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With all the trimmings, times two

Sheesh, Where Have You Been?Why Haven’t You Been Posting, Daddy?

Welcome to a slightly revamped, relaunch of Heir Apparent!  It is hard to believe that my last post was over two months ago, and when we last left my darling daughter she was but a wee lass of 4 months or so.  She’s now over 6 months old, can sit up and is even eating solid foods.  Quite the transformation!  In any case, as part of my New Year’s resolution (and as part of a plea bargain with the Onondaga County court system for some holiday related “capers”) I will once again be regularly posting.  I hope the holidays were good to everyone, and I hope you will bear with me as I once again play “catch up” with the blog.  Now, please set your calendars back approximately a month and a half and…

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With November rapidly drawing to a close, the snow already falling in Central New York, and the Syracuse Football schedule drawing mercifully to a close, that distinctly American holiday makes its grand appearance, awash in large inflatable parades, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and the wholesale slaughter of millions of innocent turkeys. Yes friends, the advent of Justine’s first Thanksgiving was at hand.

Since our families have so far resisted the ever-so-strong pull of the greater Syracuse area and it’s famed Salt Museum and have refused to relocate, we once again found ourselves flying down Interstate 81 the night before Turkey Day, listening to a well-worn CD of children’s tunes (that all seem to be set to the same tune) and furtively glancing in the rearview mirror, hoping beyond hope that our little baby might finally conk out so that we could switch the radio over to something a little less “thumbkiny.” Thankfully, this particular trip bothered her not at all, and she slept much of the way down, as did I between mile markers 231 and 253, as the police report suggests at least. Just kidding on that last part – I outran the troopers.

Two Headed Purple People EaterThe logistics of Thanksgiving have always been a headache for us. My family, on the one hand, is incredibly consistent in the operation of the holiday. There will always be a gathering, dinner will always be around six, and it will always include my immediate family, plus grandparents. Occasionally a random guest or two will attend – a few years ago, for example, Warren Harding inexplicably showed up, and regaled us with tales of the Teapot Dome scandal after dinner before heading out, getting into a mysterious phone booth crammed with a bunch of other historical figures, and vanishing. But on the whole, it is a remarkably steady affair.

My wife’s family though, is always a toss-up, mostly because of my brother-in-law and his family. They are “whim travelers,” often deciding last minute to make the lengthy journey from Virginia up north to partake in “family togetherness.” Thus, occasionally Thanksgiving with Kim’s family is a crowded event, while other years it is a quiet and reflective dinner for just a few. The only constant is that dinner is in the early afternoon, following the tradition of traditional German families, and gypsies.

Thus we have many times performed “the double,” eating a single round at my wife’s family, and then driving amidst a THC induced drowsy haze over to my parent’s house to partake in round two, before finally succumbing during dessert and collapsing into post-Thanksgiving comas. Just before we fall asleep of course, my wife suggests getting up for Black Friday. I usually then cross my eyes and pretend to pass out – before actually doing so.

Who is this strange girl?We mercifully avoided the insanity for the past two years, traveling to the West Coast as part of my wife’s job over the past two Thanksgivings, enjoying one turkey dinner in Palm Springs, and the other watching men joust on horseback in the basement of the Excalibur Casino in Vegas. No such luck this year. The brother-in-law and family was enroute, and my father had somehow arranged two tables in such a way that my entire family could sit together, a real feat considering the number of folks far exceeded what any good fire marshal would allow. The die was cast.

And so we found ourselves once again waltzing “the double,” this time with a baby in tow. She watched us stuff returning to house one for sleep. By all accounts it was a good time, nice to see the family, partake in the normal rituals, induce the same comas. Justine, for her part, took it all in stride, until after the second dinner when she decided she had had enough. So we took her home, and climbed into bed ourselves.

“Black Friday tomorrow,” my wife whispered through the drowsy fog.

“Mgrgrrrrrmmmmrrrmmmm,” I replied, unsetting her alarm.

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