Feeling a wee bit maudlin this evening…
I’m not visiting my family over Christmas at all. This is the first time ever that I haven’t seen my family over Christmas at all.
I grew up in South Carolina, and my Dad’s family lived in western Ohio, and my Mom’s family in eastern Pennsylvania. We would set out for one or the other the day after school let out (usually PA first), spend a few days, drive to the other, spend a few days, drive home. In between we’d eat lunch at my great-aunt Wilma’s house near the border of Ohio and PA. She would always make us hot ham sandwiches, oyster crackers with ranch seasoning, and whatever cookies were on hand, which were often not very good.
Pennsylvania: Memories of weirdly bad cookies, playing with cousins, the apartment in the basement, lots of Amish people, church, ice, snow, “Trade hands sight unseen”, riding in the huge front seat of the car with Grandpa driving, Christmas lights, taking forever to get to the exit from the Interstate, singing in the car on the way there. Ham loaf, Grandma trying to get us to clean our plates, Mom trying to stop us from cleaning our plates, eating in the cold sunroom, playing in the backyard, that steep steep driveway, Grandma watching cable tv, the two chairs in the family room, Grandma saying “ay, ay, AY, ay, ay” and sleeping on the floor. Matching outfits, sledding, playing piano duets, scrapple, Mom wearing knee-high boots to church, Grandma trying to send sandwiches along on the trip, Grandpa’s pointy ended glasses and saying it was “Christmas Eve Eve” (that’s today, btw—and for some reason that is the memory that sticks most in my head…I believe by the following Christmas he had had his stroke).
It’s hard to believe how long it has been since I have been to my family in that area. After my grandparents passed away I really haven’t been back. I miss them…I wish I could have known them longer.
I have many more recent memories of Ohio, since I lived just 2 1/2 hours away for many years. However, I also have some memories as a child:
Ohio: Eating so many homemade cookies I threw up, playing in the snow with my cousins, PONG, ping-pong in the garage, the kitties, ice skating on the pond, singing a cappella at church, sleeping in the parlor, fancy dinners, date pudding, mince pie, the cuckoo clock, playing games, snow, wanting to play outside when it was actually 20 below zero and not understanding why, white bread toast, orange juice, “let me get my socks on!”, sitting around just visiting…I actually seem to have less specific memories of Ohio—I think it’s because we did more varied things in PA since it was more of a city-type of place, and more of the same thing repeatedly (i.e. playing with cousins) in Ohio. But I loved visiting both so much!
I will always have those memories
HBBC: December 22: 60 minute various cardio (run, bike, elliptical): 4 points, 7 f/v: 1 point: total: 5 points. December 23: ?. December 24: ? . Week of December 18-24 total: ?.