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Friday, November 29, 2013

The Joys and Eyebrow Raisers of a Hospitable Septuagenarian

What a Thanksgiving week it has been, so far!
Roxana, Natalie, Titiana, Iulia, and Shirl.

Early in the week I went shopping for a big turkey and some goes-with-its, in anticipation of our annual Thanksgiving gathering.  This year we had invited back Alex Mican and Titiana Morariu, plus Titiana's Colombian roommate, Natalie, who shares an apartment in Revere, Massachusetts, just a bit north of Boston.

Hence, I straightened up the two guest rooms on the second floor (etaj unu) at Hotel New Hampshire, putting clean sheets on both their queen-sized beds, vacuuming, setting window shades, etc.  I can be quite the innkeeper for such occasions!  Shirl, my beloved wife, tolerates my congenital hospitality, but rarely sees it as her job to help with the physical preparations.  (Shirl does her part in the kitchen, by keeping us all laughing.)

On Wednesday, I drove to Revere and met the young ladies at their brand new apartment complex.  I was a bit early, and I had forgotten to bring my cell phone, but fortunately, I remembered their address and room number, so I was waiting in the hall for them to get home from their office in Boston (both work at the same company).  As I waited, I met six or seven dogs.  It seems that this building is known as "The Dog House," the only one in the complex that allows pets.  And at about 4:30 on the day before Thanksgiving, everyone was arriving home from work, and taking his or her dog out for a "walk."  Fortunately, I love dogs, so was not intimidated, and fortunately, none of the dogs saw this stranger as a threat to home and family, so none raised a ruckus over my being there.

After about a half-hour's wait, Titiana and Natty arrived, and shortly we were headed north, singing Christmas carols as we rode.  It turned out that Natty is the daughter of a choir director in Cartagena, and that she has a beautiful clear voice, perfect pitch, and knows many traditional carols in English!

On the way home, we stopped in Saugus at Kowloon Restaurant and ate, bringing home at about 7:30, some Chinese food for Shirl, Alex McD. and Dani Rusu.  As it turned out, Dani was the only one interested in it, though there ensued a party in the kitchen once Alex Mican, Septi and his friend Iulia arrived.  It was quite a raucous event, with decorum thrown to the winds, and bawdy stories told in two languages.  Dare I admit that a bit of beer flowed, as well?

Then, about 10:30, the young folks all took off for Waterville Valley, and the Silver Fox Inn, which Alex Mican helps to manage, and where we had planned to have our Thanksgiving Dinner.

The next morning, Dani dropped Titiana and Natty off, then headed out to go shopping.  The girls reported that they had not slept.  Somehow, they managed to stay up and keep me company and I made a bread stuffing, and prepared to roast our turkey for that evening's meal.  Then, we watched a movie and a half, as the wonderful aroma of roasting turkey slowly spread through all of HNH.  Natty, not surprisingly, fell asleep in from of the TV, and missed the second film.  But Titiana stuck it out.
Dani, Iulia, Alex McD., Alex Mican, Roxana (standing), Titiana and Natalie
Then, last night, we had our feast.  It was great!  Among the biggest hits was the mincemeat pie that Titiana had prepared that afternoon.

Of course, on the ride home from the valley, my Santa Fe carried only the three McDougalls.  The Romanians and the Colombiana all stayed to continue their party for a second night.

What do young people do at such parties?  Hmmm?

And, please remind me why I made beds for our guests?

One eyebrow rises as I ask myself that!
Aw, shucks!  Dani just came into the kitchen!  He tells me he brought two pretty, but tired young ladies home at about 1:00 A.M.  That changes the story!  (I am sure glad that I made those beds!)

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