Saturday, November 29, 2008

We’re (H)all pilgrims at Thanksgiving

Some aboriginal tribes believe we contain something referred to as “blood memory” in us; in other words, something that our species inherently remembers, without benefit of experience, but desires nevertheless. Thanksgiving may be evidence of this phenomenon, because, for whatever mechanism in our brains that is at work, we find ourselves focused on a nameless pursuit of the perfect golden parabola.

The Halls are no less subject to these whims than the general populace, and so, to answer their whimsy (and a delightful invitation from Mrs. H.’s brother Richard Pranitis, and his lovely wife, Gail), they pointed themselves westward and drove at breakneck speeds, to rally ‘round the family in Brighton, Michigan. They were joined by those famous raconteurs of the high roads themselves, Mr. and Mrs. Pranitis, who had just arrived by train.

Ardent Spirits

No family reunion would be complete (nor, would some say, even tolerable) without the benefit of liquid lubrication, and it can be reliably reported that the host and hostess kept the beverages and the conversation flowing with ease. Hot and cold running commentary on everything from the parade to the feast could be heard at every turn. It’s never a dull moment at the Brighton branch of the family tree; so it wasn’t surprising that games were quickly produced and pounced upon. While Mr. H. was observed on several occasions enjoying his festivities in a more reserved fashion; Ms. Perry, who apparently, at some point in her youthful education, was informed that Scrabble was a blood sport, attempted to dominate the playing field.

Certain species of animals retain their prehistoric proportions and it must have been from a herd such as this that the Pranitis’ chose their Thanksgiving fowl. Its tremendous girth required extra cooking time, but the payoff was well worth the wait. At the appointed moment, countless casseroles flowed effortlessly from kitchen to table. Grace was performed, and, save for some satisfied grunts and belches, those were the last spoken words for the next thirty minutes, as the glorious repast was consumed.
Kudos all around to Rick and Gail for their invitation to a most luxurious and fattening holiday!

Monday, November 10, 2008

"Hall-ing" out the seasonal accessories

Even as the sun was shining brightly all morning, the weather seers were warming up their Ouija boards and handing out mittens and cough drops to their camera crews. Throwing a fresh "E-Z" log on the fire and restocking the bar with her favorite sherry, Mrs. Hall knew what was just around the corner; that it was time to forage about in the catacombs and start bringing up the winter gear.

The spiders and ghosts have all been tucked away for another year, the fog machine has gasped its last billow and the synthetic cobwebs have been replaced by their authentic lookalikes once again.
Having finally talked the youngsters into an artificial tree, Mr. and Mrs. H. were able to move into the happy realm of portable (read: folding) pines; but finding the primary scene-setters down in the basement of Penguin Hall may prove to be as difficult or perhaps even more so, than picking the perfect one from thousands of others in a snowy field. Nevertheless, by the time the post delivers the holiday turducken, rest assured Beau and Ty, the Penguin Hall mascots will be waiting cheerfully on the front porch to greet them!

Tell your friends!