A Joyous Holiday Weekend

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A busier than expected Holiday weekend, to be sure, but a fine family time it was.Kate arrived home late Tuesday night so Robbie collected her and we didn’t really see her until Wednesday. She chilled with us most of the day and that night, she waited up for her friend, Menan, to arrive from California. The two met and became friends when they wound up in the cast of Guys & Dolls over in Cairo. Since she had nowhere to be for the holiday, Kate invited Menan to try a traditional New England Thanksgiving.Thursday was the usual tradition: up and watch the parade, out by noon and listening to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant en route to Long Island. The girls were somewhat zoned out since Menan didn’t make it to Fairfield until about 2:30 .am.As usual, Bob & Laurie Rozakis’ home was in full swing, with enough food for the entire Armed Services. Robbie was gifted with a three pound can of olives since he normally whips through your typical can in about five minutes. New to the gathering, besides Menan, were Jim & Debbie Gillespie, parents to Chuck’s wonderful bride Rebecca. All three fit right in and it was a festive day, with way too much food and not enough time for chit chat.Friday had us home, up and out by 10, this time headed north to visit Deb’s brother and family in New Hampshire. We got there and spent most of Saturday visiting and chatting in a variety of configurations. As the kids wandered off, the adults wound up checking our John’s HD TV by watching Transformer, something I skipped over the summer. It was goofy and entertaining while predictable and in need of some serious story editing.We crashed by midnight (although Robbie camped out in their family motor home) and miraculously overslept so by the time we all got up, dressed and fed, we didn’t get back to John & Alison’s until 11. We visited for a few hours more until it was time to head back home since Robbie had work and Kate wanted time to see her CT friends.Deb and I managed a quiet evening at home, putting the finishing touches on transferring everything to the laptop to ensure I can get right to work come Monday.Sunday was time to say farewell to Menan, who traveled to Manhattan for a day of sightseeing before flying back west on Monday. There was Church for the others, the gym for me, and then a family walk, complete with both dogs – a rare treat.At Kate’s request, we threw together a lamb stew and then let it cook while we went off to see Enchanted. It’s everything the reviewers said it was and more. We giggled and guffawed all the way through, entranced by Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel and James Marsden. This was a faithful reproduction of a Disney animated film brought to live action, with a wink and a nod to its predecessors. It also avoided getting saccharine thanks to some New York jadedness and Barry Sonenfeld’s deft touch as producer. A thorough delight and highly recommended.By 7:30, she’ll be on a train for Washington and another holiday will have come and gone. This will become increasingly more and more the template for our visits with Kate in the future. At least we’ve learned how to maximize our time, and enjoy each other’s company.

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