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What’s top of my mind: Thanksgiving. It isn’t a question of what to do about it, but is there to be one. Someone has been strangely silent on the subject. I have an intuition neither one of us wants to cook – it is a lot of work for two people! – and we are both waiting for the other to confess they don’t want to make it so the other can agree. It may be conversation is merely delayed and not yet discussed: we are both busy being back at work and we haven’t had time to consider it. Still, we should make a decision soon as I imagine the shopping for such will be difficult. Do you ever not do Thanksgiving?

Where I’ve been: Nowhere. After a week away from home, I am at home and at the office. I have no other plans.

Where I’m going: Back to the gym. After a few weeks off, it is back to my exercise routine. I’m one of those unfortunates who misses only a few days of exercise and it seems to make everything go back to ‘Day 1″ as it were. I cannot just pick up where I left off, worse luck. It feels like I am forever restarting a regimen.

What I’m watching: A virtual fire. Oh! How I miss having a proper fireplace, especially time of the year! There are virtual fires on The Tube of Yous, and some of them go on for hours. How nice! I often have one on in the office in the background as I am writing or dictating notes. It gives me comfort to hear and see the crackling wood. Do you have a fireplace? Do you use it often?

What I’m reading: One last waltz. I’ve enjoyed Mr. Mordden’s short story collections, so I thought it might be fun to read one of his novels. The story is about three Irish brothers, whose stories parallels the legend of The King at Tara who had three sons: the warrior, the mason, and the poet. So far it’s a good read. I am not familiar with Irish family dynamics, so I don’t know how accurate are some of (awful) things Irish fathers to do their sons or what Irish brothers do to each other. Some of the dynamics are downright nasty. I want to keep reading and find out how it ends. That’s a good sign of a good book.

What I’m listening to: Our Fake History Podcast. This historian from Toronto does a sensational job debunking historical legends. The latest episode was on Eleanor of Aquitaine. She wasn’t the floozy sometimes portrayed in history. She is often seen as a licentious and dissolute, all based on hearsay. In contrast, her husband Henry II was brazenly unfaithful with many bastard children, yet history merely shrugs at his shenanigans. Double standards – again.

What I’m eating: Not much. I am trying to eat better for health’s sake and for the sake of my next blood work. Sooner I’d eat rats at Tewkesbury than go on medication for diabetes. The sad part of this is food isn’t seen now as a pleasure, but a hazard, with concerns of calories and harm. A source of pleasure has transformed into a careful chore.

Who needs a good slap: Father. All Spos have ship clocks with brassy sonorous chimes that announce the hours and half hours. These ancient timepieces often go bust, and getting them repaired or replaced is expensive and tedious. Father’s ship clock has been inoperable for some time, so my brothers and I decided to get him a new one as a Christmas prize. Then Brother #4 found one online. Apparently this is all Father talks about now, sometimes in an excited way, but mostly fretting about price and delivery. This is driving his kids to distraction, especially Brother #3 who lives with him. In the texts of the siblings, B#3 says unless this clock arrives pronto, he is going to turn to drink or murder, he hasn’t decided which. Poor papa. In his defense, he doesn’t have much else to think about.

I give Father one slap ( on a 1-5 scale).

What I’m planning: A Christmas shirt. I need another Spo-shirt like a trephination but the one holiday shirt I have kept is getting a bit ‘old’. I don’t want to have Santa see me in last year’s ensemble! A few months ago I bought three yards of fabric with a pattern suitable for hohoho-ing. I don’t remember what is the pattern. Actually I don’t remember where I stashed the fabric, so the first step is locating the thing. If I start this now, I may have it finished in time to prevent The Yule Cat from eating me on Christmas Eve.

What’s making me smile: Why is this always the most difficult W to wonder about? When I think hard, I recall Harper is what’s making me smile. She came home from her week-long visit at PetSmart and ran straight to the backyard, then back inside where she ran about the house before leaping up onto the bed and ‘doing the doggie dance’, which consists of rolling about on her back, flipping about like a fish out of water. She is a happy Harper to be home. It makes me smile to see her so.

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November 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018