Toward the end of the Fall Term here we get a very welcome break in the form of American Thanksgiving! David enjoyed a really, really quiet dorm and a hiatus from campus construction as we stayed on campus over this long weekend. Thanksgiving here is celebrated on Thursday, and different amounts of the surrounding week are holidays - I hear some schools get the week off; we got Thursday and Friday.
Ken and Mary-Jane Cooper at First Pres very kindly invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. This was our first opportunity to see their house, and we got to hang out with some "strays" from the choir whom Ken and Mary-Jane adopt at Thanksgiving. We also got to meet their cat... uh... gee, I can't remember their cat's name. I guess all cats' names pale in comparison to my organ professor Larry Palmer's cat's name, "Wailf (waif) Vaughan Williams."
We had a very delicious turkey dinner with all the Thanksgiving extras, including apple AND cherry pie (complete with lattice top). The Coopers have a warm home and Mary-Jane loves pottery, so we got to eat and drink from some lovely hand-crafted pottery from their various travels. We shared cultural stories, i.e. Northern vs. Southern United States, and U.S. vs. Canada (not to mention the equally comparable Texas vs. the rest of the U.S.) I told them about Due South and we compared accents from various places. Ken and Mary Jane have a cute white table cloth that they have people sign at the end of the meal with a marker, and then someone needlepoints the signatures onto the cloth. There were signatures in two different colours of thread from previous years. I signed my name and drew a Canadian flag - David berated my drawing skills (par for the course).
In this picture we are standing in front of a clock that was given to the Coopers by a member of the church. This woman was important in the community and left an endowment when she passed away. Half of that endowment goes to help the Stewpot mission (the meal kitchen run seven days a week by the church); the other half helps the music program, including my intern stipend. It was nice to learn about her since David and I are benefiting from her legacy.
A couple of days later, our friend John Thornburg took us out to explore White Rock Lake, which is a public park and lake not far from SMU campus. It used to be the main hydro source for the city, but of course now the city is much too large for that and several artifical lakes have been built. John also drove us through some residential neighbourhoods, including past a small church where he used to serve. That area is one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods and used to be suburban Dallas; the homes look very '50s, a little like the Beaches. It was a nice spot to see, contrasting with the megahomes of Highland Park and University Park right around our campus; but, you could see one or two "blockbusters" on each street marking the changing real estate tastes.
Lots of ducks!
I haven't been blogging much lately - it's been quite an end of term! I can officially say I am done now though, and can catch up a bit. My marks are coming in and I'm passing! ;)
P.S., I just remembered the cat's name: Cheech. He's a rescue cat; I don't think we know where Chong is.