Sunday December 25 2016


We woke up “flustered,” Ana says. But she’s just talking about herself. It’s early – 9 a.m.

Irish Oatmeal with Cinnamon, Raisins, Maple Syrup, and Kefir. Coffee.

With my mom and Ana by 9:30 we hit the road. All gassed up (“That sounds like farts,” Ana says). But what I mean is I filled up the car with fuel okay? Goodness. My mom is in good spirits excited to be road tripping with us. The farmhouse barren scenery on US-17 is fitting to the rock n roll/country sounds on the stereo. But’s my mom air drumming with her jingle bell bracelet to the sounds of Tame Impala.

Then, a pit stop to let momma pee...

Two and a half hours later we arrive at John D and Aunt Delores’s humble country home. My dad showed up at the same time. Eventually, Vikki, her husband, and her boys are here. My aunt Pansy and Peter. Tammy and her daughter, Ashley, and her baby. Dad ordered McCall’s catering for dinner. Classic southern items such as Collard Greens, Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Hush Puppies, Dressing, etc.

My mom being present brings a lot of good sentimental joy and nostalgic family camaraderie.

Everything turns into a Smith Family Getdown after I set up the piano...

[While writing this blog I ask Ana, “Okay so what happened next?” “Cookies,” she says immediately.]

Ana drives us to Goldsboro to settle down at my dad’s house. Mom stays behind to spend the night.

At the house. We manage to watch the last half of Christmas Vacation (1989), a classic Christmas favorite that always makes its way onto the TV. Patty, dad’s wife is still recovering from recent surgeries.

Dad and I grab some Chinese food from a restaurant called New China Fun down the street. While waiting for our order at the counter I observe the similarities to China Wok where I used to work for so long. The family has their child running the register and handling the credit cards. I explain to dad how Chinese families end up here and why they work on Christmas.

Back at dad’s house we chow down on Vegetable Lo Mein, Egg Rolls, and Rice.

We continue watching whatever they got on the tube. A Christmas Story, We’re The Millers, and John Wayne westerns.

Sipping on Hot Cocoa. Then, going to sleep at a decent hour in a tiny twin bed with Ana in one of the guest rooms.

[i] Images by me.

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