Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post-Thanksgiving Status

Well, it's been another good week at Rio Concho West (RCW), my new hometown, out here on the edge of the plains.

A couple of weeks ago, I was busy getting things checked out. This week, it was Donna's turn. She started the week on Monday by visiting the eye doctor. The next day, she visited her dentist. Donna is very regular in her visits to these folks while I tend to only visit them when I need to. I suppose that's why she seems to be holding up much better than I. People we meet generally tell Donna how well she looks; then they cast a glance at me and simply laugh in a pitying sort of way. Go figure.

In between visits to these places, Donna was busy getting things ready for our Thanksgiving feast. She made 2 pies, a pumpkin and a chess. Donna loves pumpkin pie during the holidays, but I prefer an old-fashioned chess pie. I believe this may have been the finest chess pie she has ever made. Then she started to work on all the other dishes, such as dressing, cranberry sauce, rice-broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, lime jello mixed with pecans and other sweets, and numerous other little things. I keep trying to get the old woman to cut back on how much she prepares, but I don't think she can.

This year, rather than smoke a whole turkey, we bought 2 turkey breasts. For the past 20 or 25 years, I've smoked turkeys for our Thanksgiving dinners. I usually start late the night before, then get up every few hours or so to add charcoal, wood, and/or water, whichever is needed. To be honest, I've grown tired of doing that. So this year, Donna graciously consented to cook the turkey breasts in the oven. They turned out great, and I hope this is a tradition we continue.

I walked over to the club house on Tuesday morning to get a haircut. I love that my barber is a 3 minute walk from my back door. This is just another great aspect of living at RCW. While there, I turned a couple of books into the library. We have a really nice library at the club, and it operates on the honor system. So, you just mosey in, select a book or 2 or 3, and take it (them) home. Once finished with your reading, simply return and repeat the process.

Although quite good (the books fill an entire side room in the club house), our library still has limits. I have more or less adopted the practice of checking out 2 or 3 books for trips we take in our trailer since there is no time limit. But when I'm home for a while, I prefer to go to the Tom Green County Library and check out books there. In addition to checking out books, I also spend quite a bit of time browsing the magazines there, such as Texas Highways and True West. This week, I checked out some Hercule Poirot mysteries as well as a book on Adobe Walls, an historic site in the Panhandle of Texas.

Since Donna and I were busy Tuesday morning, we decided to eat out. We opted for Joe's Italian on South Bryant, a place we haven't eaten in 2 or 3 years for some reason. I don't know if Joe's Italian is a chain or not, but we find places by this name in several places, including Big Spring and Longview. Our Joe's has some of the most reasonably priced lunch specials in town. The special changes each day, and costs only $6.99 for the entrée and a salad. This is not the greatest Italian food you'll ever eat, but it is quite good and, as I said, reasonably priced. We both ordered spaghetti and meatballs, and we enjoyed our meals.

The kids arrived Wednesday, and that is when I started drinking. Heavily. It didn't help. The little monsters still tormented me.

But Donna and I endured with minimal damage. The main meal was great. Donna is really a good cook, and her skills have not diminished over the years. I especially love her dressing, and there is a corn and cream cheese concoction she makes that I wish she would make more often. We sent quite a bit of food home with the kids, much to my dismay. I'll have to speak to the chef about this alarming breach of protocol.

On Friday, the kids left and Donna and I started returning to normal. I put the whiskey bottle away until the next visit. Life is good again. Late Friday afternoon the clouds rolled in and we got half an inch of rain. Rain is always appreciated out here.

Well, that's all the news from Rio Concho West, where life moves along just a little more slowly than in the real world. And that's exactly how I like it.

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