and Denver relations.
There were traditional family greetings: the opening gambit of my lawyer-philosopher uncle that he had (yet again) found a great proof for the non-existence of God (nice try!); discussions of poetry with the other uncle who was there (who also, in jovial greeting, pumped my baby's hand many times, pump-handle style, to her great amusement); my daughter's discovery of the fun that can be had with a pair of grandparents.
There were traditional activities done in non-traditional ways: a Shabbos spent at two shuls (Friday night at this shul, at whose previous incarnation my Mom and Dad were married -- it labels itself as traditional but seems to be moving ever-rightward, or, with the mechitzah height, upward; Shabbos morning with the Reconstructionists, the shul my grandmother attends).
There were activities afforded by opportunity: two Scotch-on-the-rocks at my aunt and uncle's place, part of my graduate-student mental-health regimen. (I suppose the only true guarantor of graduate-student mental health would be a fifth of Scotch, neat. But I digress.)
There was the brined turkey. I had read about brined turkeys but never yet consumed one, which I did in Denver with gusto, brio, and relish. (Not to mention panache and afan. And ganas.)
On the airplane from snowy Denver to chilly New York City, I gnawed at the turkey leftovers in satisfied fashion while our daughter slept. The woman on my left murmured, "Your baby's so good!" That was before Blanca woke up and fussed for the last forty-five minutes of the flight. Repeat after me, ma'am: Keyn eynore. Keyn eynore.