Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

It is just me and The Man today. Portent of things to come, I guess. We are binge watching NCIS as I scroll through all of my Facebook friends' Christmas posts and photographs. I wonder why we did not take more pictures of our Christmas celebration?

The only picture I have of our food is this "thing" Laura found inside of a pepper she cut for her vegetable platter. Kinda' looks like a bull's head doesn't it?

More than once this year, I had to get Don to lift a heavy pan or pot from the oven or stove. I've become a weakling in my old age.

I also let the potatoes boil dry and nearly scorched my pan twice. Now that is something not many can say they accomplished.

Dinner was ready to eat just as everyone arrived. We had plenty to eat without much waste. I wrestled an hour with that fatty ol' shank ham before I got the bone out to season my New Year's Eve black eyed peas.

Although I don't think any of us spent much on gifts, they were all given with careful thought and much love.

My daughter in law has such a knack for choosing special items for each one of us and then wrapping them in such a pretty manner.

My single-mother daughter sometimes struggles financially yet sacrifices so her children have the things that are important to today's kids.

My widowed sister doesn't have a lot of extra money either but has a talent for handmade crafts. Just look at the lovely pillow slips she made for me.

They are made of polka dotted 100% cotton fabric with French seams and trimmed with a lovely aqua birds and flowers print. She said the birds remind her of her late husband.

We still miss him coming to visit for Saturday coffee and a bit of bird watching from our back porch.

Christmas Day at our house this year was so relaxed and we laughed so much. I don't remember what we found so funny but bless his heart, some was at Blake's expense.

He is a handsome fourteen year old who we tease mercilessly about the young ladies. His response to why he doesn't hang out talking to the girls in the school hallway is that he only has so much time to get to his next class. It was funny yesterday but I guess you had to be there.

I waited too late to buy gift tags and although Greg usually passes gifts out on Christmas Day, I had to help this year. I got a wee bit confused and kept handing them out and grabbing them back before I figured out where they actually belonged.

In the midst of the action, Don went outside and brought in the black tulle skirted dress form I have had my eye on for years. I had bought a gold one a couple of months ago but every time I go in to Hobby Lobby, I look for the black one. I didn't even know Don had heard me say anything about it. Both Laura and Rachel deny giving him hints.

He said it was a little embarrassing carrying her out of Hobby Lobby and the kids said it looked funny laying in the back seat of his car. I don't know if it was covered up like a corpse or just out in the open for the world to see.

I cried when I saw it. I will add her to our bedroom with my mermaid painting, shimmering vintage mermaid dress, and huge framed photograph of Rita Hayworth.

Granny June was able to come down to eat but she is so frail she needs assistance with everything. She eats very little, and doesn't even want the coffee she used to drink during every waking minute.

She can't give and take like normal conversation requires and even asked to go "home".  I think she tends to sleep most of the day. Remembering the proud, independent, and beautiful woman she was, we did not take pictures of the shell she has become.

Elizabeth, Konstance, Blake, and Sierra played board games after dinner and gift giving. It was so pleasant listening to them laugh.

Frequent breaks were taken for little snacks. Sierra loved the seasoned crackers Laura made and I sent the last of the pinto beans home with her. The only reason I made a pumpkin pie this year is because Konstance loves it. I hope she isn't just eating them to be polite.

I was told Grandpa was always given the chicken gizzard when they fried a chicken until he finally confessed he didn't really like gizzards.

Our soon to be EMT got to eat and open gifts but then had to dress for work in the ER. I heard her come in sometime after 3 AM. A twelve hour shift.

God bless the hospital and emergency personnel, police officers, firefighters, and and our military men and women who serve regardless of the day or holiday.

And God's blessings on all of my friends I rarely see but love to hear from.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday Memories Part I

This time of year I start remembering Christmas holidays from when I was a kid. Things like the smell of a new vinyl doll on Christmas morning.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is of the year my Grandma bought me twin boy and girl dolls for Christmas. They didn't have lifelike hair but they came complete with full wardrobes that she had made.

It snowed that Christmas and I dressed and undressed those dolls all day long. I remember not wanting my two year old brother to play with them.

That was the year Daddy was working in Oklahoma and I went to first grade for part of the winter. That was also the year I told my teacher Daddy didn't have money to buy me a new coat. Someone at the school bought me a beautiful red one.

Mama and Daddy took it back and told them they had just been waiting to go to the city to buy me one. I have no recollection of the one they bought but still remember that pretty red coat.

I remember Daddy telling me to step in his tracks through the deep snow from the house to the car. I wonder why he didn't just pick me up and carry me. I was pretty tiny in the first grade.

A few years later, my brother got a Huckleberry Hound doll for Christmas. I remember he was turquoise blue, had a yellow hat, and looked just like the one in the cartoons. Of course, when we were watching Huckleberry Hound on television back then, he was just black and white.

I thought it was cute but David really loved him. While teasing him one night, I threw Huckleberry's hat right out the car window onto Main Street. I regret being such a brat. I apologized a few years ago.

Me and My Brother in 1954

I remember Mama promising they would take us window shopping when Daddy got off work. I remember the multi-colored lights crisscrossing Spadra Bridge and the brightly decorated storefronts.

Even on the coldest nights, we would tumble out of the car to stand closer to the windows. My brother liked the dump trucks while I loved looking at the baby dolls.

I don't remember actually getting anything that was in the window though. Unless it was that doll carriage I got right before my sister was born in January.

I remember my Uncle Paul and Aunt Louise coming by to proudly show off their newborn baby girl shortly after Christmas. I remember the baby smelled pretty. Mamas baby powdered their babies really well back then.

I begged them to spend the night and let Paula Kay sleep in my new doll carriage. I told them she would fit perfectly but I guess they didn't believe me.

Speaking of Paula mother and two of my aunts were expecting Christmas babies about the same time. (The Middleton cousins seemed to come in little clusters.)

Mama had planned to name our baby Paul Dean if he was a boy and Paula Dean if she was a girl. Both names would be after Daddy's brother Daniel Paul and Mama's brother Morrice Dean. Mama and Daddy loved those two boys.

However, both aunts delivered first and named their daughters Sheral Dean and Paula Kay. When my sister came along Mama named her after the two grandmothers.

It is late and that is enough reminiscing for now. I'll tell about the Christmas trips to Oklahoma City next time.