Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

I woke up at 6:35 am, sans alarm. So much for sleeping in—and good old body, knowing that by that time on a Thursday I should be awake! I did my physical therapy exercises (that I am supposed to do a few times a week for the rest of my life, if I want my pelvis to not cause me too much grief), de-cluttered the kitchen counters in preparation for a day of cooking, had a shower, then got started on the first recipe: pumpkin pie! I went with an all whole-wheat flour crust this year, and it turned out almost as good as a white flour crust, so I’ll be sticking with the whole wheat in the future. While the pies were cooking, I started on the brown rice and cranberry dish. I’d done the hard part of cutting 4 cups of cranberries in half, one by one, last Sunday, since I’d had the cranberries out for making the Exploding Cranberry Relish (= cranberry sauce, with the twist of having jalapenos in it) that day. After the salad came the stuffing, and Jesse peeled the potatoes in preparation for what I think is his favorite dish—mashed potatoes. Then we combined our efforts on the “turkey substitute” dish: a vegetarian meatless loaf. That’s right, no tofurkeys or tofurtles this year!

After we got the meatless loaf in the pans and into the fridge, got the kitchen tidied up and yet another load of dishes done, Jesse and I went to a nearby Lake Murray for a pre-meal run. Jesse did his usual ~5.5 mile run and I heaved myself (that’s what it felt like anyway) through just over 4 miles (I’m supposed to be getting back into running slowly, for the sake of my feet and pelvis, so I’m running slower than Jesse these days. Also, he’s picked up the pace of his running dramatically since I was last a regular runner!). We got back to the parking lot and were finishing up our post-run stretches when I noticed a hand protrude from the passenger window of a pickup truck window in the parking lot and a tissue fall to the ground from said hand. I was appalled. Littering is one thing. Littering at “my” lake where I go to enjoy the outdoors/natural environment aspect of it is another thing. Thanksgiving or not, I marched over to the truck, picked up the tissue and threw it into the lap of the female owner of the offending hand saying “I think you dropped this” and starting walking off. I heard her say “I meant to drop it there” and I turned around to find the tissue falling to the ground outside her window again. Well! I marched back, picked it up and said to her with incredulity, “Have you no passion for life? For the environment?” to which she said, “Excuse me!!” impertinently and rolled up her window. She looked shocked that I would be so rude as to address her, and a little scared of me—I think she thought I was a crazy lady. So I chucked the tissue behind a cargo net in the bed of the pickup truck, and picked up a tissue I found behind the truck and tossed that in too. It was at that point that I noticed that the (male) driver of the truck was using binoculars to observe something… maybe birds? He was there to admire the environment with a woman who cared nothing for it! I do hope he enjoyed me rebuking the woman. Maybe he secretly hates the way she litters? I can only hope. I went back to where Jesse was… he didn’t know what had been happening so I told him the story. He was amazed (at her and at me). I have replayed the events over and over in my head, and I now think that she truly didn’t see that there was anything wrong with dropping the tissue where she did… I think maybe when she said “I meant to drop it there” that she was thinking “That silly woman who picked it up… thinking I dropped in by accident. It was nice of her to pick it up for me, but there was no need” So when I started talking about her lack of passion, she probably had no idea WHAT I could be going on about and that’s why she got scared and rolled up her window (at the time, I thought she was just being rude and getting my out of her face by rolling up her window). Who knows. I should have told her that she’s welcome to litter as much as she wants in her own driveway, but that I’d appreciate that she not do it at “my” lake, so that I could get her to see my point of view about the incident a bit better (hindsight, you know). As I initially marched over to the truck, I briefly thought about pointing out that littering was illegal, but decided not to say that because, duh, everyone knows that and I’m not one to believe that just because the government mandates something, it must be the right thing to do (though I am against littering, of course). But overall I’m happy with my handling of the situation. When I saw the tissue drop for the second time, you can bet I had to hold back a swearing and yelling instinct. In my “maturity,” I know that calm and collected is a more effective way to go. Are there really people who, if they actually thought it through, would not think there’s anything wrong with littering so blatantly at a public park? I think maybe I met such a person today.

Hang on, what was I meant to be writing about? Oh yes, Thanksgiving. So I got home, got the meatless loaf and stuffing into the oven and realized I had enough time to prepare another dish—sweet potatoes with apples and walnuts in a buttery-sugary syrup. After I got that into the oven, it was time to cook and marinate the beans, cook the corn and set the table with the Christmas-y placemats I made while stuck indoors during the recent wildfires. Jesse mashed the potatoes, adding garlic to his share (not for me, thank you! I like my potatoes bland). Then, we brought it all together and sat down on the floor (no dining table, only a coffee table) for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner, with sparkling cranberry juice to drink. For dessert, it was pumpkin pie with some of the “stiffest” whipped cream I’d ever had… I was quite worried while Jesse was whipping it that it was only seconds away from becoming butter. Then, as you can perhaps imagine, it was time make some creative rearrangements in my fridge to get all the leftovers to fit. While I put food away, Jesse did a hill-high load of dishes. Go Jesse! Now as I write, the dishwasher is finishing the rest of the dishes and everything is almost back to normal in the kitchen. Ahh. But I still haven’t figured out the woman in the truck, and don’t think I ever will.

1 comment:

gorchard said...

Good job giving her a hard time Foof! Glad you got out for a run.