A lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week! It started with a concert performed by our kids and grandkids at a retirement home in Spokane. It was fabulous, and I’m not biased at all!

The dear folks who built the beautiful home our kids live in, now live in this retirement place. It was fun to see them again – very dear people!

In case you’d like to hear some or even most of the concert, click here… Seery Family Concert

High Time for Pies!

Somehow I’ve gotten the reputation of being the official Lemon Meringue Pie maker at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. So I volunteered to do it again… and didn’t live up to my reputation. I made two pies, and messed up the recipe a bit, and so I couldn’t use either of them for the special gift I’d planned… so we all got together and made an Apple Pie for that purpose.

Meeting a Legend

The special pie was to be for a very special guy we were to meet the day before Thanksgiving… We had the privilege of meeting Burt Rutan and his wife Tonya! If you don’t know who Burt Rutan is, shame on you! Many folks know him as the guy who designed very unusual aircraft, such as the “Boomerang” in the model below. I tried to make the pie represent this iconic aircraft.

Others may know Burt as the designer of the “Voyager,” the first plane to fly around the world, nonstop, without refueling. His brother Dick and Jeana Yeager made that flight in 9 days in 1986.

Still others know him for the most amazing Aeronautical / Aerospace feat of designing and building the first civilian craft to fly into space. This spacecraft won the Ansari X Prize of $10 Million in 2004, which required flying a manned craft into space and then doing it again within two weeks. Paul Allen of Microsoft fame funded about $25 million, and Burt and his company did the design and production. This amazing SpaceShipOne was done without any governmental support. It was done unbelievably economically, when compared with governmental expenditures.

Burt and his wife were very gracious hosts, and answered all kinds of questions about his designs and the reasons behind them. It was an unbelievable privilege to hear this design genius discuss all sorts of fascinating topics.

When asked how he came up with so many unique designs, he got a little philosophical… and discussed his required “3 C’s.” Curiosity, Creativity, and Courage. Good stuff!!

His home is full of awards and mementos of record breaking craft. He has a cut-away of the nozzle on the first solid fuel rocket engine test for the SpaceShipOne. Fascinating learning about how it was created and run.

In one corner of the basement is a circular desk, with a small electric powered airplane that can take off, fly around on a cable guided circle, and land right back where it started.

A documentary called “Dark Skies” tells the story of SpaceShipOne program and the race for space. It’s very well done, and you can find it if you look on the internet. But we had the advantage of Burt sitting behind us in his home theater, and frequently stopping the movie to tell us background or sidelights. So Cool!!

He also showed us a trophy room, with more awards than I could ever count! He says the most valuable is a medallion given to him by the French Government; similar to the one they awarded Charles Lindbergh after completing his solo flight across the Atlantic to Paris. It is solid gold, and a thrill to hold!

Checking out the “head” before leaving, I came across this note stuck on the elevator door… I sounds just like a pilot!

His beautiful home has a fantastic view of Lake Coeur d’Alene. To get this next shot, he had Tonya stand on the couch to get both the lake and us in the picture!

It was a great thrill to meet both Burt and Tonya, and have them share the morning before Thanksgiving with us! Very accomplished folks, and very friendly too!

Thanksgiving with Family

Did I mention it snowed? We were testing to see how well the motorhome did in cold weather…

Far more important than snowy weather was time with family, and the fun of making Thanksgiving feast food. Especially pies!! We had the two Lemon Meringue left over from my less than perfect attempt earlier, but we needed a bit more. So we made two Pecan and two more Apple Pies. Friends Jeff, Brooke, Elise, Zion and Wyatt came over for dinner, and Brooke brought a huge Pumpkin Pie, so we had seven pies for the 11 of us. Not bad!

Jeff and Brooke brought a white pumpkin – where folks could write what they’re thankful for.

Post feast games:

After a nice walk in the snow, it was time for folks to get comfortable… well, most did…

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