Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

bamboo and butterflies

During the day Wednesday, I had my annual "multiple work matters break out just as the holiday begins" busy session. In the evening, We drove to my father's home in Arkansas, through traffic that seemed steady but not as abundant as in prior years. We stayed up a while chatting with my father, and then got a good night's sleep. I woke very early, and read a book of my father's about the Civil War in Arkansas. The author took the refreshing approach of ignoring all the "chivalric south" stuff and pointing out what a tremendous shambles the whole thing proved to be. I read with interest the many pronouncements of "Judge Brown", who lived in the 1860s a few houses down from the house from which I type this entry. Some showed tremendous sense, and some seemed imbued with the nonsense of the era.

On Thanksgiving morning, we went to Stephens, twenty miles away, for breakfast with my sister's family. I lost a game of computer football to my nephew, by the score of 44 to 12. It turns out I throw a capable Hail Mary pass, but am defenseless in the face of aggressive persistence. I went for a walk down the small town streets of Stephens, where the air was warm enough that sulphur butterflies flew.

For the mid-day "big event" meal, we went to my father's friend's home. Prior to the meal, I lost a game of chess to my 13-year old nephew, managing to allow a checkmate in a slightly disadvantageous Scandinavian middlegame. We dined on turkey from Burge's smokehouse in Lewisville, a casserole of mildly pickled vegetables, wonderful small dinner rolls that my wife made from a recipe of my mother's, potatoes, and grape/cranberry juice. We all gathered in the lovely back yard afterward, for digital camera pictures
in front of the Japanese maples in red leaf. My chess-playing nephew found a massive cut bamboo plant, dry and thirty feet long, tailor-made for youth fun.

After lunch, and good company, I took an older nephew to try to go bass fishing at Tate's Landing on the Ouachita River. I had no lures with me, though, and all bait shops proved closed for Thanksgiving. Instead, we hiked the Beech Ridge Trail at White Oak Lake, where we saw white-tail deer does.
Then we drove back via a scenic route, past Tate's Bluff, Reader, my father's boyhood home place in tiny Lester, and other deep woods and remote fields.

We decided not to go join my sister for more socializing, as we were exhausted. We ate ham sandwiches and health-conscious no-crust pumpkin pie with my father. Then we read an old "Golden Encyclopedia of Knowledge" volume A, beginning with Aardvark. I remembered how much more I knew when I was eight years old and spent time reading World Book Encyclopedia volumes from cover to cover.

We enjoyed Thanksgiving, in its quiet and family togetherness. We'll head back to Texas this morning.
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