Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks(giving) for the memories

Mrs. Hall looked out the window- there was a fresh dusting of snow outside. The purr of the big black car warming up in the hanger could be heard downstairs, so she jumped out of bed. "Breakfast at Wegmans?" she smiled, as she pulled on her gloves; and Mr. Hall nodded. "Let's go!"
In the upstairs dining room, Mr. Hall had positioned himself almost directly under the discreet router hidden off the conduit above. A fellow pilot friend of his was fond of sending him lengthy videos of vintage airplanes and he was happily downloading to his heart's delight. As they sat enjoying their muffins and coffee, Mrs. Hall leaned back and reflected on the weekend.

Thanksgiving had been quiet at the Hall. Mistress Katie had come in for the holiday from Washington but other than that, there was not a lot going on; as far as Mr. Hall was concerned, that made it a holiday indeed. The dinner yielded plenty of leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables galore in the freezer, and because it was a little too chilly for putting up decorations, Mrs. Hall had busied herself making turkey soup from the remaining carcass of the holiday bird. While it may appear to many that Syracuse's only claim to fame is its consistent and inevitable winning of the Golden Snowball award for most snowfall in a winter season, its real passion is basketball and Mr. Hall, and Katie as well, could be counted amongst the Orange's most ardent fans. (Mrs. Hall, while professing a cursory knowledge of the game, humors Mr. Hall in his zeal and joins along with them in the fun.)
Last weekend, after a particularly long-winded evening at a reception, Mr. Hall veered off the registered flightplan and ended up at the Turning Stone Casino. As they whiled away a few hours at the roulette tables, one of the more casual youths at the table looked over, removed his cigarette and complimented Mr. Hall on his attire. ("Very classy, dude" or words to that effect- the reporter for the Monitor was perhaps more interested in the outcome of the wheel than in recording the exact exchange.) But now there was a lull in their schedule and the tuxedos and formals had been duly dispatched to the cleaners for a well-earned dusting. " You can finally give those pearls a break- we're heading for Daniel's at five," said Mr. Hall and Mrs. Hall breathed a sigh of relief. Getting to the bar at five generally guaranteed them a seat; weekends around Marcellus, sooner or later, nearly everyone came to the same conclusion: a hectic week at work was somehow always more tolerable when it ended at Daniel's.
Master Chris had called earlier and informed them that he had just been named Airman Honor Guard Member of the Quarter for his base. While he was appropriately honored and humbled to accept, he was also pragmatic enough to acknowledge it came with little financial gain. There was a gift certificate good for one entrée at the Officer's Club (one entrée being valued at about seven dollars) but since he was still enlisted, that benefit was unfortunately moot. The biggest bonus appeared to be a free oil change at a local establishment, so he was out to knock himself out and blow a whole Friday evening on the event. E-mailing them a picture of the statuette from his phone, he admitted he didn't want the award to go to his head and he was holding off building a trophy cabinet until his career was somewhat further on. The Halls agreed that was sound thinking and toasted, long distance over the phone, his good fortune.

As her rising pulse reminded her she had probably had more of Wegmans strong black coffee than was advisable, Mrs. Hall shook off the mist of reverie and pulled herself back into the moment. "Done looking at your mail?" she asked and they gathered up the laptop into the cart. Seven or eight run-ins with acquaintances later, they were back in the big black car and heading home.


mike said...

This is mike engle, author of "diners of NY" wanted to let you know i'm doing a book signing in penn yan on Sat Dec 18th. 2-5pm at the penn yan diner.

Penguin Hall said...

Hey Mike- nice to hear from you! Good luck to you with your book signing! We can't be there but we wish you well.

Tell your friends!