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November 28th, 2003

Greenland Regatta

We drove 9 and 1/2 hours from Allen to Kansas City on Wednesday, after getting a far later morning start than I personally would have advocated. Still, we got into town in plenty of time to have nice, hot chili, good conversation and a good night's sleep.

On Saturday, my wife and I headed to Lake Weatherby, which is one of those "private lakes with houses all around" one finds in some areas. They had an annual "end of season" regatta on Thanksgiving Day. I had in my mind hundreds of sailboats in neat formations on the small lake. When I got there, it was so cold. My wife's sister K loaned me a toboggan with a huge "night cap" tail, culminating in a large yard thingie. Her mother in law loaned me a set of ski gloves.

The actual "regatta count" was more like 6 than 600. I sat in the cabin of a small sailboat with a niece and my other sister in law, K, and stayed relatively warm. After half an hour, all adjourned to K prime's mother in law's home, which was decorated with cool tropical fish carvings, where we all ate finger foods. It was nice being at a "people coming and going" open house, because it relieved me of my customary wallflower feeling. I talked with a recovering attorney who now runs an internet credit card processing company. I wonder if I will ever enter the recovering attorney program.

We then went to my wife's step-mother's brother's home for Thanksgiving Dinner. In my family, Thanksgiving Dinner starts at 11:30 a.m., and is over by 1:00 p.m., when all congenially go do their own thing. Here, the function started by 2:30 and was still going when we left at 7:00 p.m. I had great turkey, duck, dressing, green beans, and a slice of pumpkin pie. I watched part of a football game. Then we came home, and after some conversation, turned in quite early. I am not good at socializing with dozens of people,but I had a good time. I liked playing games with the kids, although the game "bet you can't open my fist" is becoming rather a one trick pony for me.

It is quite cold here in Kansas City,but I hope for a warmer afternoon.

easing into the weekend

Today my wife had a hair appointment with a kind woman who is one of those "almost an in-law by marriage" sort of relatives--the contrast would be, I suppose, between "sister in law" and "woman who is married to the guy who is brother to the guy her sister married". Because the appointment was in Parkville, Missouri, I drove the car and, suitably bundled up, headed over to the nearby Parkville Nature Sanctuary. Parkville is a quaint town of 4,000 souls right on the Missouri River.
The sanctuary is right in town, by the high school sports fields. I was bundled up in caps and warm ups and fleece and headphones. I had a really pleasant walk in the 20something degree weather, among hardwood trees with no leaves. I saw two blue birds with orange breasts. Then I walked up to nearby Park University (www.park.edu), and wandered among the 80 year old buildings. It was a nice morning. After my wife's appointment, we wandered in the quaint shops, suitably stacked with shoppers.

We headed to a lunch with a guy my wife grew up with and his 7 year old daughter.
We thought we were to meet at a "Chevy's", which is a competent chain Tex/Mex place, but instead the address proved to be a Westport "Chubby's", a 24 hour coffee shop kind of place. I had to adjust my thinking from enchiladas to Reuben sandwich with tater tots, but I survived relatively nicely.

I watched a smidgen of the LSU/Arkansas game, but then, while my wife rested, left to drive to the History Museum of Johnson County, where the paper said a mask exhibition is on. I am always down for masks, or at least I think I am, but the museum was closed. Then I headed to the Maple Street bookstore, my favorite used bookstore in KC. It has gone out of business. I did find The Mystery Bookstore, where I bought numerous used Lord Peter Wimsey books, so that I can re-read those books for the holiday season. A holiday season is enlivened by murders solved and accents imagined.

I figured out Wednesday that the Kansas City Chess Club is having a tournament tonight, so if I can figure out how to get there, I'll go play in it. First, though, I must drop my wife off at the Plaza,where a group of family members gather for an annual post-xmas-shopping gathering. I'm quite comfortable with playing chess in the face of such post-shopping-joy.

Tomorrow is to be warmer. I am ready for warmth--and four games of chess.