All around the Hannukah bush, the Hannukah bush, the Hannukah bush

Boxing Day was our pretend Christmas, and I started off by stuffing a 22-pound turkey with my mother’s recipe for dressing goodness. Such an enormous bird was a bit beyond the needs of a 7-person group with one vegetarian and two minors, but as it was a free gift from Shop Rite, how could my sister refuse? So four days after coming out of the freezer to thaw, it was still solid ice inside. Susanne and I ran some warm water from the tap in it for about 45 minutes (sorry, Connecticut water resources staff), and considered it good enough to get started. My surgically repaired sister made it to the table long enough to enjoy the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, creamed spinach, and salad, and I later brought her a slice of the cheesecake her friend Sherri and I had made. I wondered vaguely how cheesecake must taste when you’re drugged on Oxycodone and butter shots. I suppose I should ask Rush Limbaugh, since that guy has clearly had his fill of sweetened cheese.

We went for a visit to the mall with the girls so they could use their gift cards, and I was astonished to see that there is now a vendor selling cutesy underwear to teenage girls. My nieces came out of the Aerie store with peace symbol thongs, because how better to support world peace than by wearing a small strip of fabric that cost $20?

Afterward we went duck pin bowling which I can handle with my bad knee, since the balls are the size of my palms. Duck pin bowling is a treat — the tiny pins crackling like snapped twigs, and the girls cheering each point. We came back and made some turkey soup and dumplings and then retreated to the solace of the hot tub, which was a fine way to mark the end of each day there.

Monday morning we kissed the gang goodbye and road down to DC to see our old pals and their families. With each day, the frustration of the snowy fortress back in Walla Walla receded and we visibly exhaled into the places we visited back in our old stomping grounds.

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Categories: visiting

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