Sunday, December 02, 2007

Thanksgiving Lunch: Dancing and Feasting

As in the past year, we were invited to a Thanksgiving lunch at Ling and Bill's, practically a stone's throw away from where we are, by driving of course. Wify prepared a couple of vegetarian dishes, and our family of four descended into the neighborhood of RiverHills in the crisp afternoon of Nov 23.

Our host's abode is at a corner lot, surrounded by plenty of green. We especially admire the luxuriant growth of bamboo, one species of which is Buddha's Belly, according to Bill. I guess it has to do with the rotund segments, though I must admit the difference escapes my novice eyes.

On arrival, we were greeted by the host, and met up with the family of Luh and Ning, which met last year under similar circumstances. Hong's was also a party of four, but spreading over three generations represented by Mrs. Chen (Ning's mother) and their daughter, Shan.

The lady guests, camaraderie in display.

The male version, individuality at show.

After a year's of not seeing each other, wify and Mrs. Chen, a vivacious lady despite her age, soon engaged in animated conversation that evolved into waltz, arms in embrace. Apparently, dancing is another forte of Mrs. Chen, mastered to complement her role as an erstwhile Russian interpreter, in addition to fluency in the Russian language.

The ladies of our house, the familial bond evident.

Wify loves dancing, and had performed at the elementary school level. But both work and the fact that yours truly is not exactly foot loose put paid to her dancing aspirations. When we were at South Tampa, she did attend a Scandinavian dance class at a local community hall and her fleet-footedness did not escape the trained eyes of the instructor. But she backed up after just one lesson when she could not find a dancing partner as instructed when the only one she is comfortable with happened to be not available by default, and that's me. Of course my eastern sensitivity also came into play for neither wify nor me could expect how I would react if wify were to dance with another man, even socially. And we are glad that we did not have to find out as life is much much more than dancing.

However, wify's other hobby, of drawing and painting, did find its own avenue of expression, not the least of which is the good fortune of knowing her good Arts teacher, Mrs. Fan. Not too shabby of getting one out of two.

Back to the lunch. We met another family from China when they arrived later. After some mutual introductions, we soon settled into enjoying the Turkey feast prepared by our gracious host. While we focused only on the vegetarian dishes then since the observance of the 49-day abstinence from meat in memoriam of the recent passing of my late father-in-law would only end at the end of the week, our host packed us some juicy Turkey cuts to be taken home and savored after the end of the observance.

The feast with the Turkey as the centerpiece.

At the end of the sumptuous lunch, we had to bid a premature retreat to attend to some matters when the party decided to adjoin to the nearby river walks along the Hillsborough River for a scenic promenade. But knowing how marvelous a time we have had the last time around, we are sure the party would have a wonderful outing, even under the threat of an overcast sky.

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