We drove up from Santa Ana on Tuesday, meeting Don and Averill Knapp in Coalinga at Harris Ranch, and went off to Tabla for an exotic lunch, and then arrived at the Bjursten home after meeting Becky at Zachary’s preschool after a short detour to visit a horse who was grazing at the address that Becky gave us to input into our GPS. Peter was still in Orange County doing business and Lin and Becky went off to dinner while I watched UCLA beat Kentucky in the Maui basketball tournament.
On Wednesday we went to a great bistro for lunch, Le Boulangerie, and I had a fabulous goat cheese and roasted pepper open face sandwich and a great cup of French roast coffee. While Lin got her hair done, Becky, Zachary and I went off to Borders for Lemony Snickett, The Night Before Christmas and Fastfood Nation, a recommendation of a cardiologist who saw me wearing my Obama in ’08 button. That night Becky made some wonderful “Smart Chicken” in her usual very healthy meal, along with Brussels Sprouts. Watching the reaction of Haley and Zachary to Peter when he walked into the house after being gone for several days, was heartwarming. They are great parents and manage minor discipline with aplomb. Zachary always knows that it is the tantrum that’s being rejected and not the child, and the sister-brother rivalries are similarly well-handled. Great parents and great kids. Wednesday night, I got a pass from Becky to watch the Bruins beat Georgia Tech, and it, the game for the Bruins, wasn’t easy. Tech ran off the first 6 or 7 points and looked very strong, until UCLA pulled itself together to win convincingly.
Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, and we all sat down to a great dinner. The all included Art Golden, Lin’s former husband and father of Becky and Josh, Aunt Mickey, Art’s sister, Bo & Gun Bjursten, Peter’s parents, and Mike Bjursten, Peter’s brother. We missed Josh, Tammy and Myles, who couldn’t travel due to time commitments and Tammy’s pregnancy. Art and I reminisced about the 1945 Chicago Cubs. Though he lived on the south side, not far from Comiskey Park and the White Sox, he was a Cubs fan, as I, a northsider, was. Art remembered the battling order and Phil Cavaretta’s number 44.
How wonderful to celebrate this holiday with family and mutually admire the grandchildren that brighten our lives and offer us new hope for the future of our country. Amongst the toasts was Aunt Mickey’s toast to the men in the armed services who were risking their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan for families just like ours. We separate their sacrifices from the question of the wisdom of the war in Iraq.
Just another American family celebrating their good fortune to be born in the United States in a time of plenty, in good health, appreciative for the sacrifices of others.