Monday, November 27, 2006

Post Thanksgiving

Man, aren’t holidays the best. Hangin’ out with family. Eating. Laughing. Eating. Resting. Eating. Not blogging. Eating.

I typed the last word of Crimson Eve at 11:30 Wednesday night. I was determined to finish before Thanksgiving so I could take the whole weekend off and just be with family—and dadgum, I did. Even if the thing did turn out 10,000 words longer than I expected. I think I wrote and edited about fifty pages those last three days. Wednesday I started around 6:30 a.m. and went until 11:30 p.m.

On Saturday I indulged in a one-hour deep tissue massage on my neck, arms and upper back at a local Coeur d’Alene spa. “Yup,” the masseuse said, “you’re tight all right.” No kidding. My neck felt like iron.

Today I am reading through the manuscript for a final time. It’s all really been edited, so this is the read-through to get the flow of the thing. Then off to the editor it goes. I’ll receive the editorial letter in about a month. Then the fun begins in easing out all the kinks in the story. The books are always so much better after rewrite. I’ve had a chance to get away from the manuscript, so I can see flaws in it by then. And the editor’s insights are invaluable.

So—the weekend. Friday night after Thanksgiving is my favorite night in Coeur d’Alene. It’s the annual holiday parade and light show. First a parade down Sherman Street, with entrants all decked out in Christmas lights. Where else are ya gonna see a lovely cart pulled by llamas with blankets covered in white Christmas lights on their backs? The Red Hot Mamas are doing their dance routine, much like the Fourth of July, but they’re wearing their holiday finery. Floats in lights, cars in lights, back-roading Jeeps in lights. Hey, it’s a cool parade. You just have to dress warmly.

Then it’s across the street to the huge front lawn of the Coeur d’Alene Resort for my favorite part—the holiday light show. The owners of the Resort have been sponsoring this show since 1996. Every year it gets a little bigger. First the crowd (and I do mean crowd—the town turns out) lights candles and listens to Christmas carols, ending in Silent Night. (Isn’t it nice with a town event includes actual Christmas carols.) Then the countdown from 10. When the crowd cries one, Christmas music with a beat blasts out of huge speakers, and fireworks burst into the air.

The fireworks are set off from barges just off the beach and behind the Hagadone building (corporate offices for owners of the resort). I love those fireworks and the music. I clap my hands and dance around and have a terrific time. Embarrass my teenage daughter no end. (You’d think she’d be used to me by now.) When the firework show is over, the 1.5 million lights of the Resort blink on for the first time. Lights on the trees, on the buildings. Scenic displays of lights strung down the lake, with large boats to take folks on cruises to view the displays. This year’s addition was a larger Christmas tree on top of the Hagadone building. Actually, let’s make that the
largest living Christmas tree in the world—161 feet, with a 10-foot star on top. Yeehaw.

I’m always saddened when I walk away from that show. Thinking, “Drat. Three hundred sixty-five days before it comes ’round again.” We were right down front, as close to the fireworks as possible. It was great to turn around and see the huge crowd—all ages. It’s a wonderful holiday tradition for Coeur d’Alene.

Tomorrow—I suppose it's back to posts about writing. Sigh. Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about the Event-to-Remember of your holiday. Pet chihuahua fell into the soup, Mom burned the biscuits, the turkey up and flew away--lay it on me.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a blast, Brandilyn. My favorite (NOT) holiday memory was when I not only spent Christmas in the hospital with an emergency appendectomy, but my 21st birthday too! (I'm a lucky Christmas baby- 12/28...blah.) Yup, we drove all the way (1,300 miles) to Texas so I could have surgery instead of visiting with Grandma, Grandpa and cousins...whoopee...

Anonymous said...

Our Purple Heart son came home from Fort Benning for the weekend. His unit is getting ready to re-deploy to Iraq. Our main point of thanksgiving was the fact that he cannot be deployed again because of his broken back. But here is the best news: The burst fracture in his back - you know, all those little bone fragments of the disintegrated vertebra that were scattered everywhere in the surrounding tissue, threatening to paralyze him if he made one wrong move? - those fragments are moving back into place to form a new vertebra. All this as a result of one of our worship team members "ordering" a new vertebra from Heaven for him! What a Thanksgiving! And of course, it was topped off by my finishing "Web of Lies" - now on to the Kanner Lake series! Viva Brandilyn!

Kristy Dykes said...

Okay, you asked.

On Thanksgiving day, we were with family, eating a fabulous feast, then sitting around talking and catching up with each others' lives, and the afternoon whiled away pleasantly, some continuing to talk, others going to the nearby country club to play some tennis for a short stint, the children jumping on the trampoline or riding Nelly, the pretty blond Shetland pony, still others taking walks and watching the beautiful horses strutting up the lane--we were in Florida's horse country, and there's nothing like sitting in your yard (my sister-in-law's) and seeing grand carriages of yesteryear pulled by magnificent horseflesh--from the nearby carriage museum. Last year, one of the brothers-in-law had his flying machine and flew high above the treetops. We make quite a unique bunch.

Late in the afternoon, Milton popped in our Masterpiece Theatre DVD of Pollyanna. His sisters sprawled in front of the TV with him watching it, and everybody else in the huge great room did too. Pollyanna is a good movie to watch on Thanksgiving. This version is nearly as good as Anne of Green Gables (though not as long), and the theme is being thankful--"glad," Pollyanna called it. Pollyanna's father was a mission pastor, and he'd requested a doll for Pollyanna in the mission barrel. Instead of a doll, the ladies' aid society sent a pair of crutches. She was disappointed, and he taught her a valuable lesson about being thankful (glad) in the bad or unpleasant times of our lives. "What's there to be glad about getting a pair of crutches?" she asked. He thought a moment and said, "Well, at least you don't have to USE them." She transformed a whole town with her glad game, even the preacher when he was upset at the ladies for wanting to have Sunday school on Tuesday. He was tempted to preach a vindictive sermon, and Pollyanna "preached" at him instead. She told him the words "Rejoice and be glad" were in the Bible 800 times, and if God said them that many times, then we should be glad in all things.

It's funny about my husband watching Pollyanna. He's become a romantic soul at last. He actually enjoys watching chick flicks with me. He occasionally rents or checks out from the library light love stories for us to watch together such as Pride and Prejudice, etc. He selects them--him, this football fanatic! And every time Ever After comes on TV, he watches it all the way through. Jennifer, our daughter, chuckled about that the other day when I was in Puerto Rico with her--how many times Milton's seen Ever After.


Domino said...

This year was my brother's first year to "enjoy" Thanksgiving as a divorced parent. So I played soccer with him. Just the two of us. I'm a terrible soccer player. I laughed so hard I couldn't finish the game.

Later, I played soccer with all of my mom's grandkids under the age of ten, along with my brother and my husband. I accidently ran into or knocked down half the kids. They were fine - all of them. I, on the other hand, got the ribbing of my life.

So, I went inside and ate some of my mom's homemade pumpkin pie, my mom's homemade pecan pie, my husband's homemade cherry cheesecake, and my husband's homemade cranberry marshmallow salad. I started to feel better after that.

Susanne said...

Our Thanksgiving is in October so I had a run of the mill, everyday weekend. Exciting, eh?

Your celebration sounds beautiful!

karen eve said...

We had a small Thanksgiving this year, only about 8 of us. The big AHA moment came for my son-in-law's brother when he finally tried the fresh cranberries. He found out that they were really good and they don't need to come from a can!!! And we thought it was tough to get the children to try new foods.

Janet Rubin said...

Congrats on finishing Crimson Eve!

eileen said...

Thanksgiving with a 4yo grandson. We went out to eat at a delightful inn with my daughter's in-laws (as this Nana wasn't cooking this year) and Trevor was introduced to several friends who came by the table. After a lull, he asked me why all the other people weren't coming to meet him. I wondered the very same thing! He WAS the best thing about my day!