James and I went down to our dear friend L.’s house in Nevada City for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday afternoon. It was also wonderful to see her old friends J. & S. who spend this holiday there almost every year (along with July 4th).

We had not seen these friends for six years, at a July 4th picnic. J. lives in San Francisco and S. lives in Oakland.

We arrived around 3:30 and the huge turkey was still in the oven. We chatted around the huge island in the kitchen, sipping wine and catching up.

 

 

 

Both J. & S. commented on how “mature” I look — yes, it’s been six years and I’m going gray! — J. said, “You’re all grown up” which made me feel anything but.

Many of the people who have not seen me in several years have made similar observations. Hmmm. My favorite comment was “Wow, you look different”. This was from a musician in San Jose who hadn’t seen me since I last played with her orchestra in 2001.

Thanks a lot! She looked different too, but I decided not to say how much weight she had gained.

 

ANYWAY…back to T-day! The food was absolutely delicious. I liked the fact that there were not a lot of dishes to choose from; just the comfortable, traditional Thanksgiving fare of turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. The only extra dish was a spinach soufleé, made by J. from San Francisco. Major yum on that!

 

 

 

James was asked to carve. We joked about the (straight) man of the house, L’s long-time partner D., who chose not to carve.

 

 

 

He arranged the wonderful centerpiece, however! How straight is that? 😉

 

 

 

The only two things that I would have done differently at this dinner:

1.) Not mix white and red wine. I had several glasses of white before dinner and then had a glass of red during the meal. Not a particularly congenial mix in my stomach.

2.) Have a smaller piece of pumpkin pie for dessert, with NO ice-cream. This, too, kicked back on me for hours afterwards.

Today, James and I head down to Sacramento to spend time with my brother, his wife and two kids. Well, one of them is a junior in college and the other is a senior in high school, so they’re not exactly kids now, but somehow it sounds better than “offspring” or “spawn”.

It will be great to see my niece and nephew.

Just after I wrote that sentence, my nephew actually called to ask me to bring my horn; he just got a loaner horn from his high school and wants me to check it out, and then give him a horn lesson!

Ben is already a fantastic musician; he plays bass (both upright and electric), regular guitar, piano and trombone. He’s getting paid-gigs in the Sacramento area, and is still in high school! (He’s way ahead of me…)

He also has a comprehensive grasp on music theory, and has started to compose and arrange.

He is carrying on the family musical tradition, which is very gratifying to me. I have no doubt that Ben will become a successful jazz musician. It seems to be the only thing he wants to do; he has real passion for music, and thinks of little else (until he hooks up with some girl, that is! 😉 )

He hopes to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston next year.

But wouldn’t it be cool if he takes to the horn too? I’d enjoy teaching him!

My oldest brother and his girlfriend are also coming down from the Placerville area to visit tomorrow.

We’ll stay overnight and then stop at Home Despot on our way back up the hill.