Monday, December 8, 2014

Catching Up for the Holidays

Catching up. I had a cold all week, which just messed me up.

Been thinking about old friends and good times, and a lot of epic Thanksgivings from years past. During the '90s and into the new century we always took part in what we called "the theater orphans' Thanksgiving." Our friends in Oregon were almost all theater folk, and we'd get 16, 18, 24 people over for the day. Everyone would bring the one thing without which it wouldn't be Thanksgiving. We'd do a turkey, and usually there'd be another one, plus someone often brought ham. Mashed potatoes and yams and bread and Pat always brought "the pink stuff," this frozen cranberry horseradish dish. It was always a good time.

And there were pies. Many, many pies. Tori turned the day before Thanksgiving into Pie Day. One year she made 18. She never made less than a dozen. Pumpkin and apple and cherry and a couple of pecans and even mince meat. Her mother, Janet, loved mince meat pie. I never saw anyone else eat that one.

Alex was always an integral part of Pie Day. It would have been hard not to think of her a lot that Wednesday, even if it weren't her birthday.

We still do Pie Day, but this year only four pies – and they were great as always. Our young friend Alan, who was Millie's friend on the island and now lives in San Antonio, came to visit for the day and it was great to see him. Dinner was the usual delight, and the pies were plentiful. I ate too much, as always.

That Saturday we went to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival. It's probably been 40 years since I've been to a Ren Fair. A lot of fun. The kids had a great time. Within an hour of arriving, Kate, who doesn't like going out much, was already talking about how next year she'd have to dress up. I could have gone in pirate garb, but this time I was just there as "Dad," and dressed appropriately.

We saw a comic swordfight team, TheDuelists, and they were very good. The sword stuff, sure, that was fun. But the patter, the stage presence, and timing – brilliant. I enjoy watching pros, and that's what these guys are. They travel from Ren fair to Ren fair,and they know what works, know how to play a crowd. I learned from watching them. We could do an act much better than the Pirate Guy schtick. Just takes practice and being willing to try new stuff.

There was jousting, I suppose that's a standard at these. It was a LOT of fun to watch. We ran into the Whiskey Bay Rovers, old friends from when we went to Mardi Gras with the Krewe of Pirates. They didn't recognize me in my dad costume, but smiled with recognition when I introduced myself. You can hear them here doing "Leaving of Liverpool."

Alan, who is both a computer nerd and a geek, was very helpful Sunday as we searched for Max's Christmas gift. No more on that, since there's the slightest chance Max might actually read this.

And then I took Alan to the airport, we started our regular routine again – just three weeks 'til school is out for the holidays, and I got sick. Not bad sick, just a cold that refused to go away. For most of the week if I wasn't actually writing or editing for the Source, I was asleep or wishing I was asleep. Today is the first day I feel really almost like myself again.

Tori and Max are sure eager for a couple of weeks off from school. And I have some plans for the new year, and I'm eager to get going on a couple of new projects.

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