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A Musical Thanksgiving

Monday, November 30, 2015

We picked the girl up and headed south, met up with Corey in Cambridge, and kept going. 
There was  a slight hitch in our plans, and it wasn't the traffic. I'd spent a couple of fruitless weeks worrying about how we were going to negotiate the traffic from Boston to Maine, back to Boston to Harvard MA to Rhode Island during Thanksgiving week. As it turned out, traveling on Monday night, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning was no problem at all. We managed to miss the crowds. I'm pretty proud of our logisticizing. We prevailed. Never sat in a jam at all. 

We sat in on a jam, at 11, below!

But one absolutely terrible thing happened. Phoebe forgot her mascara. Harrible! And her mother doesn't wear it so she could borrow some! Even harribler! What to do? What to do? Put a bag over her head? No, that would be bad. 


We began a quest for a store that was open on Thanksgiving morning. Nothing doing. 
Massachusetts was a mascara desert. Durn blue laws. Cain't buy booze, makeup,  nuffin' there on a holiday!

Rhode Island was devoid of black eyegoop, too. We checked every Wal-Mart and Target, every Rite-Aid and CVS. All locked up tighter than Jack Benny's wallet. It became a vision quest. Phoebe had long rolled her white-lashed eyes and given up, but we were still on it. ON IT. We would find mascara on Thanksgiving day!! Mascara jokes flew. Finally, only four minutes from our final destination in Barrington, RI, we found a CVS that was open! Liam and Corey skipped down the aisle after poor Phoebs, who took all the ribbing in good humor. She was getting her mascara after all. And a headband, too.

Everyone knows CVS has the best mascara. Bill tries a little blonde fall on Corey.

Phoebe finds the right headband at last.

Mascara obtained, we jumped back in the car. Not ten minutes after we got to my niece's house along the Rhode Island coast, Bill whipped out his guitar and Corey got out his fiddle and the music began. 

My nephew Evan, a brilliant engineer who also juggles fire, played along. 

Max was enchanted by the fiddle tunes. He wasn't alone. 

There was a lot of musical power in that room. David on guitar, Tera enjoying it all.

There was magic in the air. Everyone stepped lighter, worked faster, laughed more spontaneously.

Then there was a break, with outdoor dodgeball and everybody getting booped with plastic kickballs.

Finally it was time to serve the dinner, a team effort by most of the 21 Zickefoose/Dorsky/Salter/Kemp/Thompson people in attendance.

Some of the food was warmed up at the neighbor's house, and came over in a procession of hotmitts up the sidewalk. I loved that.

My niece, Karen and her husband Jason and their terrific boys Max and Will; their wonderful spacious house, the gracious hosts of the gathering. 

The food was amazing and abundant. Max and Will made the nametags and chose where everyone would sit.

And because the main course wasn't enough, pies and real whipped cream, homemade cookies and biscotti.

Sweet little girls, better than real whipped cream. Maddie arranges magnetic letters.

Her sister, raven-haired Clara, rides a mighty tall horse. 

After dinner, the obligatory walk. But this one had wigeon, black ducks, an Atlantic brant and a common loon, and enough optics to pass around for all to appreciate them! It doesn't get any better than that!

Phoebe and Liam walk along the inlet to the brackish marsh.

Liam pauses to to consider the sky in the water. 

 I'm so grateful to have had this time with my family, after so many years away on this holiday. It made sense to come East, pick up our girl and her guy, and head to the coast. Phoebe's choosing Maine for college has had some very beautiful, if rawther expensive, repercussions. Each time we visit I feel like I've been on a mini-vacation. Talk about a change of channel from southeast Ohio!
Seeing them together fills my heart.

I made an iPhone video of Corey and Bill and assorted others playing "Cotton-eyed Joe" to share with you. I can't describe how profoundly their music transformed the gathering. Better for you to see it yourself. People float in and out of the circle, bouncing to the beat, dancing, playing, smiling.  Liam picks up a Baby Dear doll and goofs around. Yes, it IS a doll! Sweet little kids drift in, pick up an instrument, join in and play along as best they can. That's the whole idea.


My sisters Barbara, Nancy and Micky. All salt of the earth, all formidable cooks and, if I may say so, exemplary mothers. So, so good to see them again. Barb and I, in a dead heat for who looks more like our mom, Ida.

As we were taking these last photos, a pair of red-tailed hawks flapped up and landed in the tippy-top of a nearby fir, watching the whole procedure and the good-byes. We all knew who sent them. Come on. A wooded suburb right on the coast? Is that typical redtail habitat? They were dispatched to watch over us. This iPhone photo looks like nothing, of course, but the pair sat in the smaller fir, looking right at us, for as long as we were gathered and taking photos in the front yard.

Music has always been a part of our family gatherings, on both the Zickefoose and Thompson sides. This Thanksgiving was one to remember.  I am so grateful to have these wonderful people in my life. This truly was a thanks-giving.


Crapcakes. My eyes are filled just thinking that someone is the mother of the daughter who has attracted the boy. How could anyone ask for more? (Well, unless you can get Phoebe to quit painting her lovely face.)

WOWWW! WHAT a post!... WHAT a Thanksgiving!... and I almost want to go out and buy some mascara (...I said almost).

Is that FiestaWare I see on the table? I LOVE FiestaWare and use it daily as both my good and my everyday china.

And I'm with Phoebe on the mascara; if I managed to somehow leave it behind, I, too, would have to find some, somewhere. 24 hour drugstores are a godsend.

Posted by Anonymous December 1, 2015 at 4:18 AM

Hawks in lesser tree? Searched big - none!
Great post !

it is fun to buy make up, but not when men are waiting, counting the minutes and
laughing at your vanity, 'cuz you have to look at ALL the kinds available and get the
best one.

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