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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo didn’t get the chance to do so in advance, but post-facto I hope all you friends of the decanter were able to get together with family and friends for Thanksgiving Day, that you stuffed yourselves silly on turkey and all the traditional fixin’s, that you avoided the malls like the plague on Black Friday, that your favorite college team won its football game, and that you are not now nor will be stuck in horrendous traffick trying to get home.

Ol’ Robbo’s Black Friday Madness

As for myself, I don’t think I’ve ever known a smoother nor a more harmonious Turkey Day.  The Port Swiller family went down to my brother’s house in North Carolina as per usual on Wednesday, only this time the Eldest Gel insisted on taking her own wheels so that she could have greater flexibility in her comings and goings.  Whelp, after initial strenuous objection on Ol’ Robbo’s part, I was eventually beaten down to grudging consent, and the Gel convoyed on down with me.  As it proved, the arrangement worked perfectly.  Eldest, Mrs. R and I stayed at a hotel, while the Younger Gels bunked in with their cousins.  The freedom of movement really paid off.

Thanksgiving Day proved its usual self, with Brother and Ol’ Robbo standing around the barbeque and fiddling with the coals to make sure the turkey was properly roasted.  This was less to ensure the quality of the bird (if you leave it in long enough, it’s pretty hard to screw up a turkey), as to have an excuse to stand around in private with an adult beverage and jaw.

Friday, the Gels were insane enough to actually go to the malls.  I was shocked, shocked to learn on their return that it had been like being caught in a school of starving piranhas.  Meanwhile, Brother and I slipped off and did about seven miles’ worth of hiking up down and around Stone Mountain State Park.  (I’m still stiff and sore.)

We hit the road early this morning, encountered minimal holiday traffic (I’d been dreading Charlottesville in particular because of the UVA/Tech game, but it turns out that was played last evening), and got home early enough that I can spend the shank of the day today (AND tomorrow!) unwinding.

As I say, good times, good times.  Nobody fought, the Gels have got very close with their cousins recently and had a blast, and we’re home safe and sound.

UPDATE:  Looking it over again, Ol’ Robbo fears that this post sounds a leetle too like one of those awful Family Nooz Letters that people put out this time of year.  “Dear [Address Field 2], the Port Swiller Family had a fabulous 2017!  Allow me to share some of our superlative moments….”   In fact, it was written in the first flush of homecoming after Mrs. R and I shared a look of dizzy incredulity that things had gone so smoothly in comparison to many a prior holiday trek, and also what Might Have Been this year.  Indeed, last Wednesday morning, prior to our setting out, Ol’ Robbo was full of portents of doom.  They simply didn’t come true.  Go figure.

On the other hand, I would like to puff just a bit, in that the pic here is indeed of Ol’ Robbo’s legs and boots.  I finally figured out humbled myself and asked Mrs. R how to transfer photos from my phone-thingy to my laptop.






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November 2017