Monday December 25 2017


Waking up at 9:08 a.m.

Navel Orange. Coffee.

Dad corrals me and Patty into the big red truck and drive to Greenville, about an hour drive, to meet up with Pansy, Peter, and Peter’s mom at her assisted living home for a banquet style Christmas dinner. You have to reserve a time and for some reason we chose the earliest at 11 a.m. So I guess it’s more like Christmas brunch. I fill up my plate with Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots, and Portuguese Dinner Rolls. My dad won’t stop talking about how good the prime rib is.

Afterwards, we sneak into the auditorium where they do music. I sit down to a baby grand piano that plays beautifully. I serenade everyone with whatever song I can think up. Sybil, Peter’s mom, is 97 years old – she sits in her rover chair by the tree looking relaxed. Pansy sits by my side singing along.

Then, on to the cemetery where my grandma’s grave is. They wanted to replace the flowers and pay their respects.

Next on the list is visiting my great uncle JW on his farm. My dad’s cousin, Mark, is here helping clean up the kitchen. There’s about a thousand convection heaters going making the inside of the house feel like an oven. JW always has stories to tell and ideas about the world. He was born in 1933, making him 84 years old now. He talks about the days when he ran his car dealerships – he used to drive from Columbia to Norfolk every day, buying used cars cheap in NC then selling them in Hampton Roads for a profit. I’m told he was always a successful businessman and farmer.

I look through the window over the sink at the long stretch of cotton fields as he continues to recant tales and memories. He mentions times when there were slaves on the farm around the time he was born. His granddaddy served Robert E. Lee in the Civil War. We have Irish and American Indian roots in our blood too. 

Oh here’s me when I was almost 3 years old (May 1986) walking on the balcony of a house in Germany where my first childhood memories were formed.

One more stop on our Christmas excursion: John D. and Aunt Delores’s house in Grimesland. We enjoy some homemade desserts and coffee around the dining room table flipping through some old photo albums.

Back at my dad’s house on Joscara. I’ve gotta get some other kind of food in my system. We grab some Chinese food down the street. Vegetable Lo Mein in my belly is a relief. Dad found the OKC vs. Rockets game on TV in the middle of the 3rd quarter. I decide to stay and watch till the end. Him and I provide commentary.

I decide to drive back to Virginia Beach tonight. No podcasts this time. Just my iPod and remembering how great Moby’s Play album was along with other old jems.

Back home. Recollecting our separate Christmas times with Ana in bed until 4 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

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