My journal entries are few and far between these days. I’m happy to be writing now and have the time. This has been a perfect Thanksgiving Day for many reasons, the foremost being that I’m staying with my youngest son, David and his wife, Nora in a warm, comfortable home which they have made all the more comfortable with their welcoming spirit. On top of that, my granddaughter, Lena, was home for a few days from Penn State and was joined by her boyfriend, Joe, who had flown in from Chicago where he’s earning his master’s degree at the University of Chicago . My grandson, Dominic, from Skidmore College also made it home driving all the way from Saratoga Springs, NY. The three together created different and interesting cross-currents, pleasant and relaxed in nature. The morning’s breakfast introduced us to the special day with smoked salmon from the Seabear company (Anacortes) and cream cheese on toasted ciabatta rolls which is something I’d never think to prepare for myself. Today, however, it seemed entirely appropriate. The mild smoke flavor helped. That the salmon was a gift from Sherry made it all the more appetizing. After a few pleasant hours of watching the Macy’s Parade and taking a brisk walk with David and their dog, “Stella” (a big, black Labadoodle), I was treated to another one of Nora’s excellent meals, but without the usual turkey and dressing. Instead we had Cornish Game Hens and corn meal dressing. As usual I ate more than I intended even though I tried to limit what i put on my plate.. We saved the pumpkin pie as an evening dessert. I wasn’t sure I’d have room for one morsel more if that “evening” turns out to be “this” evening, but, eventually, I did find room. Eat out we did at other times during my stay, of course. The Red School House close by David and Nora’s house is always a favorite. Sherry treated us all to an excellent mid-east meal at a restaurant in New Castle one night. We also took lunch at the University one afternoon which was like no student dining hall I’d ever experienced with a series of serving islands, each island specializing in certain foods, much of it hot and healthy. Hamburgers and fries and Mac and Cheese at one end of the spectrum but an extensive variety of enticing vegetable dishes at the other. It was at the university that we were also treated to an excellent evening of Jazz and some American standards led by the Slippery Rock Jazz ensemble and a professional act imitating the vocals of Frank Sinatra. The first Sunday in Slippery Rock, Nora, Sherry and I drove to nearby Butler to attend service at the First English Lutheran Church. The minister and her husband, who teaches at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, are both graduates of Yale Divinity School. The liturgy was more elaborate than I’m used to but the very formality required a certain level of attention and participation.
Part of the “perfection” of Thanksgiving Day was the carryover from memory of my friend Sherry’s visit the previous five days. Sherry and I had flown into Pittsburgh within hours of each other on different flights last Friday and it was non-stop pleasure until she departed for home the following Wednesday. It was gratifying to me to see David, Nora and Sherry all connect on many levels – education, books, plays – so much to share and talk about and then hearing – after several days – their take on each other which was positive and gratifying. Like other family members, David and Nora, welcomed Sherry into the family with open arms and Sherry was completely accepting of it, happy to be included. It was good, also, to hear the children observe that Sherry was indeed a “perfect match” for their father.
The title for this entry, by the way, refers to the town where David and Nora reside. Slippery Rock is about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s also the name of the university where both are tenured members of the faculty. David teaches theater and Nora, dance.