Me and Joyce were invited to Adam and Allan’s for Thanksgiving again. This year the food was a lot more normal than it was last year, and I think I wasn’t the only one who appreciated that. The guests were more normal too. Adam’s sister Leslie and her family came, but they were totally different from what they were now that they’ve caught Leslie at her Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy. She spent 6 months under house arrest for that, and still has to be accompanied by a nurse when she’s with her little boy (Ethan, 7, who’s not so little anymore lol.)
It was right after Adam brought out the awesome bacon wrapped turkey that we found out what was on the big plate Belen had brought with her: tamales. She and her family had been up half the night making them for their own Thanksgiving. I reckon it sucked for Belen to be apart from her family, but I think we all made her feel comfortable. Carlos and Esteban even talked to her in Spanish some, although she had no problems with English. And the tamales sure went over well: she brought a whole pile of them, and there wasn’t one left afterwards. But there wasn’t a whole lot left of much of anything…and that wasn’t all just because Ethan was eating like a vacuum cleaner lol.
I’ve only had tamales a couple times, so I don’t have too much to compare the ones made by Belen’s family to, but I can say that these were dang good. Joyce pointed out on the way home that it’s always risky having other people bring food to a dinner party – the other people’s food can be better than the stuff you make, but, this year, Adam and Allan were on point with just about everything, so the tamales were just one more good thing they had on the table.
Dessert was pie, of course, and Allan had been busy again. Like last year, he made a sweet potato pie with me in mind, but this time he didn’t make a big deal out of it. He just asked whether it tasted anything like Meemaw’s (it did…kinda) and left it at that. There was also a pumpkin pie for Yankees like Joyce, as well as apple, which, if you ask me, is the best pie there is…at least when peaches aren’t in season.
It was a way better dinner than last year, and I think we all got up way fuller and happier than we had the year before too. (We all know Ethan was way fuller, or is that not a funny joke? They didn’t let him have any pumpkin pie because they were only letting him have one new food at a time, but, since they introduced him to candied yams with his turkey, he got to have a slice of the sweet potato pie. Thom and Ethan had a little bit of an argument about whether he could have another “teeny weeny” little extra slice, and, surprisingly, Leslie intervened and said he could.
Thom, Leslie and Ethan didn’t stick around too long over coffee after dinner. Ethan gave me a big hug (I don’t mind it when kids that age hug me) when they left, and I said something kinda lameass about seeing him at the turkey bowl next year.
That left Cody, his two moms, Carlos and Esteban. Carlos said he wanted to get me on his show, not that LA is so high on baseball this offseason.
That got Cody to go into a long speech about what the Dodgers had done wrong to get knocked out of the playoffs. He’s a young kid, remember, so he doesn’t have a whole lot of allegiance to Kershaw, and it’s Kershaw he blames for ending the season, both because he pitched badly and because he ruined the team’s morale after. Cody was harder on Kershaw than even I am on Dave Roberts, and there was no explaining to him that Kershaw deserved some respect for being probably the greatest pitcher of his generation.
“That was the last generation,” Cody said. “You don’t win the World Series with players whose careers are nearly over.”
I’ll admit, I thought it was kinda cute, seeing a kid be that passionate about baseball. Cody wasn’t only obsessed with baseball, though: he and Ethan talked some about football. They’re both Cowboys fans and were feeling the team’s loss. When they were going at it, I thought that Keaton maybe should have come: he’d have fit in great with the two junior Cowboys fans lol.
Down on their end of the table Joyce had told Daphne that I get paid for baseball lessons, so Daphne made me an offer about working with Cody.
“I said I’d come over and play catch for fun,” I said when Daphne asked me about it. I wasn’t using Thanksgiving dinner as a means of building up my clientele lol. “We’d have played today if the weather hadn’t sucked.”
“After that?,” Daphne asked.
“After that we’ll see, I guess, ma’am,” I said. I didn’t even know what kind of a player Cody was, let alone if I could help him. It’s one thing working with a high school player: at 18, Lucas pretty much is physically grown up (although I’ll bet he grows some more.) Little league is different, and you have to be careful about things like putting too much stress on growing bodies. I don’t know anything about that. Besides, I’d promised Cody I’d come over and play with him, the way Sumter had promised he’d work with me. Keeping that promise was way more important than getting another ‘client’.
“How am I gonna be on your show if half of it is in Spanish?,” I asked Carlos a little later on.
“You’ll get along. We have special Gringo Hours.” He laughed. “Besides, picking up some Spanish might not hurt you, white boy.”
“I’ll have you know I played a whole game in Spanish. I even got a new nickname – El Cazador.”
“There. You’ve already got a story to tell my listeners,” said Carlos. “And your accent should go over great.”
“Yeah…if any of your listeners can understand him,” threw in Esteban, who’s clearly not too gay to fuck with a dude.
We all left at pretty much the same time (it was still raining), feeling like we’d had a great Thanksgiving. I wish that we’d said something about giving thanks to God for all the blessings we had, but I reckon that’s not how it’s done out here in California. Maybe this is my chance to thank Jesus for having friends with who I could have such a nice dinner, an awesome girlfriend, and that I still have a connection with baseball, even now that I’m not playing anymore.
That was rolling around in my mind as Joyce and I drove home. I felt funny about mentioning it to her, so I didn’t. We had other things to talk about.