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Essex 12-4-2010

We kicked off our Thanksgiving Day with a hike up South Bouquet Mountain, starting from a trail head on Brookfield Road. The path follows a skidder road for a bit, then goes through a forest of saplings to deliver you to a rock outcropping with a splendid view of the fields around Whallonsburg, the hills in Westport and the lake and mountains of Vermont. The path itself is in excellent condition, thanks to a crew of hard-working volunteer trail builders. By most standards, this hike would be rated as "easy," but the rewarding views and exercise in the wintry air were good preparation for a quiet turkey dinner. Neither Amy nor I have any family within several hundred miles, but we are lucky to have a large group of good friends here to share the holidays with.

Ginny had a houseguest this past week, a Samoyed named Bailey, who wastes no time when let out of doors to do her business. When Ginny goes out, she takes a leisurely stroll around Amy's flower bed, sniffs the air for a while, and then carefully selects the perfect spot, while I wait and encourage her to hurry up. Bailey, on the other hand, marches out to the edge of the lawn, does her thing and is right back at the door. Ginny, jealous of the praise Bailey received, imitated this efficient behavior but, now that Bailey is back home, has returned to her slow, meditative, freezing cold ways.

Don't forget the Christmas hoopla in Essex this weekend, especially the breakfast at the firehouse with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. They're coming to town on the ferry, which reminds me of a Christmas we had in the Caribbean when Santa arrived in a speed boat, towing a rather young and bikini-clad Mrs. Claus on waterskis. They circled around once, then came ashore with enough rum punch for the crowd, leaving at least one visitor from the north to consider permanently relocating.

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