The Christmas cards have been arriving and most have just a signature and nothing more. I look on the back and along the edges and sometimes there is a message scribbled. I like scribbled messages. My cousins L. and K. send the same wolf cards every year and are in that camp of just signing the bottom. This year my sister Lisa got a card from them and her eyes were immediately drawn to the bottom of the card which had a scribbled message:
It was good to see you at Miss Carol’s party. You are always fun to be with and we love you very much. Have a Merry!
Lisa was touched and couldn’t help but sigh, “This is so sweet.” That was until she read the top…. Dear Mae.
Whoops! Cousin L. made a mistake in addressing the envelope. Lisa called me choking on her own laughter.
Lisa and I cooked Christmas dinner at my Dad’s house this year. My brother usually does that but he had to work so the two of us stepped up to the plate. Did I mention my brother is a professional chef and knows a thing or two about cooking? Without him in it, the kitchen felt a bit like the engine room of the Titanic right before the real trouble began. We started at 7:00 AM and at 12:45 PM neither of us had changed from our pajamas. We were busy pulling things in and out of the oven with timers ringing and the question always hanging in the air, “Do you think this is done?” I did have to make a mad dash out the door at 10 in search of olive oil. Nothing was open but CVS which did in fact carry one lone bottle. Who knew? Yes, I did purchase the oil in my pajamas with a coat over the whole mess. I was the only customer in the store and I don’t think the clerk noted. He seemed bored out of his mind and I was frighteningly gleeful over the oil.
My Dad was headed to the train station to pick up the guests at 1:00 PM when I scrambled up the stairs and cleaned up a bit. Made myself presentable with lipstick, mascara and a dress I had at the ready. Luckily, it’s always dark by the time we think of taking photos of each other. Dim lighting is a girl’s best friend. That and greasy fingers accidentally on the camera lens which has happened more that once. I don’t know how my mother did it years ago. She’d make the meal, the cookies, decorate and look good on top of it all. She would never have gone to the store looking as I did or relied on the lack of lighting as part of her beauty regime.
The meal was perfect if I say so myself. Really, absolute perfection. It was touch and go right up until the last 5 minutes but we pulled off even a delicious gravy to go with the pork loin and roasted potatoes. There were 10 of us in all and we told stories and laughed and I will say it was the first time in a long time we were just happy in the moment. We weren’t mourning or fretting over one health issue or another. It really was a nice moment and then came the desert hour. It was then I chowed down on a cookie Colleen had brought and noted half of my back tooth was missing…
I was supposed to be out there today but a date with the dentist was my destiny. Luckily, he is an artist with the drill, squeezed me into an already packed day and loves me as much as my cousins. A root canal was avoided but I have been assured that one is in my future. I go back out to my Dad’s house for another party tomorrow. This time my brother is cooking and I don’t plan on eating anything crunchy just yet.
I hope all of you are enjoying your holidays and your teeth are hanging in there! I might as well confess that having half a tooth didn’t stop me from eating a few more cookies. It did slow me down as I had to chew using only one side of my mouth.