Billy C and I are both trying to watch our blood pressure and, therefore, are trying to watch our salt intake. So I can speak for both of us when I say we approached last night's Thanksgiving Banquet at the Tower (the assisted living facility where she now lives)with trepidation. At the tower, the spice des jour is salt--I guess in part because the "chef" has never heard of lemon grass or saffron.
All of the westside version of Mama C's family was there: Billy C, Vivage, Emily C, Blowhard C, his girlfriend, Princess C, and myself. We repasted on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and this stuff the color of mashed sweet potatoes but of baby food consistency--all smothered in gravy. And of course, well-salted.
For Billy C and I, it was kind of a kamikaze banquet. We dined out of loyalty to Mama C, but knew it couldn't be very good for us.
Most of the young people barely touched their food, except for the pie, which also tasted a little salty to me.
As we dined, the music of the Janet Goeske Singers wafted around the room. Janet Goeske used to be a local activist for the aged. They sang a mixture of holiday and show tunes. During a rendition of "The Impossible Dream," the held up posters of scenes from the fighting in Iraq. Fortunately, they weren't too graphic--although there was one that showed to soldiers under fire--one hunkered down behind a sand dune and one who looked like he may have been hit. They followed this song with "Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me."
Oh, and Dickey De Loss, another local treasure known as a tap-dancing realtor, tap danced. She doesn't walk very well anymore, so she tapped from her chair.
You gotta admire that, in a way.
I suggested to Billy C that we volunteer the Canaries for the Christmas banquet. We could certainly entertain these folks as well as the Goeske Singers. And it would give Mama C a chance to show us off.
I have started writing our own version of "Impossible Dream":
To impeach the impossible dunce,
To indict his Vice President too...
That's as far as I've gotten.
WE sat very close to the entertainment, but next time, we need to make sure that Mama C sits facing it. She kept looking around to see the show, which made it impossible for her to eat. I also noticed that she had trouble with the turkey. I asked if she wanted it cut. She said yes and I cut it up into bite-sized pieces--with mixed feelings because I'm not always sure whether I should make her do things like this for herself, since any task she performs herself may help her retain motor skills, or just do them for her, because it helps her eat in public without being self-consciousness.
We stayed in the lobby as Blowhard C and his girlfriend took off to a friend's house with one of my ukuleles, Emily C left to go pack for a flight back home to spend her holiday with her parents Pamela and David C and the twins Laura and Boogie C, and Princess C disappeared to Mama C's pad to watch her fave TV show.
The elder C's all stayed in the lobby for awhile and visited for about an hour.
It was about 8:30 when we strolled out to our cars. Billy C, Princess C, and I stopped and chatted briefly, when Princess shouted "Oh my God! Look at that!"
I turned and there, amid the shadows and the rose bushes, crouched the biggest possum I have ever seen. It was as big as a mid-sized dog. It stood there frozen. Billy suggested that I rush it to see if it would play possum.
I do not fear possums, but I respect any animal that looks like it could do harm if it decided to act against type upon my person.
It did run away as I took steps to my car.