We were blessed this year with an almost full house of family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. Ben was the only one unable to be in MN from our immediate family. His youngest sister Hanna and husband Nick did manage to make it from afar and we've enjoyed their company very much over the last few days. Close family on Thursday, mom's side on Saturday, that one hosted by mom's sister.
The kitchen was full of cooks, not just sort-of cooks but some very good cooks. This year my only contribution was heating the bird, everyone else took care of everything else and there was more than enough of everything else. I will take credit for shuttling cold dishes back and forth to the garage due to a refrigerator that was as overstuffed as we all soon would be.
Wedgie, Katlyn's Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound dressed for the occasion with his Star Wars hoodie, seemed to stay constantly hungry and we're not exactly sure how he managed given his svelte trim.
There were games and there were movies. Even the old LEGOS appeared from some dark, mysterious place in the basement. Nick was on the piano, Hanna was on the violin and most of that was quite lovely. Some of it will need a bit more polish before they go public, though not too bad for the impromptu sit down jam session that it was.
Friday, 4 of us visited our annual Cut Your Own Christmas Tree yard. Here we've selected, cut and temporarily hoisted the tree; all of this the most expeditious ever to accomplish what sometimes can take .....well.....a great deal more time. The snow on the ground was our Thanksgiving Day gift, a blustery, wind-swept day that made being inside, warm and tasty an extra special treat.
Here I am, seemingly quite satisfied with our selection. In all of the years that we've visited this tree yard, 2015 was the busiest and most crowded. We are standing in line for the Shake 'n Wrap process.
The Shaker to my right, the Wrapping Tunnel off to my left.
Hanna and Nick watching the proceedings.....
Securing our bounty to the top of the van....
Here I am describing in great detail my last wheelie of the season, Hanna slightly skeptical and not sure she's buying it.
Actually I was telling the tale of a previous tree hunt a couple of years before. Once out on the highway, one of our fellow tree customers that was in ahead of us on the road hadn't done an adequate enough job of securing their tree. My extended arm was simulating the angle of their tree that had been only sort of tied on top of their van. With waving not so very different than this by us at the time, we persuaded them to pull over and fix what would have soon become a true problem.
Yes, Peg was along, though not overly anxious to be featured on this tell-all blog.
On our way home, we stopped in Miesville for some of Minnesota's absolutely finest hamburgers at King's Bar & Grill.
On Saturday Nick and Hanna left, making their long drive back to Indiana. I visited mom's side of the family in nearby River Falls, WI for one more fine meal and time with those family members. A cold though lovely day, late afternoon saw me heading home and south on a road I know very well. At a few minutes after a waning-sun 4PM, I happened to notice a rather large black shape lumbering through and over the recently harvested corn stalks.
Unmistakably a bear......
The Sunday after Thanksgiving is Pier 4's last day of being open for the season, their return sometime in March. I had decided that being in Alma at 6AM when they opened would be prudent, mentioned it to Dave so the two of us enjoyed breakfast together at our favorite weekend place one last time in 2015.
At 6AM on a chilly November morning.....
At 7:10AM, Dave and I no longer hungry......
Dave and Justin headed south (away from home) and though not mentioned, I've got a good guess as to where they were headed for some outdoor exercise. My plan was to return home to get busy with some more projects, but I wasn't in all that big of hurry, turning a 45 minute drive into something more. While preferred, a motorcycle isn't necessary to enjoy these back roads.
Sunday afternoon Peg and I had a few shopping stops to make, nicely balanced out with a stop at Caribou for a comfortable and good cup of coffee. Some big snow is predicted over the next few days and one of my tasks for the day was to confirm that the plow truck was ready for another season of work. I'm taking Monday off in lieu of working next Friday and will be gone all week so I'll do my best to move as much snow as possible before I leave Tuesday morning. Hopefully I'll be able to still find the place by Friday evening.