The year was 1977 or 8…. somewhere around there….my parents had just finished laying down the shag carpeting in the bathroom. Just in time for the holidays. Mom was furiously pledg’ing the knotty pine everything and humming to Barbra Streisand’s Christmas album. Kelley (my cousin) and I were pawing through my mom’s jewelry box while she was distracted and Caty kept opening the fridge to check the jello. We loved this time of year. Suzie was in her room writing to Shaun Cassidy and pretending she was Cher, but she had a bowl haircut and if she had a mustache, ironically she wpuld be a dead ringer for Sonny. Dad was probablu with Jimmy at the big Portland vs Deering football game and one year, I think when we were 11 ish, my cousin Jamie, who was 11 ish had to drive the celebrants home after the game….that morning. ….Ah holidays….the nostalgia of the jarred gravy, cheez whiz the flammable decorations, the extended families – all coming together to argue, drink and talk politics with the background croonings of some Irish singers reminding us about poverty, blight and poor Danny Boy. A time where the kids sneakily sip the wine and play yahtzee and drag fingers through the cool whipped and meringue pies in the fridge (“I did not!!! Jimmy did it!!!). When we dressed up to eat and had candles on the table and fights over who got the drumsticks…hell yes we had candles on the kids table….my mom, the Other Jackie Kennedy, was all about appearance. My God what would the neighbors say if they saw a kids table adorned with paper turkeys and the odd cornocopia, for christ sake?
So this morning I am digging out my Grandma’s china and I am pledg’ing the ikea bookshelf and humming along to Eva Cassidy and wondering if the jello will jel and if Caty will dress like Martha Washington unintentionally again this year…Suzie grew her hair out when she was 10 when someone called her the cutest little boy for th last time…and never looked back….my own kids traditions- fighting over drumsticks and acting shocked and offended that Thanksgiving was not a gift getting holiday…will play itself out …and the cats and dogs on the table…picture perfect, better than candles or cornocopias.
Life is good.❤️