Here is a personal shout-out to my father and my father-in-law, both of whom our veterans and both of whom are thankfully still with us. Here in Saint Louis the usual Veterans Day festivities are a bit muted this year. Because of Covid, instead of the big annual downtown parade all celebrations are now virtual. Looking forward to the next holiday, we have begun planning our Thanksgiving dinner. Anne remembered an ancient newspaper article, like from 1995. After some searching, she located the rather yellowed newsprint. Hey, she has recipes that are even older than that. Recipes that date back to her college days. This article features a festive feast for two. Perfect! There are only two dishes, two-for-two, a baked onion relish and a smoked turkey, cranberry and barley salad. We’ll likely use these recipes only as a starting point, as something to riff from, but they look like a good start. Plus, we’ll add dessert, a pie, probably pumpkin. We already have the baking pumpkin leftover from Halloween.
The good news about the vaccine this week, has led me to think thoughts about next year. Happy thoughts! In particular thoughts about resuming traveling again next year. We already have Dave and Maren’s wedding in October on the calendar and I’m sure that next summer will see us again going to the cabin. Hopefully, with more people to see there than this last summer. I think that a trip to Europe or really any air travel might be an air-bridge too far at this point, but that still leaves plenty of other possibilities. With the coming of a new vaccine, maybe New York and the New England states will become more welcoming towards us Covid infested Midwesterners? Most of all, I would like to visit California and see my father again. We could revisit out planned itinerary from last summer and do a western road trip out there. I would really like that.
The national news has been reporting on the fire situation in California, which prompted me to call my father. I was primarily concerned about how all of the smoke from the fires might be affecting air quality for him. I tried reaching him twice and on the second call, he answered the phone rather breathlessly. This morning the fire evacuation zone that he lives in was given a warning, meaning get ready to evacuate. Also, the zone adjacent to his was issued a mandatory evacuation order earlier this morning. There are three active fires in Monterey. The one that is most threatening to him is called the River Fire. I didn’t speak with him long, because he had been busy packing valuables in the car. He lives atop a ridgeline that separates Monterey from Carmel Valley. The danger from the River Fire is that it could run west along that ridge. Looking on the map, the fire looks to be about five miles away, but the closest mandatory evacuation zone is only about a mile away. The road to his house began as unpaved jeep trails. There is only one way in or out. Hence, the evacuation orders. I pray that he does not need to be evacuated and even if he does that his house is not lost.
My brother Chis lives with Dad and is also heeding the warning. He has some fire retardants that can be spread around the house before they leave, in the event of an evacuation order. They have always been diligent about keeping the chaparral well away from the house, but you never know with that stuff. It is hot and smoky there. They’ve been advised not to go outside, but if an order is given they then can’t stay inside either.