Thursday, December 26, 2013
Christmas Was Here
Valerie told me that I could leave at 3:30, but I was at the tail end of a project and wanted to see it gone. At 3:45 I closed down my computer and left. In the elevator I realized that I had not gotten directions to Mollies house. So I stopped in the cafeteria to pull them up and make a pdf.
It was 4:00 by the time I left the office. I needed to stop and get a few last minute items. A few of them things that you can’t do without, like toilet paper. I went to Walmart and tried to rush through the store…yeah right. It was Christmas Eve. There was a woman there contemplating navel lint and as I tried to pass her, her spouse tried to block me with the cart. At first I tried a timid “Excuse me”, nothing happened. He ignored me. I said it again to no avail. Then in a snotty voice I asked him if he was guarding the Charmin.
I left the store by 5:15. It really shouldn’t take 15 minutes to travel the 1.5 miles to my church. But both the Baptist and the Catholic churches had off duty police stalling traffic along the route. I wanted to scream at them that I wanted a chance to be in church too. I’m sure that it would have been pointless. I arrived at church more than 20 minutes late and I wasn’t the last one there. About half the congregation arrived after me including the pastor’s and elder’s families
Mollie was late due to a flat tire. She was held up in the parking lot of the abandoned Walmart location. A stranger had been kind enough to help her get the doughnut on the car. We were there for the last third of the service. I was kind of irked about it because the service had been moved to a much earlier hour for the convenience of one person. The entire congregation was not eating dinner. Almost everyone was late. To make it worse, the person it was moved for was supposed to sing and cancelled at the last moment. I hope they will consider that next year.
Milling around after the service and talking to everyone took the edge of annoyance off and by the time we made it to Beverly’s house I was in the mood to enjoy the party. Which I did very much. Between the three families that meet every Christmas Eve there are 14 kids. Two of mine and one from another family weren’t there. But there were plenty of assorted boy and girl friends to make up the loss.
The kids spread out around the two tables and the 5 adults were in the living room. Kate had made copies of pictures with the kids interacting over the years. What an amazing thing to see. Here were a group of kids who lives so intertwined that sometimes it is a stretch for others to remember which kid belongs to who. And they act like siblings. There was the same jibes and insider jokes and laughter that you get among cousins.
When we discussed it we realized that most of the kids were too young when they met to remember when they didn’t know each other. Mollie and Wes were in the two year old nursery when we first started going there. I realized that for Mollie, who has had little contact with blood relatives, this is her extended family.
After leaving the party Mollie was tired and had a long drive home. I went to mid-night mass alone and only popped in at Waffle House afterward long enough to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I was home by 1:00 am.
Christmas day was spent at Mollie’s watching Christmas movies and cooking. Mollie gave me a marvel machine that I have been wanting for a while. It is a personal size blender/food processor. It really is amazing. I used it to blend the pumpkin cheese cake that we had for dessert. I have been thinking up things I can use it for ever since. Mollie was amazed at my newfound knitting skills and wants me to make her a sweater. I didn’t tell her that my goal is to make her a sweater dress for next Christmas.
After way to much food, and good conversation and even a bit too much wine I made my way home. But Mollie lives in the Grant Park neighborhood. It is one of the few parts of Atlanta that I’m not familiar with. I will tell you a secret about navigating Atlanta. No matter where you are if you drive far enough you will find a sign directing you to one of the 3 major interstates that transects the area or the perimeter highway that goes around it. I did get lost on my way home and had a scenic tour of Cabbage Town after dark. But I did manage to find I-75 and head home before midnight.
Holidays done for one more year. Now to get busy with the knitting so that next year I can avoid shopping for anything.