Monday December 24 2018


Waking up at 11 a.m. in dad’s house. It’s been incredibly quiet all night and morning – no jet noise, lawn care noise, or general house noise. Not something I’m used to.

Breakfast Bar. Coffee. Orange.

Fiddling around on the guitar in the living room. The sun shines through the blinds just perfectly. 50 degrees out – nice Christmas weather.

Dad and I caravan out to my great uncle JW’s house in Pitt County. Inside he’s hooked up to an oxygen machine sitting in a chair near the TV. He always has tons to say – reflections on the old times like how he used to drive back and forth from Columbia, North Carolina to Norfolk to bring back cars to sell (being a car salesman was his big business) and how his brother Herbert keeps demanding the farm when he dies, which he repeats to us about ten different times. I like hearing his stories though – he’s a good man with a good heart – he also helped my dad when he was a young man get up on his feet when he had no place to go.

I take a breather outside and run around with a neighbor’s dog – gazing out into the cotton fields and enjoying the Fall farmland environment.

Dad and I continue on to Washington, North Carolina to meet up with my aunt Pansy and her husband Peter. We were invited to a Christmas Eve dinner at Bowers Hall, a big historic house in downtown owned by a male couple who are antique dealers. The house is absolutely stunning – so many old objects and beautiful décor catch your eye. It feels like being inside a painting or picturesque magazine. Dad and I don’t know anyone here but Pansy knows the couple. Somebody brought a mandolin and is playing quietly in the den. An old baby grand piano from the 1930’s sits there looking enticing to play. After enjoying a classic southern spread for dinner I tickle the ivories with familiar Christmas songs and other oldies tunes for a sing-a-long.

Back at Pansy’s house...

Being amused by Pansy’s Pomeranian duo as they skittishly run around hopping on your lap and making funny noises. Listening to conversations about first world problems like isolating power plugs for front lawn Christmas lights and general house upkeep. Dad recalls memories of growing up on the farm.

After 10 o’clock I say my goodbyes and hit the road into the cold dead night. It’s Christmas Eve and not a creature was stirring except for this old station wagon on 17. Snacking on Fudge and Chips.

Arriving home. Recollecting the past two days with Ana and settling down in bed at 3 a.m.

[i] Images by me.

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