On a lighter note I did have a wonderful Christmas and am looking forward to the new year. I LOVE the holidays! I love what it means, I love the feelings it evokes, I love what it brings, the smells and the childhood memories that come flooding back! I really do feel that it is one of "the most wonderful time(s) of the year" and although it always seems to bring with it some level of stress and reminds us (some years) of the financial strain we are facing, none of that seems to matter to me because the ultimate meaning and purpose of this season far outweighs the financial worries.
I can thank my parents for those fond childhood memories. As a child the holidays always meant going to Grampa and Grama's for Thanksgiving and eating all the wonderful food that my grama, my mom and my aunts would prepare...homemade tamales, pumpkin, pecan and apple pies, of course, turkey, ham, cornbread dressing with giblet gravy and green beans...and all of it was so delicious. We would visit 2 or three other relatives as well with the same delicious fare! Then for Christmas we would do it all over again but maybe at one of my aunts' homes or at ours. I loved going to visit my cousins, we were all pretty close in age and if we were at grama's we could run in the fields, climb trees or explore the barn where the cows and chickens were. Those are very fond memories, ones that I cherish and that have helped to shape who I am today.
I am very blessed to say and do not take it for granted that I had the kind of childhood that most every child wants to have or should have. My parents were/are not alcoholics although my dad enjoyed drinking with his friends. They never "did drugs" although it was readily available and accessible to them and they never beat us or treated us bad. We were disciplined though. My parents believed in spanking as a form of discipline but they usually gave us a choice between that or being punished by going to our rooms. I almost always chose being sent to my room over the spanking whereas my two older brothers would pick the spanking so they could finish watching their tv show or just stay up later. Another part of my childhood that I remember was that we were never "rich" but we never went without. I do recall the occasional "discussion" over money that haunts every household at one point or another. My father taught us that hard work and taking care of what you have, family included, was what you did. My mom was able to stay home with us, care for the home with it's endless duties and took us to church. My dad would become more involved in church a bit later. Now I'm not saying my family was perfect, far from it, I'm simply stating that there is nothing in my childhood that I regret or wish would have been done differently. My parents would take us to their friends' homes where drinking and smoking were the norm but it was always accompanied and neutralized by the playing of guitars, singing and dancing. It all seemed very "normal" and honestly was a lot of fun. I enjoyed hearing my father sing and play his guitar or get a kick out of watching the adults dance to "That Old Time Rock n Roll" by Bob Seger. One of the couples would host most of the parties and my brothers and I always looked forward to those because she always had the best party food! Chips and dips, deviled eggs, finger sandwiches and sweets were comin' out our ears and we were heaven! :-) There's much more I could write on these memories but I'll leave it be for now.
I wasn't expecting to go off on this tangent about my childhood but I guess that's one of the wonderful things about this blogging stuff...you can write about anything and everything and no one can tell you any different. While writing this post I had a loaf of homemade bread in the oven that I was trying my hand at but it flopped. Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow.
As a side note I guess I should warn you that Rick and I received 3 cookbooks this Christmas so I'm sure this blog will eventually flow into telling about some of the many recipes we will be attempting in the near future. considering my track record I wager that I'll probably not write again until after New Years so may you have a happy one! Until next time...I leave you with a few pics from Christmas.