Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holiday Weekend

Ramblings Post #173
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening, something something, hear them ringing, we're riding tonight, I don't think this is right, walking in a winter wonderland. We mess around a build a snowman, then pretend that he is Parson Brown, he ask are you married, we'll say "no man, but you can do the job if you're in town," something something, dum de do, something something, hum hum hum, something night, walking in a winter wonderland.

I hadn't been home to see the folks in ages. Seriously, ages. We speak on the phone weekly, but for some reason that three hour trip has been harder and harder to square these past few years. Maybe because I'm a little scared that all the stuff I left won't be there when I get back. Scared maybe too strong a term, maybe "actively concerned." But after I didn't head down for Thanksgiving due to my enhanced educational situation, I felt compelled to head down for Christmas.

The Trip.

I live in a bubble, that is Atlanta. What I mean is that when social tension rears its head, it's a sudden reminder of things that happen so rarely I'd casually forgotten the caustic nature of their reality. No, it's not that I forget I'm black, in the south, it's that it's either usually not an issue or I've already taken the steps to minimize it. So when two guys started yelling at each other over a gas pump when I stopped for fuel it took me by surprise.

I'd pulled up, swiped my card and was gassing up. The lady at the next pump smiled at me and then I heard somebody yell loudly. Two pumps over a black guy was yelling at a middle aged white guy in a jeep. My trouble radar didn't go off, so I just watched silently. The black guy was fueling up, the jeep pulled off and I thought it was over. Then the black guy, middle aged black guy, yelled something and the jeep owner stuck his head out of the window and yelled back. At this point, the lady at the next pump dashed over to the black guy to calm him down. Seriously. Random black woman intervenes to keep random black man from doing something stupid.

The driver of the jeep pulls out of the station and goes across the street, so the whole thing diffused itself in a long fifteen seconds. I took note of the other odd couple in front of the station watching the whole exchange. The elderly white farmer in overalls and the young black man with dreads who after the jeep had pulled off looked at each other and shrugged.

I guess you never know. But then I probably should.

The Grand Folks.

I'm lucky enough that two of my grandparents have made it into their 90's. My mother's parents died when I was too young to feel the full effect, but I remember my mother's father as a kindly old gent who smoked a mean cigar and was always happy to comp us the bubble gum at his store.

My living grandparents are a lively bunch for old people, although my grandmother has been trying to guilt me into marriage and great-grandson for almost 20 years. She has other great grandchildren, many other great grandchildren, but the question of me always seems to come up. I like to believe every one of the grandkids still "holding" get this treatment, but I don't think so. My grandfather is planning on buying a golf cart so he cand drive around his property since he can't get around like he used to...when he was 80.

You hate to think that one day they won't be around. But then I think I've been blessed in this area more than I realized.

Christmas Day

Quiet. Family. A smattering of gifts but mostly just relaxing.

Hit Sporty up. Sent out a few Holiday texts.

Then driving back to Atlanta, because it's nice to have the stuff you left in your house still be inside your house when you get back. Driving back in the rain. Listening to the Christmas music...and the odd old school hip hop mix on some station out of Augusta.

The Day After Christmas

I had planned on relaxing and consuming enough water to clean my system out after the huge meals I'd eaten over the weekend. Well, that was the plan when I went to sleep Sunday night. Didn't work out.

Had a hearty All-Star at the Waffle House with my brother as I delivered his gifts to him. My brother is in a long term relationship, which has established its own Christmas rituals, so he didn't make the trip. I probably need to do the same myself soon. But that meal put me in back in the bed until dark...so like 4pm or so. Then trouble called. Or rather, my psuedo cousin did.

We rode over to a house party of a one of his buddies to watch the Falcons-Saints game. Not my usual fare, but I guess it will be soon, with small kids running about while the adults watched football and noshed. I have a problem drinking in front of kids, so I had a lot of soda and ate a lot of wings. And I've found that if the Cowboys aren't playing when something goes wrong or a coach does something stupid I can keep watching instead of cursing through the next three plays and turning off the TV before I start throwing things. So I watched and gave color analysis to the surprisingly underage crowd before calling it a night right after the whistle blew.

So It was a good Holiday weekend.


Barkeep, some of that Pale Moon beer or whatever it was they were drinking last night that I couldn't.

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