downstairs for apple bobbing and a game from her Papa’s German childhood where one closed ones eyes and tried to find gummy treats in a dish of flour….Moderate success, but two contestants (the youngest) tried to open their eyes in this plate of whole wheat flour with painful results….Maybe this was the only time for this. Later we played apples to apples which was hilarious and had pizza afterwards with a sort of Waldorf salad with plenty of bits of apples in it. An apple party sounds like a great idea for fall, especially a cold and very rainy day such as the one we had yesterday.

And Thursday will be Thanksgiving at Emily and Ingmar’s. I cannot wait! Well, maybe I can. I have lots to accomplish by then.

Sofia on the Run

My oldest granddaughter Sofia is a fourth grade student who has participated in the 10 week program (for northeast Ohio) called Girls on the Run which culminated in running a 5K race today. Her Mom and her Uncle Mike also ran. I am so proud of her! Wow!

Sofia 11 12 2017 5k for girls on the run northeast ohio

This program is for  confidence building, so their website says….But 5K is a long run for someone who is only 9 years old….

Sofia with Mike et all girls on the run

Sofia 11 12 2017 with em at girlsontherun 5k

It was really cold today! But that didn’t stop anyone!

Sofia 11 12 2017 girls on the run

Oh, did I mention I am very proud of Sofia? Well, I am.

In other news, the sounds of chain saws have been filling my back yard today as my neighbor and a friend have begun to work on cutting down and hauling away my poor Norway spruce. Farewell, my friend the tree……

Not Again!

The night before last there were many serious storms north of us and reports of many trees down and lots of flooding. I thought that we were spared all of this, but then sitting down to breakfast, I looked up and was shocked. An enormous Norway Spruce which I had brought from our home in Brecksville thirty-seven years ago had been felled to the ground, sprawling across the west side of my garden.

Tree one of Andy's photos 11 2017

The second photo Andy took with the drone. It gives more of a sense of the size of this tree. Now I have to figure out how to have the remains taken care of…At least it was in the back yard. It did not take out all the power and cable lines to the house as a giant aspen did some years ago.But lots of sadness!

 

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Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

Hills blue 2

Sometimes one encounters a phrase so often that questions about its meaning begin to take over ones mind.

There is the A.E. Houseman poem I have known for decades….The memoir by Rosemary Suttcliff….Or Suttcliffe. Even amazon seems to have different spellings of her name in different places. Lawrence Fox as James Hathaway in one of the Lewis series episodes quotes it………..And today I discovered a blog with this title.

In honesty, I cannot say it is this poem which has brought the questions about the nature of time into my mind. They are often there. I try not to live in the past, nor the future, but it would not be true to say that I don’t feel the happiest days were those on “the uphill slope” when my husband and I were young and healthy, raising our kids, having adventures. But it would also be dishonest to suggest that now is not also very good, with grown up children and their children living so close and seeing each other so often.  So – I would say my content is not lost, though I cannot relive the past as it was that first time around.

Perhaps All Saints Day made me a bit too nostalgic.

Hills blue

 

 

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We had a surprising visitor this afternoon. We’ve had deer in the yard for six or seven years, but I’ve only seen does and fawns. This afternoon we had this eight or more point buck show up…He is rather impressive…But slightly intimidating.

I think Thursday was our last warm day for the year…It’s quite chilly today, even though we have not had any hard frosts as yet.

The schools have had their Halloween parades already! Stephen was an astronaut again. This is the third year he has worn this costume! My granddaughters were here for dinner last night and no one told me what costume she had worn. We forgot to talk about it.

Nathan in middle school had “dapper day”!  And he looked very cool, but I am not allowed to post his photograph. He seems to be entering an age of being more easily embarrassed, alas. But I am sure it will not last forever. He wore an Austrian hat which Paul bought when we lived in Budapest. Paul never wore it much, but Andy and Nathan have enjoyed it from time to time.