Happy Pie Day, Everyone

Thursday is Thanksgiving. And around our house, that means today – Wednesday – is Pie Day.

It started a little more than 20 years ago, when we were in Oregon. We started hosting what we called the “Theater Orphans Thanksgiving.” Virtually all our friends were people we knew from Albany Civic Theater, they were in many ways our family. And a lot of them, not all but a lot, were either single or on their own in way way or another, with no definite plans for the holiday.

So we invited everyone over. We hosted it for three or four years, then it worked its way around the group. We made a turkey (until we started making two) and everyone brought the thing without which it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving for them. Greg brought a ham to go with the turkey. Pat always brought “the pink stuff,” a cranberry and horseradish concoction. Sandy learned how to use the end of the potato peeler to dig out the eyes – he was amazed! Reed brought those candied yams – the sweet potatoes with marshmallows melted on them. I would be happy if I never saw those on my table again, but for Reed it just wouldn’t have been Thanksgiving without them. And that was the point.

It was always a great crowd and a great time. I think the biggest crowd was right around 30 people.

And Tori spent the day before making pies. Not a pie. Many, many pies. All kinds. Apple, cherry, pumpkin (of course,) pecan, chocolate, even for a couple of years, mince meat – which no one ever ate but her mother, but that was OK, because that was the thing that made it Thanksgiving for her.

It was always at least nine pies, and the biggest year, she made thirteen. Thirteen pies laid out in our kitchen to cool. That’s a lot of pie!

We don’t live in Oregon any more. I assume the theater orphans still gather somewhere, still share the holiday and their personal traditions “without which it wouldn’t be …”

And for us, now, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if Wednesday weren’t Pie Day. Tori isn’t making as many – Thank god! I’m supposed to be losing weight! – but she’s got more than a couple in mind. An apple, a couple of pumpkin, a pecan (or maybe two!)

We actually are expecting one of the old crowd for dinner tomorrow, Cam, the son of a theater friend and a theater friend himself, is coming by to share the holiday with us. And beside the turkey and the potatoes, there will be pie. Plenty of it.

Back to Work

Yes, I still live. I’ve just been otherwise occupied. My apologies.

Haven’t written much. Had a cold that laid me low for 10 days. Got busy with work. The sun got in my eyes and the ball took a bad hop. All excuses, and lame ones at that. Just ran across an article about the essayist Dinty W. Moore, who kicked me in the ass when he said, “I don’t believe in inspiration. I believe that you sit at your desk, and you push your pencil around, and you feel lousy about yourself for a while, and eventually, you start writing.” So back to work.

Actually I do feel as if I needed to recharge my batteries. And the good sign is, ideas are starting to bubble again, things are starting to connect and I’m getting excited about the story I want to tell. So that’s hopeful.

I spent a very frustrating two weeks wrestling with the cover for the hardcover special edition of “Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter.” Won’t bore anyone with the details of the fight, but every time I tried to upload the cover file, the printer’s system wouldn’t accept it because it said it was the wrong size, and it would give me a different size. And every time it gave me a different set of numbers. Poor Katherine, my cover artist, turned out four different files, none of which it would accept. Just about the time I decided it was time to look for a different printer, I tried one more time with the original file and it worked just fine. No idea what the problem was. All I know is the hardcovers should be delivered just about the time we get home.

We’re in Knoxville, Tenn., visiting our friends Robyn and Daniel for Thanksgiving. Took about 10 hours to drive and my butt will never be the same. I’m getting old.

Daughter Kate is cranking away on her Na-No-Wri-Mo project and is almost done with a week to go. This is her fourth time through. Good for her.

Went to the doctor for my six month checkup, after nine months. My weight was down, not as much as I’d hoped but down pretty significantly. More important, my cholesterol was down, and the LDL (bad cholesterol) was  way down. So we are encouraged to continue. I’ll see him again in February and I WILL meet my weight goal, despite the fact that Robyn bought an 18-pound turkey.

What else? Seems like there should be more, but no, I think that’ll do for now.

Happy Thanksgiving!