Thursday, November 8, 2012
Thanks to the country station's constant playing of Eric Church's "Springsteen" I find myself regularly reminded of my girlfriend in the 7th grade. Actually, I think we met and were friends in the 7th grade, but maybe dated, or whatever average 9th graders did for dating in 1983.
What I remember most is she dumped me for a guy named John. And I think I'm still mad about it. And honestly, if you had been dumped for John, you'd have been mad too.
"When you think about me, do you think about seventeen?"
"But if I whispered your name, I bet there'd still be a spark."
Isn't it funny how a memory can sound like a melody?
The voice mail a bit later was, "Oh my gosh, I need you to go to my grandmother's house and get a box of stuff for me. She already shipped me one box but it cost too much. It's on the bad side of town so I don't know if you'll go. But I want you to take her to breakfast tomorrow." Pause "Do you wish you hadn't told me you were there?"
Very typical her.
A friend since roughly 1994, I had met her not long after she had moved with her parents to our area from Corpus. It would be fair to say we dated for a while. While I don't remember the exact time line, and probably do not want to, it would be fair to say that it ended, in part, because I knew I couldn't commit and she was liking me in a way that was going to hurt her.* But I digress from the story ~
I consulted with MyFella and our vacation hosts, and we changed our plans for the next morning to kick-off with breakfast with a lady in her 80's we had never met, who lives in the bad part of town, who speaks only broken English. One person in our party speaks only broken Spanish. It seemed like it should work out fine.
The next morning had us on the road at the right time to cross town, and she called, "Grandmother's so excited, she's been up since 4." It was quarter to 9. The home was cute, and Grandmother was proud to tell us that her husband had built it for her. It is filled with pictures and frames of children and grandchildren and beyond, and has a lovely feeling of being lived in and loved in. It was also spotless. (A trait my living quarters do not share.)
Breakfast was a fun affair at a diner type locally owned restaurant. The fun part? Mexican! Like, authentic, really people from Mexico~Mexican. Like, the waitress spoke English with a super strong accent. How fun is that!
She had texted for me to have her father's favorite for breakfast, a taco, as in the title. Then her mother texted me to try Menudo Soup.
I looked at Grandmother and said, "Menudo soup?" She said, "Good. Stomach." uh. No, I won't be trying stomach soup. I'll stick with the refried bean and bacon taco.
Tortillas were handmade and tasted like nothing I'd ever bought in a Midsouth grocery store.
We tried our very best to carry on a conversation with Grandmother, the 5 of us in a lively, noisy restaurant. At one point she called and I gave the phone to Grandmother. I would later find out that Grandmother told her she was having a good time with all of us and she did not have time to talk to her.
What a delight that lady is!
And what a fun, unexpected surprise on our vacation.
So, to sum it up, we drove 14 hours one way to have breakfast with my exgirlfriend's grandmother, and bring back a box of baby clothes.
Well. I do like an adventure.
* I suppose her marriage to a hard working man with beautiful arms has been some consolation after our breakup.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Today I was researching directions to a camp that we haven't driven to before, and found the following description: "The smell of baking biscuits and roasted coffee lures guests to the lodge each morning. . . . where the staff are busy grilling smoked ham and dutch-oven potatoes."
Now, he doesn't have a swimming pool, and there's no rock climbing. And the family land isn't quite 350 acres, it's more like 20 acres.
But the more I read the website for this campsite, the more I thought, "I wouldn't pay good money to go there. It's just like going to my boyfriend's for the weekend. Except maybe they won't make me help muck out the barn."
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Well over 7 years passed. Not one word, not a text, not an email. And it's better that way, for everyone.
Oh, he was a bad boy. Brown skin and a grin that just called for trouble. And a body to match. Pursued by women, flirted with by me. And all of a sudden, I had him. Oh no, not for good. I had him, no more than any of the many women had him. Occasionally. On his terms. And his times.
One minute we were the best of pals. The next, the best of pals, but with benefits. And we both liked it that way. No strings, and I knew better than any of his girlfriends that his time was fleeting. But oh, what a fun time to be had! The bars, the beers, the late nights down the street at this hang out or that dive. The calls to meet him and his girlfriend here or there, or to come to his fiance's house for a cook out. We would hang out for a week as the best of pals. And then the fun time, completely out of the blue. And that was fine with me.
And there was his picture. I admit, I clicked on the album. I looked at the picture of his wife. Noticed a tattoo that I did not know, and I knew every tattoo. And about 5 minutes later, after I'd looked at every picture and gleaned what I could of his life, I scrolled the cursor to the far right and hit "block."
And I remembered how I can simultaneously be annoyed and love a friend at the same time.
I was going to be gay, you see. Handsome and gay. I was going to keep working in the gaming industry making more money than I knew how to throw away. I would spend Saturday nights in bars with other handsome gays and doing the pretty things that gay guys do. I would live in a cute home in Midtown and have some of my closest, but superficial, friends help me to decorate it so that it was gorgeous.
And I would have the time of my life.
I traded it all.
I spent the morning cleaning horse poop out of a barn and riding in the back of a pick up truck.
I couldn't be happier.
It is those things, yes. But for me it always means Birthday Season. I love my birthday, I love to celebrate my birthday. And I have no problem planning multiple events.
With a birthday at the end of September, the start of the new school year always heralded a new birthday. Kid's birthdays were no different than probably any other kid in my neighborhood. A party in the yard with punch and cake. There are photos in an album at home of childhood birthdays. I think from the gleam in my eye, my love of birthdays has been with me a long time.
And it's no different as this 42nd year draws to a close. I look at it only as the opportunity to celebrate the 43rd beginning.
Even as we speak, I'm planning the evening's events. But I've got in the works what I want for both breakfast and lunch. And I may just take a day off work to ring in the year right!
It's going to be a great year. I can just feel it!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
. . . she must have had hope that day in the drug store, hope that the peroxide would work. The blonde hid the grey, but not the fact that it was there. The pony tail pulled up too high on her head tried to convince her there was still youth left in her. She stretched her arm in what she thought was a sexy movement as she flicked the ashes out the window, then drove off in a car that once, a long time ago, may have cost someone else a lot of money. . . at the corner on the way home from work.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
When first I met Billy, he was at the same favorite, local restaurant on the same night every week as my group. He reigned at a table of pretty boys and always seemed to have a beauty on his arm. He was friendly, but at "their" table. Looking back, I know that some of my high school insecurities creeped in and I was somewhat jealous of a table of such pretty people. But Billy was always very nice.
A friend of mine that I had met through work belonged in his crowd. And for some of Billy's annual Christmas parties would invite me. They were top notch social affairs at the grandest rental hall in the city. Social events thrown by a group of people, they were parties like grown-up proms complete with bands, booze & de-bauchery, all thrown for a good cause.
And one night, quite a few years into it, Billy asked me out for dinner. No romantic interludes, no subtlety, just two friends going to dinner together. And I learned more that night about the man than I had learned in years of sitting one table across from him. He came to life as a real and genuine person. And my ideas of him existing as one of the "pretty ones" just fell to the side.
We never developed the kind of friendship to call each other, and have never been to each others homes. And in the last couple of years seemed to be not in the same places at the same time. I never even realized that I wasn't seeing him, because I guess I always assumed he was right around the corner somewhere.
And last night I found out that he died. Suddenly. Early heart failure.
I've spent today feeling like our Prince has died. He knew and had friends from every walk of life. He could hold court in a crowd of few or hundreds. And he always did so with a trademark smile and attitude that life was to be lived.
Posts on social sites are replete with comments about his friendship and his personality. I don't know his surviving family, and don't think I could convey in a few words on a funeral home's website what I learned from him or how I feel.
The Prince has died.
It was a short lived series, but I thought it had promise, as the story lines were not just merely about vampire this and vampire that, but seemed to be evolving around common themes of life, love, angst, jealousy, etc. And I found the evolving back stories of the different clans interesting as well.
Kindred, The Embraced.
We must have gotten off school for Good Friday. I don't remember it, I didn't, in fact, remember the date at all for years, just the circumstances.
I had gone with my church youth group to a big one day youth convention in Little Rock. My memory tells me it was in some type of convention hall, the kind that I'm so familiar with today and strike me as variations on the same theme.
Another church in town had also taken their youth group, and two of the guys were new, or soon to be, friends of mine. One was in the high school fraternity to which I was pledging, the other his younger brother. Both handsome. One shorter than the other, but both cut from the same handsome brown haired, athletic cloth. One had the reputation of being a bit wild, and it was probably well earned. And both as nice as they could be.
Somehow, out of the crowd, they spotted me. Came to my youth group and took me, one by each hand, and dragged me over to their church group and sat me down.
For the next 10 years she would be my close friend and constant companion. Weekends would go without discussion as being reserved for the other, at least one night per weekend.
She took me to her Senior prom at her private school. Any trips in subsequent years, for graduations and football games, have me walking through a sort of mist in my mind of magical prom nights with her. I catch myself looking to find a glimpse of us on the dance floor or coming through the gym doors in our dress up clothes.
On Good Friday, I sent her a text for our anniversary. She replied simply, "That was a Good Friday."
His wife would bake biscuits in the morning, and what was left uneaten she would leave under a metal cake cover (much like the glass cake plates so popular today, but this was a type of tin metal). So if you came in during the afternoon and needed a snack, there were biscuits there.
He drank tea, unsweetened, out of a Folgers coffee can. He was just so thirsty that a glass wouldn't do.
Not long ago in their home, I asked her, "Do we have any tea?" and she said, "You're just like your uncle."
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Knowing that MyFella and I were attempting to make chicken spaghetti this weekend, I called her, the expert on this dish. She could recall most items, and the steps, but finally referred me to her sister, stating, "I haven't made it in so long, and it was her recipe anyway."
I remember she distinctly told me before that she didn't use very much Rotel because she didn't want the dish too spicy. Her goal is not to have Mexicany spaghetti, it's to have flavorful spaghetti. So it's no surprise that she would use just half a can of Rotel. But I dutifully called my aunt, and confirmed the recipe. And most importantly, I confirmed the super secret boiling the noodles step that makes all the difference to the recipe.
For the traditionalist, here it is, a quite tasty version of Chicken Spaghetti with Velveeta.
- Chicken. Whole, boiled, de-boned. Or in my case, not boiled, but slow cooked overnight in the crockpot.
- Broth. All of it from the above chicken, saved. Reserve about 3 cups into a separate container to be used later, if necessary, to thin the dish down. The bulk of the broth (preferably skimmed or strained, in my opinion) in a large pot.
-Noodles. Boil your noodles in the large pot, in the chicken broth. This step is essential. It infuses flavor into the noodles which will carry over into every bite. Boil the noodles to al dente, because remember they will keep cooking in the dish.
For the cheesy sauce part:
- Big block of Velveeta cheese
- Can cream of chicken soup
- Jar of pimentos
Here's where the "whatever I have on hand" part comes in. Mom will use only half a can of Rotel, and will often skip pimentos anyway. Mom often said her dish is not supposed to be spicy, just flavorful. My aunt, while telling the recipe, stated that she doesn't use Rotel at all, though all of her daughters do, and they mostly make the dish now, not her. As for pimentos, I don't know anyone who knows what a pimento even is, just that it's red and comes in a jar. So for this, I'd go with "to taste."*
As an example, in today's dish, we used a very big crock pot and a whole lot of noodles. So we went with two cans of Rotel and no pimentos. No pimentos were on hand. We also didn't have any cream of chicken soup, but using my Mom's advice, we used the cream of onion in the cabinet.
To me, when I would occasionally stir and mix the whole concoction in the crock pot, I couldn't help but think it was way too thick. So I added back in the reserve chicken broth, and I think the end result of the whole dish was a nice and flavorful chickeny, cheesy, noodley dish.
And at least one of MyFella's cousins was overheard calling it "great."
So that's a win-win.
P.S. In all fairness to all parties involved, I did not cook nor debone a chicken. Or as a friend of mine said today, "We could say you did it." There was the implied, "But no one who knows you will believe it."
*I've since discovered that pimentos are just mild peppers. So you can go with one or the other - pimentos or Rotel.
You see, for a couple of years now, MyFella has asked me to attend the meals with him. He said he wanted me to go. The first go around, I recall being slighly uneasy about it - not that I didn't know enough people there to be comfortable, just that, well, it's not my family. And it's a family reunion. And exactly why would anyone think I would be going?
But since a good half of the people there I know, and half of them I probably eat with at least once a month anyway, it just sort of didn't matter. And besides, there was always good food there.
I have finally figured out which two of his aunt's make the great fried okra dish. His mother usually makes a very good cornbread dressing. And there's always a great assortment of dishes from which to choose.
Which brings me to MyFella.
Last night he said, very clearly, "I'm only taking one dish tomorrow." Just one. I heard him.
We had already planned the one - a chicken spaghetti dish that most Southerners will recognize as being a version of Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta. That's the one. Super good. We had already decided that MyFella would boil a chicken and debone it, as we've learned the hard way that a chicken dish is so much better when you take this extra step. We had already decided that it would be ok to use the penne pasta on-hand and not spaghetti noodles. The chicken was put in the crockpot before we went to bed - a healthy batch of chopped onion thrown in for flavor. I awoke to a house that was smelling quite nice with the chicken that was slow cooked on low all night.
So since all was just as we had planned, how was it we walked out of the door with chicken spaghetti, a buttery peppered corn dish, a dessert made with graham cracker crusts and lemon pudding, and an igloo container full of unsweet tea?
Try as I might to recount what we took, I just keep coming up with a whole lot more than "just one dish."
He wore a polo style shirt and plaid shorts that showed off his hairy legs. Legs that were a bit skinny for my taste, but proportioned right for his tall body. The wrought iron table and the distance from us gave me a nice view of the legs slightly open. I couldn't stop myself from looking at him. I don't think I was attracted to him, I just found him to be pretty to look at. I probably looked at him once too often. And once is being understated.
Their meal finished, he and his wife continued a conversation while the daughters sat in laps and played around the table before the wife departed with the children in one direction. He went another with the ticket and smiled at me.
Yea, I think he caught me looking.
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three, Mississippi, "He looked back" my dinner companion said. I looked forward. There's no looking back.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Her home was in the same large yard as my uncle and aunt's home. It had a lot of grandmotherly touches. The front porch was filled with flowers, and once a week the Schwan's man came by and filled the freezer out front with delicious processed foods.
My uncle and aunt, the parents of 5, almost had no more children living in the house. The youngest had left us all too early, all too young, and the next youngest was a senior. Her prom dress was jade green, and the man she wore it for is still her husband today.
The family story is he taught my mom to drive, and he would teach me and later my younger brother. It would turn out that my weak arms didn't have the strength to pull that old truck out of gear, so he'd reach over with his left hand and place it on top of mine when it was time to shift gears. My aunt tells a story that my grandmother laughed to see me driving over the hay field, engine grinding in too low a gear for my speed.
And that's how I learned to drive.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
My cousin died a few weeks ago. He had been a career policeman and retired for health reasons. He was a member of the same church my parents attend, and at which my mom is employed as the church secretary.
The reverend was insistent on the ladies of the church providing a meal at the church social hall after, which is customary. Though some families opt for food to be delivered home after the service and just entertain a family meal there.
But the reverend knew that the police department was going up en mass, as well as many family members have traveled for the service. So he gave directions for food so that all family and police were welcome.
I made arrangements to be late to work to attend the funeral, but simply did not have the option of staying for the graveside service and the meal, as I work about an hour away from my hometown, and needed to come back to work.
Before the service, Mom asked one of the ladies in the kitchen if they would make for me a to-go box and I would walk over and get it after the service. Of course, it's my hometown and I visit with them regularly, so I know several of the ladies. As I ran through trying to make it to the bathroom, one lady said, "What do you want to drink?" and I was momentarily confused before she said, "Your mother asked us to get you a to go plate. What do you want to drink with it?" I delightedly said, "tea."
You know the clam shell style styrofoam to-go boxes from restaurants? The kind with 3 separated compartments inside?
Post bathroom visit, another lady walked up to me with a grocery store plastic sack that had two of the big boxes and 1 small box inside. "I've got all the hot food in one, the cold food in one, and dessert in the small one."
For the drive to work, my car smelled like a buffet restaurant. I got to work and had chicken, pulled pork with sauce and a bun, an assortment of side dishes like potato salad and cole slaw and topped off with a yellow cake.
That's one time it really paid off to have my mother working as the church secretary. And to be in the South.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
But I knew it wasn't you. You weren't that young when you died. I was at your funeral. I carried you.
Just for the briefest of moments, I didn't miss you, and missed you, at the same time.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
But still, who would have thought I would ever . . . . .
Sunday, March 18, 2012
'I'll sweep your cemetery myself; I'll throw out the dead boquets; I'll weed the grass around the graves, and I'll even pick up the pots of chrysanthemums blown over by the wind.'
How could they resist the offer of so much free work? They didn't even ask him why he insisted on a separate burial place, when there was a spacious and resoundingly empty family vault, because everyone was only too aware of the reply to that question: it was to avoid sharing eternity with his wife Prudence, with whom he did not get on.
Besides, he didn't like that plot. It looked like a Protestant mausoleum in the middle of the Catholic cemetery. It was sharp-edged, forbidding, and to make matters worse, it had a mean and parsimonious view of eternity that made the afterlife seem quite unattractive. As it happened, Emile Pencenat was fortunate enough to imagine the realm of the departed in a happier light - when one has gloomy thoughts, all the more reason for them to be flowery: if it were possible, his tomb would be a small-scale copy of an eastern potentate's ceremonial tester bed swathed in gold-fringed theatre drapes. The whole thing would be dominated by an opulent canopy and surrounded by a festooned balustrade with columns. . . .
. . . On rainy days he spent his time in his shed sculpting cherubs' heads, with which he hoped to enliven the pink marble columns around his masterpiece. Not that he had reached that point. He didn't know yet where he could get pink marble, nor how he was going to pay for it. But he'd only been thinking about digging his tomb for a few months; in fact it was since his retirement, when he was wondering anxiously what he could do to lessen his boredom. And so he had plenty of time to make enquiries, he thought.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I never thought of them, the evenings or the gentleman, or even myself for that matter, as promiscuous. After all, we were usually in NICE hotels, and I could always track the guy down within hours should I need an affidavit of my whereabouts. He was someone that I would most likely see again in a few months at another convention. He was a professional person, much like myself. And besides, we were generally in the same age bracket and so might think of these evenings in a like way - pleasant and enjoyable, with a modicum of respect. There would be no promises of future dates at upcoming conventions, ala Alan Alda's "Same Time Next Summer." But there was also no reason to be anything less than polite the next time we saw each other.
One such gentleman, let's call him . . . well, let's just call him Gentleman. Handsome, tall, and with a belly. A belly doesn't turn me off. A grin can turn me on.
Our first evening happened together in an odd location. I kept wondering what in the world there was to do in that town, and how we ended up in that hotel. But alas, I ended up in his bed one evening. An enjoyable time was had by all. But I somehow left the room thinking that I had not had a stellar performance. I felt like I had let him down. And that thought would occur to me any time I would think of him later.
A couple of years passed and we ran into each other again in some other town, this time in a much nicer hotel. (The kind with glass elevators - always a sign of a nice hotel.) Several "boys who like boys" were in attendance at this function, and after checking in I called his room to see where all the boys were going that night.
I admit that I might have harbored the slightest hope that over the next few days we might have an encounter. But I would in no way begrudge him if his circumstances had changed and no such occured. But I was pleased when we did find ourselves in the same room.
And approximately 2 hours later, I was woken from a serious nap by the ringing of the cell phone I had been recently assigned by the employer. One of my employees asked me, "What are you doing?" and I answered honestly something like, "Well, I was sleeping after having sex." She laughed, asked her question and let me go back to sleep.
During that convention, we had the most enjoyable time together, but no more private time. I remember confiding in him that I felt like I had let him down the last time, and that I really tried to be better this time. He laughed and said he didn't recall it that way at all.
And that's exactly what he should have said.
The lady on the line said, "I don't see you listed" and I said, "Well, I haven't ordered anything in a while" and she said, "You're probably a bad guy."
"This is Felecia."
And I was in love all over again and missed her so much!
Friday, January 27, 2012
The texts, calls and emails will start around Thursday.
"Is he coming this weekend or are you going there?"
"Oh good, I want to see him."
"What are you doing for . . . "
and then I end up with a weekend full of meal events with friends, and he'll huff and puff and blow on about it all. He thinks I'm just lining up time with my friends and we don't have any time alone.
It started again last night.
"Is he coming this weekend for the birthday party?"
"I want to go out for supper tomorrow night."
"Text him and tell him yaw are going out with me."
I stopped it and said, sweetly, "You text him."
A minute later I get a text from him. "Are you with her?"
And now I get to complain all weekend, "You've planned the whole weekend! There's no time alone for just us! You always do this!" I wonder if I can control the amount of sarcasm and irony in my voice.
So, on Yahoo there's this article about Iran's morality police. Not that I would ever want to live in Iran, and if you look at countries like that, you can understand why we have so new immigrants here. (Because, really, aren't most of us descended from immigrants?).
So there's this photo in the article - it could be stock, I'm not sure. But there's an Iranian police man and a guy arrested for his trendy hair and shirt.
And yes. In stereotypical fashion, I thought they were both hot.
P.S. As a disclaimer, I don't usually find men from the Middle East attractive.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
As we talked yesterday, we realized we know a few of the same people, and that he was probably doing some contract work at some places at the same times I was working there. And now he seems fine working here in a cleaning position, as long as he can get enough hours to make ends meet. He's done a lot of labor jobs, a lot of dirty jobs, climbing through ceilings and under floors, and working for "the man."
He stopped through once or twice and borrowed a dollar, and always brought it back. But still, I didn't make the connection to the statement. "Do you feel like Fort Knox today?" He said he's poor til payday. Needed 5 bucks. I had 4. In truth, I started keeping one dollar in the drawer for him anyway.
And I thought, "How bad off you must be, if you need to borrow money from me, of all people." I'm certainly not wealthy, by any means.
But I've got plenty to eat for lunch today, my bed was warm this cold morning, and I haven't borrowed any money lately.
I think when he returns the $4, I'll just tuck it back in the drawer for the next time. Maybe even find another one to go with it.
Friday, January 20, 2012
So there's this great article on Yahoo about the love story, and social unrest in Virginia surrounding an interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving. I'm sure the little blurb sent hundreds of people to Wikipedia and other sites to learn more about it. Rediscovered photo's bring the topic to light thanks to an HBO special about the couple.
Me, however? I'm so gay, so typical, that my first thought on seeing the pictures was, "Damn he's hot!"
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
He was in town for a work related association meeting he attends regularly, and I left work early to drive out to a restaurant and meet him. The association meets every other month on the third Wednesday of the month. It was January.
Maybe it's a coincidence that I haven't opened my wallet this week until this morning and found a handwritten note. "I love you and have for years."
The sweetest thing I've ever known . . . .
Thursday, January 12, 2012
One recent trip home, just before Christmas, my mother told me a cute story. Young Ragamuffin Nephew #2 had asked his Granny, “Granny, do we have any Christmas traditions?” No doubt the topic of some discussion in his 1st grade class that week. Granny had replied, “Yes” and she talked to him about the way we exchange gifts and have a meal together at her house, which is located less than 1 mile from his home.
Older Ragamuffin Nephew # 1 said, “You know Uncle comes and spends Christmas Eve with us since I was born so he can watch me open gifts.”
Yes, Young Ragamuffin Nephew is all of 6 years old now, but his big brother stated clearly that I come home to watch him open presents on Christmas morning.
The ritual has included a few other things, from my point of view. The year before # 1 was born, I received some rather terse phone calls from my brother and his wife, asking when I would be in town for the big family get together they were hosting in their home. But I had other plans and would be in later that evening. Come to find out I was missing the announcement that # 1 was on his way, and would be here for the next year.
And since # 1 has been old enough to hold a phone, I’ve received Christmas Eve phone calls asking when I would be there. And again, I usually had plans to see Sissy and Kitten and their family for a little while, before continuing on to my hometown. So while # 1 knew I was coming, much like Santa Claus, he just wasn’t sure when I would arrive.
And there’s always the ritual of fighting with # 1 somewhere in the middle of the night, after Santa has come, because he wants to open everything, even though he and I are the only 2 people awake. Last year I had sense enough to ask their Dad, in front of them, to give us some direction because the year prior had resulted in an almost two-person breakdown. This year I forgot, so the first go-round was 2am before Santa came, and the next was closer to 5a.m. At 5:45a.m. I told both nephews to go to their parents room and wake them up.
And that’s when the magic begins. I love the look of the lit tree in the dark room, with the lights reflecting on the shiny paper of wrapped gifts and the glossy plastic of the things Santa left. Then come the sounds of “oooooh” and “look at this!” followed by, “Daddy, open this!” and “Momma, look at this!” In a mere few minutes three pairs of adult hands are full of gifts and borrowing from each other scissors and pocket knives to hack our way through all the ties.
And then Uncle discovered his next favorite Christmas tradition – taking a Christmas morning nap.