I made it to bed by 2:00 am my first night home, and I slept at least till 9:00 on Christmas eve, I got up early and went to Walmart to get Lasagna fixings, and a few last minute frames and things to wrap. While walking through the store, on the intercom, came a voice saying they were having a two for one special on deerstands. I just knew I must be a REDNECK. I continued laughing throughout the store, listening to people talk. I talked exactly like this once. I remember when I first moved to Jacksonville back in 1991, my real office job, they said try and loose that accent. My reply was “I’m proud of my Georgia heritage”. I really am, but my families southern accent is much stronger than mine now, although mine is still strong huh? While checking out I saw a woman smiling at me, it turned out to be my girlfriend from back in my school days. She looked great. She showed me pictures of her two children, ages 16, and one younger with pride. She looked happy. I gave her a big hug and chatted with her for a while. When we were in school, she used to ride with her older brother to school, he drove a herse that he painted red. Well she fell out of the herse on the way, when he realized she had fell out, he put the car in reverse and ran over her leg. She spent a long time in the hospital after that. For a long time she had a picture of me in a heart frame over her bed. I would visit from time to time, I remember her grandmother saying the reason she was sick in the hospital was because of that picture over her bed, and everyone would laugh.
I finally got home, made the lasagna, even had a few minutes to talk to Tony on Christmas eve and we exchanged some of our stories. I took a quick nap afterwards, got ready, and Autumn and I drove over to my dad’s. Eli and Ethan quickly followed, with Sherry, Mark, Dena, and Andy quickly behind. It was a night of Italian delight, Jane made some wonderful spaghetti, we had two pans of lasagna, a wonderful salad, lots of goodies, I think my favorite was actually the pinto pie, it tastes just like pecan pie, and I would give anyone a $100 if they didn’t agree. We all sat around with my dad and had a really nice time. It didn’t seem stressful at all. He even told us a funny story of when he was a teenager and got arrested that we had never heard. It was quite funny. We left and walked over to Dena and Andy’s. Autumn had to leave early, this was our first Christmas Eve without her with us. We have spent the last five years setting up everything for Santa to come see her. This year she spent with her mom on Christmas eve. I made it home, and Sherry and I stayed up till 1:30 wrapping presents and talking. Now all I have left to tell is about Christmas day and I’ll be all caught up, well almost anyway.