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December 29th, 2004

Xmas with the Blanks

Christmas was great - and long. We spent the Eve of it with The Worm's dad, sister and her family. Xmas day we spent a true "Cajun Xmas" with The Worm's Mom and her side of the family. Along with Cajun Xmas music playing in the background on a local radio station, his grandfather and great uncle talking in French (Cajun French, mind you - there is a difference), wild duck on the table, and his uncles T'Ken, T'Jun and Chookie calling to wish the family a merry one, it was about as coonass as you can get, cher. I loved it. The true Cajun side of my family has died off, so we don't get to experience that anymore; but it brings me back to the days when we were still able to share holidays with them.

That same evening we drove to my family's and spent Xmas Night with them. I got a ton of books (as always), a documentary video on Mary Magdalen, a new sweater, a white shawl, and something that sprays henna tats on you using a stencil and an air gun of sorts loaded with ink. We also got the crock pot we'd asked for; so that was gravy.

But perhaps the most special gift of all was a heavy one given to me by my grandfather. He watched anxiously as I read the card, which went something like "You're so much like her I know she'd want you to have these. The dents in the mirror are from my head. Don't pawn it." That's summarizing it, it was much sweeter and funnier - you've got to know my Pa-Pa  (this is the man that likes to give large amounts of money in quarters and $1 bills). Inside was my grandmother's sterling sliver vanity set - the comb, brush and hand-held mirror - that my grandfather had given her as a gift some 50 years before when they were dating. He had polished them to a beautiful shine (something I was told he'd been working on all week). He cried and I cried and gave him a big hug. It was so very sweet. Of course he had to be all Pa-Pa about it as soon as I'd hugged him. Emotion is hard for him (that stout German blood) so he covers it up with humor. He told The Worm, "She's just so much like her," he paused to wipe his eyes and then continued, "She's mean and jealous..." Thanks Pa, I know what you mean and I love you, too.

The food - oh, the food we ate! My usual diet consists of Easy Mac and/or Papa John's pizza so to have good, hot home-cooked meals three days in a row - well, let's just say my digestive system is still having trouble re-adjusting. The first night it was gumbo, candied sweet potatoes, and bread - the next day it was duck, turducken, peas, homemade macaroni and cheese, and buns - that night it was (again)turducken, pork roast (is this a Southern thing - to have two meats? Sometimes we have three...), mirliton dressing, rice dressing, green beans, baked spaghetti (a family classic), and the infamous booty bread (there was more but I can't remember all of it - my grandfather seems to think he is cooking for a small army rather than a small family). Good eating, a few extra pounds, isn't that what the holidays are all about?

Perhaps the craziest thing of all was that it snowed in some parts of Louisiana. Snow in Louisiana on Christmas Day - hasn't happened in about 50 years. We never got to see any come down, but there were patches on The Worm's Mom's roof and lawn. The Worm's T'Ken said it was "really coming down" in New Orleans; I'd love to have a picture of it snowing in the French Quarter! However, the snow in Louisiana was really only a way of welcoming my brother's girlfriend into the Blank's Law/Luck that she is now entitled to simply by being his girlfriend. They spent the holiday in Idaho with her family and my brother was excited about having his first white Xmas. It didn't snow in Idaho - not a drop; we here in the South had more of a white Xmas than he. And that is a prime example of Blank's Law (and Luck), which I've mentioned here before. It is my birthright - what 'cha gonna do?

I hope that everyone had as jolly & merry a holiday with their families and friends as we did.

(Next post I'll have a picture of Spinach Balls - a new side dish brought by a family member - ever wondered what an alien turd would look like {hint: as nasty as it tastes}? Your curiosity will soon be sated...)

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