Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey and Ketchup

So hopefully you all enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast as good as what we had yesterday. You wouldn't suppose that a bachelor pad like ours would put on a such a good Thanksgiving spread. Some folks assume a house full of bachelors doesn't even have Thanksgiving dinner but of course we do, and we do it up well. The trick is to have many pitch in and make what they are good at, and have guests that can make dessert. This year I decided to call up Mom and get a couple recipes from her to help our feast seem more like what I remember from back home. The corn hot dish was great, and my first crack at making real homemade gravy was a big hit. Add to that a carefully made 20 lb turkey with bratwurst stuffing, persimmon pudding, pumpkin desserts, green beans, garlic bread, locally grown mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce, and it all adds up, we ate like kings. No ketchup on the turkey of course. That's for the after dinner conversation, catching up....

I came in from Newtok with a sore back, empty camera and heavy heart. Sore back just from sleeping on an air mattress for weeks. Empty camera, much to my dismay, because I thought I'd forgotten it at home. Here it turns out I put it in the pocket of a pair of blue jeans I never got around to wearing. So there were lots of pics I would have liked to take but it didn't work out. Too bad because I could have shown the difference 2 years worth of erosion makes from last time I was out there. Walking out to The Point is a lot shorter of a hike these days. And there would have been what I think is a hilarious photo session in the school kitchen, but once again, you can't take pictures with a camera you don't know you have.

The heavy heart came from a total disaster there where a man and his two sons lost their lives when their machine went through the ice near the village. Although I didn't know the man, and the little boys I'd only met in the halls, nobody with an ounce of humanity in their heart wouldn't have felt anguish at the thought of what had occurred. I don't know how else to put it other than it was a sad, sad deal.

Back in Bethel it seemed winter had officially arrived, and I got the Ski Doo ready to ride. I got to take it to work 3 times before the weather got warm and it started to rain, wrecking all the snow and turning the close-to-being-safe Kuskokwim into more of a pre-breakup state. The hoped-for Thanksgiving caribou hunt wasn't to be, and as such, I see no opportunities on the near horizon. I don't mind winter weather, but I'd like for it to make up its mind and simply be winter, freeze up solid and let the fun begin.

From here, the next step is to make it to Chefornak this Sunday. It proved a challenge this past mini-week which is why I'm still here. With luck I'll get out Sunday, work classes in high-gear, and make it back to Bethel in time to catch my jet home. It won't be long at all now before I get to share big hugs with dear family and friends. If you're among those I'll be seeing soon, then I'm looking forward to it more than you know. I'll try to have another ketchup from Chefornak before heading back to Wisconsin. Hopefully with pics next time.

Take care, be safe, and as always....Go Badgers.