Friday December 25 2015
Waking up at 10:30 a.m. after a heavy sleep.
"You two love bugs up yet?" my dad shouts just outside the guest bedroom.
Scrambled Eggs, Toast, and Yerba Mate Tea.
In the living room the four of us exchange gifts and cards, Patty, dad, Ana, and I. I don't know how but Ana and I managed to both have a cut-out heart in the lower right corner of our Christmas cards.
Ana, Patty, and I hop into my dad's brand new red Tacoma truck and drive out to Grimesland. A couple weeks ago my dad sold his 96' Toyota truck and downsized to just owning one vehicle. It's not surprising for him to have a new car every time I visit him. But he claims he's not gonna do that anymore.
"This is my last hurrah!" he says in regards to buying anymore new trucks.
"Eh. I'll believe it when I see it," I say.
We arrive at my aunt Delores and John D's house. My cousin, Vikki, is here with her husband and two boys. This house has been the traditional meeting place for Thanksgiving and Christmas over the years. I always look forward to this family time. Delores and John D are the sweetest people. I can see where Vikki gets her lively sweet nature from.
John D has quite an antique collection in the big barn out back. He's in the process of organizing and selling it all. We find a cool little bar bell still in the box inside a nightstand drawer. He lets me hold onto it.
I brought the digital piano with me this time. We set everything up on the front porch. None of us can get over the warm weather – it's Christmas in July. Everyone's got shorts and t-shirts on. I pull out the Christmas songs – Ana and I sing "Jingle Bell Rock", "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree", "Hey Jude", and whatever else people request. "Bohemian Rhapsody" anyone? Styx anyone? It's a nice time. There's a warm moment between Delores and John D where she sings him a love song in front of everyone. Their love is inspiring.
Lunch is served. We don't get the luxury of having old fashioned southern cooking this time. It's more like a cold cut meal. But Ana brought a delicious Kale and Quinoa Bake along with Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
Later on, Vikki puts on a DVD of some old reel-to-reel footage of her as a child in the 70's. It's like putting everyone in a time traveling machine as we watch the black and white movie reveal all these little moments of innocence. In one segment I spot my dad all buff and in his 20's. It's still amazing to look back on days of yore and see how people grow.
Napping in Ana's lap on the drive back to dad's house. There, we chill out in the living room with the King Kong movie on the tube. Eating leftover Black Beans, Kale, and Quinoa, and more Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. Ana helps Patty figure out how to download an Adele ringtone. Outside, I juggle three tennis balls while Ana swings a pair of hula hoops around her waist. We pretend we're a circus troupe. Patty's chomping down on peanuts appropriately.
Back on the road to Virginia Beach. We head out at night when the interstates are bare and every one else is still with their families relaxing in their homes. Ana takes the wheel. I put on a Rogue Wave record. She requested some kind of "flow" music and I thought their record made sense.
Ana: "Some days I look at you and I'm like...[sigh]"
Me: "You look at me and you're like what?"
Ana: "Some days I just look at you and you're so attractive."
Halfway through the trip we trade spots and I take the wheel – she sleeps away while I listen to some nostalgic rock albums from my teenage days.
Finally home. Unpacking and organizing. Ana's all snuggled up with the new Snoogle body pillow I got her...
Sleep 4 a.m.
[i] Images by me.
Posted by James Robert Smith at 1:14 PM