Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vegas Style

First off I must point out that a camera is still a foreign object to me. Sigh.
(I forget to take pictures!) J
Dinner for Eight.
The gracious hostess and host: Jewel and Johnny;
the child who managed nary a spill on tablecloth nor chair: Hayden
(which was a feat given the goblet);
grandmothers: Gail and Robin;
maternal Great Gram and Pop, Bobby (Robert) and Bobbie;
the favorite uncle: Seth;
(And the unseen dinner guest: Raygen,
who likes to cozy up while napping.)
(A close-up picture I failed to take - in the far corner of the one up top,
an heirloom wooden highchair/walker for Raygen when she's big enough,
which has been faithfully repaired and handed down
on the London side of the family.)
Two of the four cooks.
My favorites: Jewel's praline yams and piped deviled eggs,
Robin's scratch cranberry sauce, Bobbie's pecan pie.
(Another missing picture: the 22 lb. turkey! I must admit, it was a beaut.)
The kids' tree, graced by holly berries, pine cones,
and a few of the toy ornaments from Gram's tree when Johnny was a boy.

This year's two ornament additions.
(And this post ends with my formal request that Jewel post a picture of
her non-kid tree which wasn't quite done at my departure.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

…Something to move on from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Ahhh, yes. Thanksgiving reminds me of fall and fall reminds me of drives up the canyon to see the leaves, which of course is a little dissociative since canyon leaves are long gone off the trees. Well, valley leaves as well for that matter. Here anyway. But we decorate for Thanksgiving with fall leaves, so … it’s all good.

My grandparents bought a cabin up American Fork Canyon, up the north fork, then off and up to the right across the current causeway just before Tibble Fork Reservoir. I can’t remember if they built it. Kinda seems like it - they had the equipment and the ability to do a lot of the work, and I very vaguely remember family drives up to check on the progress. I actually can’t remember the exact lay of the land pre the reservoir which purportedly was built in 1966. The cabin had a large coal burning stove you could cook on/in, and a large fireplace in the living room. It was big and we had lots of great family gatherings there. Eventually use of it was divided up among the families, two or three weeks each, no doubt partly because the family was blossoming and once Grandpa died, it was too much for my Grandma, even though her kids took care of it. She ended up selling it, because the next generation of partying teenagers worried her too much, and repairs had to be done from break-ins. More than one it seems. Lois and Janeil will have to elaborate. They’d remember better and more.

I remember a summer or two, we’d stay our allotted time, and Daddy would come up each night after work. Mom made rag rugs. Huge rag rugs. We fed and befriended the chipmunks. I can remember going to a cook out with the cabin neighbors up there, a big bonfire, and sharing of food, but I also can remember that the “program” was somewhat coarse and Mom and Dad talking on the way back, that we wouldn’t be going to such gatherings again for the sake of our tender ears.

We cousins played ball in the gently sloping backyard. It must have been a half acre or more. My most favorite memory was crossing the dirt road directly east of the cabin, climbing the sharply steep mountainside, up a wash the rain water and snowmelt carved through the scrub brush. We cousins would hang onto roots and sturdy bushes, hauling ourselves up the ravine. Then when we gathered at the top, we’d sit there daring ourselves and each other to slide down the wash, finally launching off and landing at the bottom after a long “ride” which filled our pockets and socks with sand. The grown ups would call us for mealtime or going home, and we’d hold out on giving up the fun for as long as we dared. I’m sure moms didn’t appreciate all the dirt.

Fond memories to be thankful for this fine Thanksgiving holiday season.