Last updated on October 1, 2017
You know what they say about the best laid plans…well, actually I don’t right now, but I do remember it’s not good. Today was the last day of school for the term for The Girl and Boy Genius; they’re out now for two weeks for the Christmas holiday break. The plan (a.k.a. plan schman) was to drive to Alabama tonight when Bryan got home from work so we could celebrate Christmas with his family tomorrow evening.
You see, we never travel anywhere on Christmas day. It’s just sort of a rule that we “instituted” when The Girl was a baby: we always stay home on Christmas day. Anyone who wants to stop by for a minute or join us for the day is welcome as long as it’s at our home. When we were living in the Birmingham area, we had several family celebrations prior to Christmas day. We would celebrate with the Williams (that’s Bryan’s dad’s dad’s side of the family; yes, I meant two “dad’s.” For anyone keeping up, that’s Bryan, dad Tommy a.k.a. Pepa, then granddaddy H.B.) usually about a week or so before Christmas (of course, this was before H.B. passed away in 2005; since then, sadly, the whole clan doesn’t gather too much any more).
[Tangent: if you’ve ever heard any of us refer to “eating like a Williams” or “he’s a Williams” or “he comes by it honest” (e.g., this came up recently when Wonder Boy was chowing down on ribs with such a death grip you couldn’t pull the sparkling bone from his tiny fingers), then we’re talking about these Williams. Thanksgiving was always the big holiday for them. You should have seen the spread! Tables and tables of delicious food: meats, sides, desserts and Uncle Mike’s sausage balls! Sadly, the Thanksgiving feasts have ceased as well. It was a truly wonderful affair; but I digress.]
Then, usually on Christmas Eve day, we would go with Bryan’s dad (i.e., Pepa) to Bryan’s dad’s mom’s (Grandma Lolly) house to visit with her for a little while so she could let the kids sneak candy out of the refrigerator while pretending we didn’t know; but, she passed away in 2007.
[Another tangent: hers was the funeral I referred to in an earlier post at which we were graced with the most amazing rendition of “End of the Beginning” by Bryan’s uncle’s step-son-in-law (whew!).]
Christmas Eve night, then, was usually spent with Bryan’s mom (i.e., Debra a.k.a. Mema) and her side of the family; it’s pretty much all about the kids over there, so of course that’s the one they anticipate the most! Finally, Pepa would come to our house on Christmas Day to play with the kids with their new stuff and to hang out with us.
On a side note (but different than a tangent!): My family doesn’t do anything big like meals or parties or the like for any of the holidays, so we never traveled to them during the holiday seasons. I keep saying that when we get settled here in a house, I’d like to have the fam over for a holiday meal…oops, there I go planning again.
When we moved to Texas, everything was up in the air. It was such a long drive from Corpus Christi to anywhere and we’re a big family to be buying airplane tickets! So the Christmas we were there, Pepa came to stay with us and celebrated Christmas Day with us. When he decided to come, I was so excited because I thought I’d get to make my first holiday dinner. But, alas, I had morning sickness all day long and could barely move at times much less mess with food. [Mini-tangent: Wonder Boy was a troublesome fetus, but well worth it nevertheless!]
Last year, we were in Tennessee and Franklin was a much closer drive to Birmingham than before, so we visited around the holidays but stuck to our guns about Christmas Day. Thus, Pepa joined us again. So, did I do my Christmas dinner, you ask? No, that year the excuse was that we were in an apartment and I was out of my element (i.e., my kitchen, my things) and unable to fathom cooking a traditional holiday meal. Hmm…maybe I just like the idea of a holiday dinner….interesting…
So, here we are in Little Rock, trying to schedule holidays so that we get to see everyone, without anyone feeling slighted, and without breaking our “rule.” We decided to go to my grandmother’s house and “celebrate” with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. It was originally supposed to be all day on Christmas Eve, but then Bryan decided to work half the day on Christmas Eve (something about 90 days before personal days kick in and otherwise his check will be reduced…blah, blah, blah). The point being that now we plan on driving from LR to Hot Springs after he’s finished with work around noon-ish on Wednesday. When my sister called to tell me that grandma was concerned about what we would eat that day, I’m certain I detected a tone when I nonchalantly stated that we wouldn’t be there for a meal, since we’d arrive after lunch and would likely leave before dinner. Hmph. Can’t wait to see what happens…good times, good times.
Then, of course, we would spend Christmas Day here at our “home” (the apartment for now; please God let someone buy our house in TN soon!). I sort of presumed that Pepa would simply join us here on that day, which happily, I believe, will be the case. (Hmmm, Christmas dinner…well, now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves). The only question that remained, then, was when do we celebrate with Mema; thus, the decision to go to Birmingham tonight when Bryan got home from work. Mema made arrangements for everyone to celebrate at her house tomorrow (Saturday) evening, because we’ll have to drive back on Sunday for Bryan to work on Monday.
This morning, however, Bryan wasn’t feeling too well. Worse still, Boy Genius, who seemed fine during his Christmas party with sweets and cookies, vomited the minute he stepped out of the van when we got home after school — perfect timing, little dude! Ahhh, let the games begin. Bryan came home from work and went straight to bed, waking only intermittently to say “we can still go if you’ll pack my bag” and to get water. Boy Genius spent about two hours on the back deck with a washcloth, a bucket and matchbox monster trucks (come on, he’s a boy) before finally going to bed himself. Now, mind you, thus far (knock very hard on some very big wood), neither The Girl, Wonder Boy nor I have yet to come down with this little illness. The downside is that The Girl is quite perturbed to not be on the road to see Mema and, before I finally made her scoot off to bed, wondered aloud frequently why they couldn’t just take some medicine and a bucket in the van on the road!
So now the plan (again, plan schman) is to get up early in the a.m., hit the road and be to Mema’s by lunchtime. Yeah…right….. You know what they say about the best laid plans….