Thanksgiving for two

george-lori-burnside

With my sweetie on the mean streets of Portland.

Thanksgiving long ago replaced Christmas as my favorite holiday. I appreciate its meaning — of giving simple thanks — much more than I do the relentless commercialism that has come to characterize the latter.

And while Thanksgiving is commonly associated with family gatherings, I’m here to say Thanksgiving for Two can be just as enjoyable. Yesterday’s celebration with Lori was totally relaxing and just as satisfying.

I was the wingman on mashed potatoes as Lori concocted another delicious feast — roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, salad and green beans casserole. We settled down to a mid-afternoon meal and took turns before and after the meal napping with Charlotte, curled up in our lap, in our favorite recliner.

ny wine

No food porn photos. Just the bottle of New York state wine that Lori brought home from a recent pre-holiday visit to Jordan, Jamie & Emalyn.

Lori worked on her crossword puzzle — a growing leisure activity for her — and I did some non-school reading.

Later, we went to see the newest remake of “A Star Is Born” at a small indie theater. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper were an impressive pair, and the story, updated for the modern age, held my interest throughout. Gaga is an amazingly talented woman, with that powerful voice and surprisingly good acting chops. Go see it.

We came home to a slice of pecan pie and an episode of “Nurse Jackie” — exactly the kind of irreverent entertainment we both enjoy.

At dinner, we agreed we were thankful for good health and general happiness, owing to our long marriage and meaningful work that we each do, and grateful that our three children and their wonderful spouses are living life independently and in pursuit of what makes them happy.

Yesterday, incidentally, marked the 9th anniversary of Jordan and Jamie’s wedding. Likewise, that meant that Lori and I have now lived in our townhouse for 9 years. What an exciting but chaotic week it was back in 2009, when we not only saw our youngest son get married in Southern Oregon, but also scrambled back to Portland to move out of our house and into this more compact place, all in the same week.

Lots to be thankful for, for sure.

george-lori-mt. constitution

With my sweetie at the summit of Mount Constitution on Orcas Island. (July 2016 photo)

Advertisements

Back to the beach

IMG_9550

Lori, George and our feisty Charlotte.

The Oregon Coast is a wonderful place to visit, no matter the time of year. When you can enjoy it in the company of long-time friends, the experience is all the sweeter.

Last weekend, Lori and I broke away for a couple of nights to spend with four folks we’ve known for four decades. (Hmmm, that doesn’t make us old, does it? Nah! Just well-acquainted.)

I’m talking about Tom and Elsa Guiney and Brian and Gayle McCay. All six of us attended San Jose State University. The three ladies were roommates, and all five were friends before I came onto the scene as a college senior.

Tom and Elsa split their time between Portland and their beach house south of Tillamook. The McCays live in suburban Boston and carved out time to spend with us during a days-long visit that included stops in Washington and Oregon. All three couples have been married 40-plus years.

Lori and I hadn’t been to the beach since July, so it was nice to get out of the metro area. Just driving to the coast with the fall leaves turning yellow and red, and passing through a string of small towns along Highway 101, puts me in a good frame of mind.

Once we arrived, it was nothing but R&R.

We took a short hike in the neighborhood one afternoon and a couple longer walks on the beach the next two mornings, with our dogs romping alongside. We mostly hung out at the Guineys’ place, watched two World Series games (Brian and Gayle are big Red Sox fans), played a board game, and ate well, thanks to Lori’s homemade lasagna.

We split up on Saturday, with the ladies doing some shopping and us guys shooting some pool, and shared a lovely dinner in Pacific City that evening.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sunday morning came too soon. It’s always fun to be around friends who know you well and whose generosity comes from a deep place.

Can’t wait for our next beach trip.

IMG_9568

Charlotte at the edge of the continent.