Monday, December 2, 2013

The Holidays are Here. Where is the food?

Ramblings Post #245
There is nothing quite like family. There just isn't. It is said that "home is the place that when you go there, they have to take you in." I don't know if it's true, but it's nice to think so. Looking at it as a whole, I can honestly say I've been blessed with a great family. And that about sums it all up.

I remember a comedian once joked that when he finally could afford to buy his parents a house, he made sure it had a circular driveway. That way, when he forgot why he didn't visit and dropped by, he wouldn't even have to turn the car around to leave. This holiday weekend, I went to visit family.

Now, let me preface this by saying I had been to my parents home just seven days earlier.

Visiting my parents probably is something I should be thankful , as their are many whose parents have passed on.  Still, there is the idea that once you reach a certain age, you should be treated as a adult...and at my parents house, I'm not really feeling the adult-ness. Let's start with the trip out. I rode with my brother, who had originally intended to leave on Tuesday night and get back on Saturday. But complications arose, plans were interrupted, etc and so on, and thus we didn't actually leave until Wednesday. Around 2-ish. Because he (my brother) hates travel schedules. And on the ride down, he pulled one of my dad's moves - around the just getting started mark, he suddenly feels tired. So I end up driving. Now...we end up talking the entire rest of the trip about the frustrations of office life, his plans for the future and more, but he was too tired to drive. As they say in the hood, I got got.

At the folks, I retrieved the power cable for my laptop I'd left the previous week (which crippled me when I found out the replacement could ONLY be ordered). I also introduced my mother to Solitaire on my little pad, which at first she thought was silly but then played 15 games in a row. An old drinking buddy of my brother's and later mine dropped by, looking like a man worn out by his onging his divorce. It looked like he'd dropped fifty pounds, which changed his appearance  to a shocking degree. It was even more shocking to hear from my brother say later that since the last he'd seen him our old drinking buddy had improved quite a bit. Life changes, man.

The next day, Thanksgiving, started with a dutiful trip to the grandparents, both now in their venerable years. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

Thanksgiving dinner was a quiet immediate family affair, different from the extended family dance I'd grown up with. Afterwards, we did something unusual for my brothers and I had a few beers and watched football. To you maybe it doesn't sound strange, but my father has never been into sports, so there is no family tradition of following any team. My mother is better, having played basketball when she was younger, but the idea of us sitting around the TV for sport really isn't something that happens at my house. There was a certain odd comfort about it.

Black Friday saw no bargain hunter strategy being employed from my mother's house. Instead,  I was
annoyed because I didn't wake up until late, and had to listen to my brothers explanation of why he had roused me : When he travels from home in Atlanta, "everyone always manages on their own". I wanted to explain two things to him - a) he wasn't home and b)he wasn't traveling with his regular travelers, so why would he think those rules applied? Some people get old and loosen up, some get old and turn into travel divas. Go figure.

In any case we trundled out to...well, the boonies to see the other side of my family. Our trip, which was supposed to be fairly quick stop by my mother's childhood home turned into three hours in the kitchen talking to one of my more theatrical aunts, who relayed stories and tales bringing us up to date and then some on the local goings on. This was followed by a trip to see my equally theatrical cousin, which filled in pieces my aunt missed and lasted probably an hour or two more than it should have. I'm seriously thinking about getting a movie camera and making a film called "Stories my Family Told", and just have them tell stories for an hour or two. The whole day was reminiscent of my childhood holidays, with laughter ringing off the walls catching up with the news of family.

Then, as we got home from a almost two hour drive, my brother said "get your stuff, we're headed back to Atlanta". He'd decided at some point that day...or maybe even the day previous...that Friday night he was going to sleep in HIS bed. Which meant gassing up and riding west for the promised land. At 9pm. After he'd been driving all day. I will give him credit though, he made it all the way.  I had a Five Hour in my pocket just in case, but he made it, no stutter.

It was family. It was fun. It was grounding and gave you a reason to soar. It was refreshing. Sometimes, in the dark of an empty house you forget things, important things. This was a good reminder.

So those were my holidays. And now...we study.

Barkeep. A chocolate milkshake. Whipped cream. No cherry. Yes, little bits of brownie would be nice. Or Oreo if that's all you got.

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