November 24, 2016
Two nights ago a man knocked on BOB's cabin door. The dogs became riotous. The man and his family are parked two sites to my right. The man asked if I would move my rental car to the front of BOB because his buddy would be arriving around midnight in a fifth wheel, and getting it into the space next to me would be tight. "Sure," I said. The man then thanked me profusely for his small request.
In the morning, there was no fifth wheel between us. I saw the man, and I asked him if his buddy is OK. He said, "Yeah, he's across from me. This site between us is only 30 amps and he needs 50." The man’s wife smokes like she's on fire. The man’s teenage daughter sits by the fire pit they brought, and fiddles with her smartphone. The man has two table-top grills, and this morning he unpacked a new, huge electric roasting pan. The turkey has been cooking in it for six hours. The man and his buddy have been have been watching the NFL since noon. The daughter and I exchanged greetings two nights ago when I parked the rental car behind BOB. The wife can't talk because she's always inhaling carcinogens.
I speculated that the park's transients would be the relatives and other Thanksgiving guests of people who live nearby. However, the man and his buddy are here to have Thanksgiving here with each other. I don't know where either family lives, or what it means for them to convene here, but I like the idea of it: "Hey, let's meet near Charleston for Thanksgiving. We can drink, cook, drink, watch football, drink, and never leave the park (until we’re finished drinking and it’s time to go home)."
This is only the second of the 38 RV parks in which I’ve stayed that has enough trees for me to rig my ENOS hammock. Unfortunately, the trees on my site are too far apart, but there is space across from me which had trees that are closer together.
I spent an hour in the hammock reading Alexander Hamilton. I am amazed by how readable Hamilton's 18th Century language is. I read Dracula before going to Romania in 2012, and I found Stoker’s 19th Century style of writing to be challenging vis-à-vis sentence structure, grammar and vocabulary. Hamilton's direct, efficient, effusive letters are not only familiar to me in element and style nearly 250 years later, they could also serve as a terrific prep for the SATs. Maybe I'll retake them.
It was 75 degrees here today. I still have the windows open. I'm roasting and acorn squash which I'll eat with cauliflower, peas, and a pork tenderloin stuffed with prunes, and cooked in a Madeira, molasses, butter, garlic and thyme sauce. I do not really enjoy the traditional roast turkey dinner: it's too much preparation and too many dishes which produce too much food for too few people. Besides, turkey sucks.
My great aunt Elizabeth (Aunt Bic) holds the record for the most desiccated Thanksgiving turkey I have ever eaten: put some bones in a six-pack of Charmin at 350 degrees, and you will replicate her result. The family joked that she put it in the oven on Tuesday – 48 hours before she served it.
Aunt Bic was one of those women who always had dinner in the oven while she was serving you lunch. Her husband, Uncle Charles, liked to eat as soon as he arrived home from work, and I guess he liked his food well-done. I have no recollection of what Aunt Bic made for lunch, but it didn't matter: she was charming, smoked between courses, always had her "shows" on the television, and she would wink at me when my grandmother wasn’t looking. Once, when I was sixteen, she, my grandmother and I went out to lunch in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. The waitress asked me what I wanted to drink, so I ordered a beer. My grandmother hissed like a steam engine, and Aunt Bic told her to "relax" and let me have a beer. Gram never relaxed whereas Aunt Bic was chill: neither, however, was destined to win the James Beard Award.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.