Giving Thanks Minnesota-Style
This year, our Minnesota family Thanksgiving celebrations were incontestably traditional:
At an overnight retreat to the Miron farm, west of Bemidji, we admired the horses’ winter coats, dined on roasted turkey and Joel’s sister Phoebe’s pumpkin pie, chatted on the telephone with our Nebraska and Florida relations, and enjoyed an evening of perusing back issues of the Bemidji Pioneer and Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker
in the midst of post-meal snores and farts of Bruce the Greyhound, Taffy the Labrador, and Hunter the Labrador.
The following morning, we ventured south to share the holiday with the St. Cloud Wurzbergers, which included all the usual tricks and treats: pre-supper Trivial Pursuit game (Game-Winning Question: “What San Francisco 49ers wide receiver celebrated a touchdown catch by autographing the ball and handing the ball to a fan?”), turkey-and-trimmings feast, post-supper movie (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and post-post-supper ribaldry …
Flashback to Thanksgiving 2004 ...
After Don and Mary stumbled off to bed on Thanksgiving-eve night, Joel, Kelli, Aimee, and Erin mischievously decide to make all of Don’s Thanksgiving wishes come true and turn the Wurzberger kitchen and living room into a Winter Wonderland. After setting up the fake spruce tree, decking the halls with blinking lights galore, and posing for Christmas Card style photos with the raw and damp-from-brining turkey (Joel’s whiskey-saturated mind came up with that brilliant idea), Kelli and Aimee craft a clever plan that ices this already pungent holiday fruit cake: Bring the animatronic, illuminated deer that stand in the front yard, inside! The moving deer found a place of honor atop the kitchen island and peacefully stood, bobbing their heads up and down to the beat of Frank Sinatra’s Let It Snow!, when Don and Mary woke the following morning and ambled into the kitchen for their first cup of coffee. Hilarity.
This year, following our viewing of Harry Potter, Don and Mary’s holiday season was similarly greeted. After months of careful planning, we successfully planted an animatronic, illuminated polar bear on the kitchen island. Hilarity.
It should also be noted that we celebrated Thanksgiving with a new member of the Wurzberger clan this year, Aimee’s sister Kelli’s fiancé Charles, who had a hand in helping the polar bear gag come to its hilarious fruition. On first meeting him, Charles may well be the perfect man: funny, tall, and exceedingly kind. We are very happy for Kelli, and look forward to celebrating their union next year.
To adequately prepare for upcoming exams, we drove home to South Dakota on Saturday morning to the rhythm of Minnesota state highways and questions from Pathology: Did You Know Disease Would Be This Much Fun? For example,
A 6-year-old child puts the contents of a bag of peanuts in his mouth and then takes a deep breath with the idea of blowing the peanuts out all over his sister. However, he aspirates a peanut during this maneuver. One day later, he has slight difficulty breathing. What gives, man?
(A) Smoking-induced emphysema
(C) He's got a peanut lodged in his bronchus
(D) Occasional difficulty breathing is to be expected in a boy of this age
We’ve arrived home safely and are all nestled in for a long, snowy, windy week of winter weather …