Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reeses Are My Favorites

I've probably told this story before.  Probably already related this little piece of remembrance. But because it's that time of year again, and because I'm full of nostalgia, I'm gonna go ahead with the telling.  When my sisters and I were little, our Daddy was the one who always took us Trick or Treating.  I'm not sure how that decision came about, but I'm thinking it had something to do with the fact that all of the houses we visited were his relatives and it gave him a chance to see and say hey to just about all of them in one night.  I could be wrong.  But Mama always stayed home and handed out candy and Daddy always chauffeured.  I'm not a fat kid for nothing.  I like candy.  Preferably chocolate. Preferably with peanut butter.  And I generally wracked up in the treat department each year.  But there were always those few houses that I hated going to.  I'd roll my eyes and grump up and ask daddy if it was okay if we skipped those houses.  He refused my wishes.  My Aunt Kate and Uncle Guy lived in a small three room house a few hundred yards behind my grandparents.  Uncle Guy being my Papaw's older brother by close to 20 years. They had electricity, but no running water, which meant they had, and employed, a genuine outhouse and a genuine well.  Now, I loved Aunt Kate and Uncle Guy.  I loved Aunt Kate's gold front tooth and I loved that the two of them always smelled of sunshine and Ivory soap and I loved how they were always happy to see me.  They weren't grumpy old people.  They were kind and they smiled a lot.  I loved their outhouse and I loved their well.  I loved sitting underneath the pecan trees with them in the summer and reading out loud to them from whatever book I was consuming at the moment.  I loved the big river rocks that served as steps to their back door.  What I did not love was the parched peanuts and yellow apples they offered up each year as Halloween treats.  In fact, I down right detested these items and  I think I may have even felt a little embarrassed for them.  But every year we went.  Every year I begrudgingly accepted the treats into my pumpkin shaped pail.  And every year my Daddy would happily eat those peanuts that Aunt Kate had painstakingly parched in her own oven and then poured into individual sized brown paper bags, and that mealy red or golden delicious apple.  Those were Daddy's rewards for driving us house to house. The kind of treats he was pleased to get when he was my age.
Nowadays I pass out Twix and Three Musketeers and Snickers bars at my house.  Mostly because I know I'm gonna get to eat the leftovers.  But every October 31 since my Daddy passed I make sure I text my sisters the warmest of  Halloween memories because we would all trade our weight in chocolate for a sack of warm peanuts and a car ride with our Papa.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

It Gets Okay From Here On Out

It was a long summer what with my broken ankle and John's broken wrist and our broken bank accounts... It very nearly broke both of our spirits.  But here we stand, alas. Living proof that you can't keep the working man down.  This means that I returned to work at the end of July ( two days before my birthday, yay) and that things have slowly returned to our fucked up, branded version of normal.  Halloween and Thanksgiving were quite good.  We got trick-or-treaters for the first time in ever which is a big deal to us because we lived in the woods in Connecticut and never got not nary a one.  This year, we got like 15. Six of them in one fell swoop in the beginning and they were being led by a 5'8" 13 year old girl who looked and behaved like a character straight off  the pages of some Erskine Caldwell novel. 

Thanksgiving, after much soul-searching and deliberation and teeth-gritting, was hosted at our house. I jest of course.  Oh, we hosted alright, but it was fun.  The night after was more fun because the small ones were all home with their frazzled, highly tolerant parents and the growed-ups re-convened at our house again and we ate lots and talked lots and re-bonded.  I love you, younguns, if you're reading this years from now and trying to decide if I'm worth the mediocre resthome. But sometimes big folk need to be able to converse with one another with out interruption.  It keeps us clinging to sanity and it keeps y'all out of foster care.

Christmas was another matter all together.  It was not fun. Not for us anyway.  Lotta loss, lotta folks not there who should've been there.  That being said, I didn't take our tree down until a couple of days ago.  I think I kept hoping the spirit and pleasantry would swoosh over me and I could run over and turn on the lights and drink a big mug of hot cocoa bullshit... but it never was. So I gave in and disassembled and tucked it away in the spare bedroom for next year.  Hoping it'll feel better and right then.  It may.  But there's a whole heaping of grief inside of me and it wells up and pours out on a near daily basis.  Loss is a natural progression of life.  I'm trying to be Tao about it.  Each day brings its own set of challenges.  That's it... I'm 'bout done with the one-liners.

In other news, I just gotta say that I'm pretty fucking pissed and sad about Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death.  It broke on Twittter an hour or so ago and I can't express how wrong and tragic it is.  He was pure genius and pure talent.