For the last five years I have imposed upon my wonderful friends, Sally and David, and joined the festivities they host for Thanksgiving. They have a wonderful tradition of inviting long time friends to share in a day that cannot be topped. I am easily the newest addition to this event – well maybe not, come to think of it. It is a collection of couples and singles who had paths cross in Silicon Valley and most have some sort of technical background. This adds to dinner conversation and actually does liven up the event as things are discussed in that scientific detail only the technical truly appreciate. Part of the tradition is the playing of Sock Golf. It is a great activity that gets one out and moving between lunch (yes, there is lunch!) and the Thanksgiving Feast. This year my son-in-law donated two kegs of home brew beer – one dark lager and a pale ale – for everyone to enjoy. I usually stick around home to avoid the lunch but this year the kegs were there and I had the spigots! So I needed to get there for the quenching of early thirsts. The beer was a real hit and may need a repeat someday.
The first reaction when I discuss the activities of the day is, “What is Sock Golf?” I had never known the origin of the game and wondered if it was an invention of our hosts. The premise is similar to golf – there is a Tee Box (in this case a rectangular area) where you can begin your turn, you count the number of strokes (this is tosses) that it takes to get into the hole (which is an above ground bucket). The major difference is that instead of hitting a ball with clubs, you toss a sock that has sand tied up in the toe. This may seem easy but it is actually quite difficult. Definitely there is no rolling into the hole. And then there are the penalties. My partner had to count a penalty toss because his sock became entangled in an olive tree and did not return to the ground. There are tosses given if you hit the roof of the winery which happens to be in the path of hole 9. And if you hit a grapevine there is not only a toss to count but hell to pay!
We all had great fun. I found it much easier to carry my beer cup than the wine glasses of previous years. It may have helped me as Roger and I won this year! Since the score is a “best sock” scoring such as “best ball” in golf, Roger’s penalty was not a factor and he played quite well on the rest of the course.
After the game the crowd gathered on the terrace for refreshments and lunch leftovers while the turkey rested and the side dishes were heated. The winners were announced and much to my surprise it was Roger and me. I felt that David must have made an error but Roger told me to accept the bottle of Siduri Ewald Vineyard Pinot Noir graciously which I readily did. We learned that prior to moving to Sebastopol, David and Sally were introduced to Sock Golf on the beach in 1997 while visiting other friends for Thanksgiving. This was the 13th Annual Sock Golf Tournament at Ewald Vineyards.
The feast was amazing with each person bringing their best. A wonderful day, topped off with a scrumptious array of desserts. This is Thanksgiving in Sonoma County like no other.