Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

This year's Thanksgiving day was expected to be different. I wasn't just that Mom had passed away last month. That was weighing heavily in the background of everyone's thoughts. It was going to be different because we were doing a neighborhood dinner this year. Several families splitting up the cooking duties and gathering say around 5-ish to eat.

While the day went somewhat as expected, overall it was a good one to remember. The best part of the day had to be playing football pass and catch with the neighborhood kids. There's something that's ingrained in American psychi to watch, throw or play football on Thanksgiving. My arm and shoulder are sore, real sore this morning. The other good part was watching UT dominate A&M. The worst part was not having Mom there to be with us. The other bad part was when we all sat down to eat, a couple who had already eaten elsewhere lit up a couple cigs and hovered within breathing distance. I was about to say something but didn't. The energy at that moment would've changed more than if I kept quiet and bit my tongue.

The kids all had a blast playing football into the evening. One of the teenagers showed me how Daunte Culpepper holds the ball to pass. It looked and felt awkward with the pointer finger on the tip of the football but it worked. Perfect spirals. It felt weird and looked weird but it worked. I threw until I couldn't throw any more balls and knowing my arm was going to be a wreck the next morning.

I sign of aging is the need for me to warm up my arm to throw even the first ball 15 feet. I tried to suck it up and get the ball there with some pain but dang. The littlest ones were chunking the pigskin with no problem and here I was swinging my arm around trying to get it loose enough to throw a decent ball. Next time I might have to say I'll meet them out there in about 15 minutes so I can excuse myself to the bedroom to do my warmup exercises. Or I could make the argument Oakland A's Barry Zito incorporates an elaborate warmup before throwing a single pitch and that I'm following that program. That sounds pretty lame now that I think about it. I think knowing I'll be throwing the football that day I should exercise before all the baking starts and everything will take care of itself.

The food came out pretty good. While the house had smells throughout the day,it was the same as more of what we did was the baking. I missed the other smells. It was good to try it out the neighborhood feast as I'm sure the first Thanksgiving was something similar. Next year I think we'll be in a cabin somewhere near a lake or stream for fishing with a football to practice the Duante Culpepper grip.

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