Our Thanksgiving was lovely. As always, watching my Mom and her sister Nancy tease each other was hilarious. My Mom was an adopted only child, yet a few years ago she found three sisters living in Texas. The evidence of genetics shines through: my Mom and Nancy couldn't look or act more alike, and I sure look like Denise's and Amy's niece (same color of hair). Nancy's son and my brother could not deny they are cousins if they tried - quite a resemblance. However, over dinner I was informed by my Dad's sister (Pat) that I do not sound Texan. This did not make me happy. I'm quite a proud Texan, saying "y'all" and "I might could" whenever possible, but aunt Pat and my cousin said I don't really pull it off. Pat said this is Sesame Street's fault. Thanks, Big Bird.
So, I was thankful for "new" family that feel very familiar, and that aunt Nancy allowed me, Johnny, and my Mom invade her kitchen to make an odd, yeast-free pumpkin pie. Though we followed directions, it was not up to Martha Stewart's visual standards. In fact, it was much more like pumpkin pudding. Still, it tasted sweet, pumpkiny, and spicy, and I happily ate my pudding while sipping Community coffee. For Christmas, I'll make the pumpkin pudding as well as the nutty crust, but I will crumble the crust on the pudding, kind of like a cobbler (my Mom's brilliant suggestion).
On the way home, we grabbed coffee with Christine and her Mom, and Christine gave me early birthday gifts: two bags of 963 coffee (!), a bar of Christmas tree-scented soap, and a beautiful handmade card. Did I mention my sweet Mother-in-law sent me a gift certificate for a one-hour aromatherapy massage?! I've never had a massage, but I know it will be grand. Not only that, but my parents gave me two tall bags of birthday goodness; items bound to appear in photographs here on my blog. And Johnny handed me the above acorn from my parents' front yard - he knows me very well.
Those of you who hold the philosophy that a birthday is best celebrated before (and after) the actual birth date, you must agree that mine is off to a good start! I turn 33 tomorrow and I continue to adore the 30s (unlike my 20s). I will be writing thank you notes with true gratitude. Tonight Johnny is assisting me in baking [yeast-free] peanut butter cookies (in lieu of a cake). Tomorrow night we'll dine at Empire Café with a few friends - the perfect end to a birthday.
After hugging Christine goodbye, Johnny and I visited the Kimbell art museum to see "Picturing the Bible: the Earliest Christian Art." That exhibit was amazing. The most recent piece was dated 5th century. I should have taken notes, but I was too mesmerized. Walking around from piece to piece snapped me out of the year 2007 and into the vibrancy of early Christian faith.
Other than the Phaidon book, I've also been reading/viewing (and listening to) these today:
* The Bible.
* The New York Times.
* The art of Martin Puryear (thanks to hoping for happy accidents). Wow.
* Rich articles by Andi Ashworth. Then I had to go upstairs to grab my copy of her book Real Love for Real Life (which I loved). Flipping through today, it reminded me that I want to better learn the arts of caring & hospitality.
* This song by one of my favorite songwriters.
I hope your Thanksgiving was equally good! I'm not sure what my 33rd year holds, but I have a strange hunch it will surprise me with joy.