Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas

And how was your Thanksgiving? No knock-down, drag-out family arguements, I hope? Lesley and I spent a simple but pleasant day together. We didn’t even cook–we ate out!


It’s the first time I’d ever done that, and it was actually fun. Leaving the kitchen duties to someone else allowed us time to relax, laugh, and think about what were thankful for. Sounds hokey. But with all the cooking, preparing, decorating, and traveling that most folks do, the “core” of Thanksgiving can get lost in the static. So it was refreshing to spend Thanksgiving just being Thankful.

Earlier in the day we had a light brunch in Costa Mesa, then walked around Balboa Island and admired the holiday decorations. Lesley pointed out that this is a weird time of year for that sort of thing. The laggards still haven’t taken down their Halloween stuff, while some have Thanksgiving decorations up, and still other homes are already adorned for Christmas or Hanukkah.

112803-balboa_house.jpgThere’s one house right on the water that we’ve always admired. The architecture is a fascinating amalgam of glass, copper, and concrete. When we took the Newport Harbor Tour last year, the guide told us this was his favorite home.

Anyway, as we sauntered down the sidewalk today, Lesley said, “Hey–that’s the one the tour guide loved so much.” A kindly old lady trimming plants in front of the property said, “You like this one, eh? Go on in and take a look!”

After confirming that she was the owner and not just some stranger egging us on, we looked at each other and thought, “Why not?”. So in we went. Margie gave us some insight into the fascinating choice of materials. The walls are plain concrete. Ceilings are Douglas fir, and the steel beams that support the structure are exposed throughout the house. She also showed us how the famous motorized glass facade worked. With the push of a button, an entire wall of the house retracts into the side of the building. It’s like putting the top down on a Ford Mustang. But instead of a $15,000 car, this was a $4 million island home.

Margie was very kind and we didn’t want to impose, but bless her heart–she insisted we take our time and really look around. Add people like that to the list of things I’m thankful for!

I did a Google search this evening, trying to find a photo of some Balboa Island real estate to give you an idea of what the houses down there look like. Lo and behold, Google turned up an entire L.A. Times article dedicated to this very home! Apparently the architect was a well-known student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Anyway, now that the turkey day is behind us, the Christmas season can officially begin. Sure, it’s been going on in the malls, catalogues, and stores for months now. But I don’t do any holiday shopping, decorating, or singing until after Thanksgiving. I know we’re supposed to celebrate Christmas in our hearts all year long, but when the twelve days last twelve months, I can’t help but think “when is this gonna end?”.

To celebrate the start of the holiday season, I’ve created a new skin for the House of Rapp. I’m not thrilled with the greyish colors for the content and menu containers, but oh well. If any of you have suggestions for better colors, let me know.

Now let’s get out there and shop, shop, SHOP!

  2 comments for “Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas

  1. aunt betty
    November 30, 2003 at 1:30 pm

    that house sounded fascinating. isn’t amazing how some people have so much talent? it’s even more amazing that someone would share their home with strangers. what a trusting lady! how nice to have apersonal tour.

  2. Lesley
    December 1, 2003 at 9:24 am

    I thought the way that she approached us was cute…she saw us looking at the house and said, “What do you think of it?” She was kind of in the neighbor’s yard, so it didn’t occur to us that she was the owner. But when we told her that we liked the house very much, she said, “Well, would you like to go in and look around?” I’m sure she gets a lot of people telling her that her house looks strange. But not us! It was like we passed the test and were proved true enough to enter. 🙂

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