Group Walking

We returned home about an hour before John’s sister Barbara and Thom arrived at our house. We considered ourselves instantly ready for company after unpacking our bags and putting out towels for them. They were with us about 15 hours, but we squeezed in a lot. Settling around the fireplace, we enjoyed their catching up on news with our son $ and daughter Lise. We had tea and Lebkuchen punctuated with lots of laughter.

Chris (a Mancunian, someone who comes from Manchester, England) talked about the etiquette of leaving a social gathering. It is understood that if you have coffee at someone’s home, the first cup is part of the game plan. After chatting a while, you are expected to leave when they offer you a second cup. We have those signals, too, although I don’t think I could define a coffee ending. For hours after that, we joked about situations being “the second cup.” This morning, $ said he might mess up the system on purpose. When the hostess came with the second cup, he’d say, “Thanks. I don’t need more. I still have some.”

I had forgotten what a person from Manchester is called until Lise mentioned it. It is spelled correctly above, but since I am from the South, I was temped to write it as “Mancoonian”. I’ll bet a week doesn’t go by that we don’t speak of ‘coons, referring to raccoon roadkill or my dad’s recipe for cooking the animals he hunted. I will not let myself imagine Chris with a cute black mask around his eyes.

We left $ sleeping on the porch when the rest of us went for a walk before breakfast. $ camps out in all seasons of the year, and he chose to sleep outside instead of using our air mattress inside. It must have been difficult to get up outside with the temperature at freezing. Guests often walk with us, so having four on the road was not unusual. There were six in our group. I was walking ahead to set the pace, knowing everyone could out-walk me. I felt like the lead car on the highway that goes ahead with a sign that says “Wide Load”.

A red truck came up behind us, and we heard it slowing down. The man opened his door a few inches near me and asked, “Is this a movement?”

I called out, “No, but come join us!”

He grinned and drove on. Barbara assumed it was someone we knew. I had never seen the man before, but John recognized his truck as being one that regularly passes us. If we live long enough and do unusual things, we might meet all the people who live back in this area.

We caught up to neighbor Bob and Logan at the bus stop. The bus came immediately, and Logan jumped out of the car. We greeted Bob, and as he turned the car around, he said, “Let me know if anyone needs a ride, I’ll come get you.” We laughed as he intended, but it’s wonderful to know he would help us if we needed it.

I made everyone line up for the obligatory picture at the creek. I don’t know why I started doing that, so I don’t know how to make myself quit. The group was compliant. Relatives and guests are sweet to accommodate me.

112216 Creekside photo.jpg

Below are the same people, except Barbara and I swapped places.  John claims no one believes I actually walk to the creek, since there is no photo of my being there.

112216 Chris Thom Lise JC Anne.JPG

Breakfast was the only meal we had together on this quick stop. Barbara and Thom were on their way to South Carolina for a big Thanksgiving gathering that will also include a celebration of Chris and Steve’s 50th wedding anniversary. We were sorry we couldn’t be in two places at once. The photo lacks an image of $, but he often engineers that. For those who like to know what was on the menu, we had bacon, hot sausage, livermush, scrambled eggs, cheese grits, whole wheat biscuits, jam, sorghum molasses, and coffee. We downed all but one biscuit, which will become part of the stuffing for Thursday’s turkey.

112216 Thom BA JC Lise Chris breakfast.jpg

We were pleased to find the horses had come back to the pasture beyond our garden.  They have been elsewhere for weeks.  Barbara took this photo of son $ feeding DW at the fence.

112216-with-dw-1

19 thoughts on “Group Walking

  1. Haha! You got a shot of $! And it was great that you swapped spots so we could all see you again. Wonderful story and photos as usual! Also, feel free to email me if you ever want to talk about what we don’t say here. 😊

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  2. What a wonderful quick visit! How long will your daughter and friend get to visit? Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time for family!

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  3. I almost snorted when I read that John said no one believes you walk to the creek. That sounds like something I would hear over here as I usually take the photos. It sounds like you had a great time!
    I do need to know what Lebkuchen is though. It might be something I have missed out on and need to try :).

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    1. Barbara and Thom are great relatives and super friends. We used to live in walking distance from them. Everyone has fun around them.

      Lebkucken are German Christmas cookies. They are fairly large, soft ginger cookies. Some are coated with a white glaze, and others are covered with chocolate. Do you have an Aldi supermarket anywhere near you? Lebkuchen and other German cookies are in the stores now. We are very blessed, because our German college friend sends a box of those goodies every year. Our box has arrived, and we’ll open it after Thanksgiving.

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  4. Anne,
    I was going to ask what Lebkucken was – read your answer above. I think above all the Thanksgiving traditions, family and friends is what Thanksgiving is and without the expenditure of gifts that come with Christmas ?
    Susie

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    1. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Everyone I know celebrates it here. You are free to talk about it without hurting anyone’s feelings, and we’ve always had family and friends to celebrate with. Lots of food and no gifts to buy!

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  5. Such a gorgeous post Anne thank you so much!

    Firstly Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your family! No doubt the last biscuit is in the stuffing and the turkey is cooking –

    I really enjoyed this post – so lovely to see all the photos, you included in one so others have proof! Happy smiling people all – and the horses to greet you …

    Much was amusing also – the signal for the coffee – 🙂

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    1. I’m glad you can share a bit of our Thanksgiving holiday, Susan. I laughed that the last biscuit was in the stuffing. We had biscuits and cornbread last week so that there would be leftovers for the stuffing. I used half of what we had, and the pan was overflowing. Now what am I going to do with the leftover leftovers? No one is interested in food today. It may be a week before anyone admits to being hungry.

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