Location: marengo, il, United States

Thursday, November 25, 2004

A Fast Entry

The two coal buckets have finally met their first snow. Both have been sitting out at the far side of the deck where they stood guard over the summer for a large planter containing various sorts of flowers, plus a single pot of mauve cone flowers and a few tiny yellow daisies. But the now-black stalks with their tangles of withered leaves now support crowning tufts of striking white.

From in the kitchen behind my back, Ali, her mother and my sister sit, all three engaged in early-morning holiday chatter and food preparations. My coffee cup and I may soon join them in the former, but first I want to contemplate nature’s more hushed scene.

About yesterday -- there is good news, and then there is some frightful and horrible news that I am compelled to relay immediately. Let me mention it quickly by saying how I hate and despise Chicago traffic with a fierce passion, and for sound reasons. Then maybe I can get beyond my frustration.

It seems as if three million reasons all decided to get on the road at the same time as I did. After first rolling my eyes at Alicia yesterday morning for her statement that what is normally a one hour and thirty-minute drive into the blustery city might take two because of the holiday, Joel and I decided to set out early for the bus terminal, keeping her warning in mind.

In short (for the gaggle behind me have turned up both volume and pace as I type, not to mention interrupting questions I am being assailed with which cause me to covet Walden’s little pond of solitude), we eventually found our bus-weary guests after a four-hour-plus ordeal. I may choose to rail on this topic later on, but for the present, allow me to mention the good news so I might depart the keyboard in haste and join the melee in the next room.

I am now the proud owner of a still-wrapped Whataburger that now sits (minus tomato slices to prevent sogginess -- why, thank you, Susan, you thoughtful child) in our refrigerator! Yes, success does feel wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving, America.

(Alma has a great story to tell about a convict she met on her trip)


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