A Thanksgiving Voyage East


A twenty-one gun salute to you Captain and welcome aboard The Fighting Ship Phifer, so settle in and lets begin.

In sole command, I regularly embark with my three crew on various errands and adventures so the thought of public parenting while outnumbered doesn’t particularly phase me.  While visiting in-laws on the east coast for Thanksgiving break I was tested to a near breaking point in just such an endeavor.

Four plus days of indoor rambunctiousness  had begun to curdle the cream of cohesion in the house by Wednesday, just when the heavy lifting of cooking was getting underway. I knew that lacking a significant part to play in the kitchen positioned me to be just the man for the moment.  The obstacles were varied and not insignificant. 

Five is no small number to manage and while I was familiar with my three, they were also sugar neck deep into vacation vivation.  Considering that the two new members were similarly wound and while familiar to me were quite unused to my command, I knew delicate steering would be the way of the day.

The vehicle chosen for the outing was itself a very serviceable Chevy Traverse and while it comfortably sat the crew, acting 1st mate Sebastian (the eldest of the crew by several years) was clear to the stern in the third row and incapable of providing any meaningful assistance with navigation.  Navigation was a decisive factor, as Long Island sits in unfamiliar waters that I’d yet to pilot. 

The key to the entire endeavor’s success or failure was the choice of Destination.  It had to be a harbor with enough excitement for the crew yet contained enough to be capably secured by one as inexperienced in these waters as I.  Energy absorption was a must, family friendly would be ideal all the while able to provide lunch to the crew.

To those of you in the know you’ll know I steered us true,

 for no grander treasure port or bay exists than that of that of Chick-Fil-Et.

Yet in its perfection their also lay a sinister and dangerous element that could turn even an apparent Tour-de-force into as crushing a defeat as I could withstand in the hollow of my own judgment halls.  The four days of rowdy behavior combined with another of travel had seen witness to five crescendoing days of kissing my diet routine to the wind.  With thanksgiving dinner already beginning its first wafts of seduction I had committed my entire reserve of self-respect to keeping on the path for Wednesday.  Yet here I was, a sinner and stress eater if there ever was one, sheparding five discipline draining involatiles  into the clutches of one of the most delicious places on earth. 

The stage was set. 

Shocked and disbelieving in-laws were begging me not to go.  A look of wonder and fear set over my wife as she held her kerchief to the wind in a final farewell, knowing not in what condition she’d next find me; or if not her, than some search party already taking shape in the depths of her imagination. 

The crew should be commended for its excellent execution of all points of the operation.  Eating, playing, and commuting went nearly flawlessly. Though mid-sail to homeport there was a near brush with a fit storm presaged by a fly (rookie crewman #2’s arch nemesis) only narrowly averted by a crew led rendition of “shoo fly”. 

Even more unbelievable was that I managed to parlay with the devil twice for food (once for the kids and once more to fulfill a texted request to bring food back to port) without succumbing to my more delectable urges. 

I am no diet hero for I have yet to deny myself a thing in my two-year long duel with dieting.  I instead delay committing myself into action.  “You can order one as we are leaving” I tell myself at the first order.  “You can stop in the drive through for a third order when you know exactly what you want” I say at the second order. 

Remarkably, even when a correction to the order resulted in an extra sandwich being included in that second order I managed to slip the gluttons noose by telling myself it would be better to eat it at the house since it wasn’t my car.  Upon arrival in port, salvation arrived in the form of an overworked feast technician discovering and laying claim to the errant morsel.

By all accounts the foray was a success, and I am happy to report that I remain,

Your humble servant,

Captain A.D.P. of the Fighting Ship Phifer