Now I guess I'm going to get all corny on you and make this note about gratitude to fit this week of Thanksgiving! In fact, this edition is all about people, places, and things for which I am immensely thankful. Let me tell you about the photos above. My brother, Ernest, and his wife, Mary, who are new empty-nesters, came to town a few weeks ago and rented an AirBnB and just "lived in Dallas" with us for 9 glorious days. During the day, we all pretty much worked as usual, but at night we would cook dinner or pick up take-out and just hang out. It was such a special time because there was no holiday going on and no reason to stress out about anything. We took some walks; they taught us pickleball (which is very fun, by the way). Maybe the most fun thing we did was re-create a photo from Easter 1976 on our childhood street (Lorraine Ave).Ernest agreed to my idea for the photo, and then we did our best to find outfits that would match the originals. We went and positioned ourselves over on Lorraine, and Mary worked hard to capture our pose from 45 years ago. Well, the trees were a lot bigger, and my hair color has been "adjusted" somewhat since 1976. But re-creating that picture led me to reflect on how fortunate I am to have grown up with such a wonderful brother; and that, in there here-and-now, Chris and I are so lucky to have Ernest and Mary as an important part of our lives. Here's to the family and friends who make this life worth living!
Featured Local Treasure: White Rock Lake
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I LOOPED THIS LAKE?? Literally hundreds! Dallas, so bereft of water (don't talk to me about the Trinity!), is fortunate to have this beautiful lake. Runners, walkers, bird-watchers, rowers, bikers: they all love this lake. Construction began on the lake in 1910, and work continued for the next few decades to create shorelines and recreational spaces. Initially, the lake was a popular swimming spot, but later, when the lake was needed as Dallas' water supply, swimming was banned (it hasn't been our water supply for a long time now, but there's still no swimming. I don't know why). An interesting fact about White Rock is that German war prisoners were housed there in the old barracks of the Civilian Conservation Corps at the end of WW 2. This has always struck me as an odd choice. On the one hand, this picturesque location seems too pleasant for such a use. On the other, those of us who spend a lot of time at the lake know very well how darn humid and miserable it is on hot days. So I guess the prisoners had good views but occasionally harsh conditions?
Another thing to know about White Rock is the lore of "the Lady of the Lake." Long before I ever recall going to White Rock, I recall my mother telling us stories about the distressed young woman who would hitch a ride from White Rock, wearing a soaking wet ballgown, only to disappear from the backseat, leaving only traces of dampness where she had been sitting. Today, White Rock is a great place for marathon training, and of course the gorgeous Dallas Arboretum is situated on the eastern shore of the lake. My favorite view from the lake is near Winfrey Point--not far from the Arboretum--because you get lake views, with downtown Dallas as the backdrop. To run there, before the sun comes up, and see the lights of downtown across the water--well, it's really pretty is all I can say. Cheers for White Rock Lake!!
Stuff I Adore, Thanksgiving-themed
--Cranberry sauce out of a can. That's right! I'm talking the jellied Ocean Spray version where you can still see the ridges of the can in the cranberry sauce. Now, I know that this is a polarizing preference. A lot of people like to make fancy "craft" cranberry sauce with actual cranberries and all kinds of organic ingredients. Horrors! Just give me my Ocean Spray, and I'm happy! --The Turkey Trot. How can we have Thanksgiving without the Trot? Yes, it's another casualty of Covid, and I know it's the right thing to do. After all, most years the Trot brings together 35,000 or so people (yes, that is correct) to run or walk through the streets of downtown. I absolutely love it--there's just something incredible to starting your Thanksgiving holiday with thousands of other happy people, out to get some exercise before the big meal. We have so many memories there, from drinks with friends in the cemetery after the race to that year that my littlest niece, Jane, at the age of 7 or 8, managed to beat Danny's college friend, Joseph, in the 3-mile race. My friend Emily is hosting a Turkey Trot from her house, and we are super-excited to do that. But here's hoping that next year, the Trot can return.
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