Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas, and New Years plans.

Christmas day started slow in my neck of the woods. Denise and I slept in that morning and then gathered our presents together and headed over to Mom's place in Temple.

There was a pretty good spread of stuff over there when we arrived. I was kind'a shocked to see it. Wasn't expecting it. Of course, these holidays have become somewhat muted compared to the old days. My sister is in Oklahoma City, snowed in, and Dad's not around any more. We don't do stockings any more because Mom doesn't want to have think about Dad's stocking not being hung up there.

It's times like this when I think you need a big, extended family, with lots of kids and grand kids runnin' around. That way, the missing folks are maybe a bit less evident. There have never been any children or grandchildren around here, and I'm the only man in attendance now. It makes it weird, having all this food and stuff to wade through. I felt that for the first time last Thanksgiving. I find myself noticing all the silence, and thinking about all the folks who aren't around any more.

But Christmas is about loving the folks that are still here, and remembering the others and the old times fondly. That's life. Life goes on, so we quickly shifted into the old routine. Mom began reading the tags on the gifts, handing them around, and the fun began. Needless to say, within' an hour of our arrival there was torn wrapping paper and pretty bows all over the place. As usual, the better boxes and the bows are set aside for reuse in the new year. It was a great time. I made out like a bandit. Among other things, I got a new watch and a cool new camera. I gave Denise some jewelry and sweaters, and mom got some good stuff too. Mom had me goin' at one point.

She said later that she'd wanted to surprise me with a new laptop computer but couldn't tell which one to get. So she put a heavy rock from the garden in a fancy bag and covered it with tissue paper. I lifted the bag and thought "What the hell?" Then took out the tissue and said "Aaaah, a ROCK!" Then I saw the little envelope. There was a card in there, a note from Mom, and a check for $500. The note said that the money was supposed to go towards a new laptop. It also said that the money had come from Dad's Social Security check, so we'd say that the laptop was from him. That did it. I was holdin' it together until then.

After all the presents were distributed, time came for the ladies to set up the big feed. That's my cousin Sue there on the right. She lives in Houston and comes up to visit my mom every now and then. We were all happy to have her up here for the holiday.

I took up my station on the recliner with the remote control. Hey, it's not like I didn't do anything. I was summoned now and then to reach something on a tall shelf, or lick the whipped cream bowl, or take out the garbage. Such is the lot of the sole male presence in these holidays, or just about any other time. I'm proud to do my part.

There was Mom's cornbread dressing and green beans...

Denise's mashed potatoes, Mom's sweet potatoes and gravy for the dressing...

And a HUGE friggin' turkey. We could'a fed an army. It was great! There's a lot left over, as usual, so we'll be enjoying it all for a while to come. After the feed I collapsed in a recliner and lost all consciousness for a good while. They could'a rolled me. Hell, maybe they did.

As far as the rest of this week is concerned, Denise and I are headin' up to the frozen North, to Minneapolis. Her nephew is gettin' married on the 31st, so we're flyin' up Tuesday, joining the festivities, and then flyin' back Saturday. We both have to head back to work on the 4th.

She's not lookin' forward to the cold, and I'm not jazzed about havin' to wear the suit (even though I do look damn good in it). I'll love playin' in the snow, and she'll love seein' all her kinfolks. All in all, it'll be a great time.

So, I'll see ya when we get back, no doubt, with all the pictures. Until then, enjoy a few funnies I've set to post while I'm away. Cheers, and have a happy New Year!


BRUNO said...

Maybe Denise can work-in an autograph from Brett Favre while she's up there!

I mean, hey---he still SMELLS like cheese....!!!

Mushy said...

Your mom did good...made me a little teary too!