Note: As I explained in my last post, A STRANGER TO HER OWN BLOG, I am picking up where I left of- WEEK 96. I had this post written and a few more that I had down loaded the photos already but, with the last hectic days before I left for Spain, and then the jet lag and migraines after I arrived in Spain it was impossible for me to post.
December 2 2- 28
WEEK 96 = Christmas week. And although we all know Christmas is so last year's by now... I just
can't skip writing about it. After all, it is a most wonderful time of the year- a time to celebrate the
birth of Jesus, whether merrily with family and friends, or... just on your own.
So how did I celebrate my last one in the U.S.? Well, I did it both ways. Since my son, Christopher, worked
late on Christmas Eve, we opted to get together on Christmas day. That meant a simple dinner with
Sandra and Alonso, on the 24th. She afterward went to a friend's house where they were celebrating it
big time, as many hispanics do on Noche Buena. I encouraged Sandra to go because it would be fun for
her and Alonso. I, on the other hand, although being invited to the same Christmas Eve party, decided to
stay home... my mind wondering off to Spain, to my husband, Pepe, Mayra and Raul, my grandkids
Alberto and Gabriel, and the rest of the gang that was gathering at my sister Cary's home for an all out
evening with hilarious performances by the kids and many of the adults.
With many years of Christmas Eve's celebrations in Spain, I was an expert as to how the evening would
evolve at my sister's, and waited for the clock to strike 5 pm Eastern time- 11 pm Spanish time. As
customary my family would be getting up from the dinner table and start getting ready to family-party.
And so, with phone in hand, I had to fight a big lump in my throat and keep from crying, when I called
my husband to wish him and all gathered there a Feliz Noche Buena. When our conversation was over
I sure didn't fight the tears. I let them roll. And the tears weren't all because I was missing my family in
Spain. No. They were from anticipatingly missing my children, my sister, Hilda, and her children, my dear
friends and yes, even this house... witness for eleven years of our lives in Georgia. In a matter of days
everything as I knew it, would change.
Reminiscing Christmas past, the evening hours passed slowly... quietly. Finally, it was time to shower, get
dressed and go celebrate on my own. After all, it was Christmas Eve and I did have plans. I got in my car
at 11:15 pm and drove toward Winder. Dark. Cold. Misty. I listened to jolly Christmas carols while keeping
an eye out for night critters on, or about to cross the road. And as I did a thought crossed my mind; No
possums, racoons or deer around the area I would soon be living in.
Not a car in sight until I got to the traffic light past the Aburn Fire Department- over the rail road
crossing and Hwy 29. From this point, my Christmas celebration destination, St. Matthew Catholic Church,
was just ten minutes away and a turn to the right.
Time to celebrate Jesus' birth.
On Christmas day I woke up early.
With Sandra and Alonso still fast asleep, I headed to Chris and Beth's home.
There was cooking to be done, and memories to create.
Earlier Chris had place my pork roast in the oven, but before I started the rest of the cooking,
there were delicious cups of esspresso, warm rolls with creamy butter,
and a lesson on how to make a very original Christmas centerpiece, by Beth!
I never would have thought of this-
Add lemons and cranberries to a vase...
Then some evergreen and pretty flowers...
And Taaa-Daaaa!! Simply adorable!!
And speaking of adorable, here is Beth.
This talented interior designer and daughter- in- law of mine is just getting prettier by the day!!
When Sandra arrived with Alonso, it was present opening time, and...
Oh, boy!! Uncle Chris and Aunt Beth got him all sorts of colors and books!!
After he held the special markers in his hands there wasn't much interest in the rest.
And it seemed Berkus was just as interested in those markers!
However, Rembrandt, inclined for the musical instruments...
The anecdote of the day was:
Alonso waking up that morning and very excitedly exclaiming "Oook, mami, peepahs!!"
while pointing at the gift boxes under our tiny tree.
Translation: "Look Mami, pizzas!!"
Yaya had cooked what Chris, Beth and Sandra requested. Cuban food.
After all, they won't be tasting Mama's food in a while...
Yuca with garlic, olive oil and fresh lemon mojo...
Steamy white rice, Cuban tamales- my way (husk-less)
Avocado & tomato
Flan and Torrijas
WHO'S COUNTING CALORIES...
And this is what our plates looked like. YUM!!
Of course before taking a bite, I had to take a few photos!
It's hard to do when you are hungry and the aroma of delicious food surrounds you.
It was best to dig in and put the camera away!
In the meantime, Alonso played creatively...
After lunch... well, we just hung out.
Who could move!
Later on Sandra went back home. I stayed behind soaking in precious time spent with Chris and Beth.
How could I not? To see them again, before my trip to Spain, was uncertain.
Tired and with a heavy belly it was time to sit on the comfy livingroom's sofa. I looked around
admiring what a great job, Beth, had done with it. And my eyes landed on a piece tied to many of my
fondest memories; The large, rectangular mirror with wide, golden frame that had captured and
reflected the images of my family's life for ten years now sat on their fireplace's mantel. I smiled.
A newer, fresher era had begun for it in this young couple´s home as they build a life together. I
wished it many happy reflections for years to come.
It was a most relaxed and enjoyable evening. Chris was being extra sweet with me. And I really
appreciated it... I would have loved to stay overnight as he suggested. Gosh, the thought of sleeping
on a real bed, or even the cushioned sofa was tempting, but the thought of Sandra and Alonso alone in
that almost empty house kept me from it. I settled for staying a few more hours than planned.
While Chris and I watched television, Beth went out on a good will mission. She figured her cousin,
who just had a baby, could do without the worry of two puppies at home that needed feedings and walks.
I thought it was very nice on her part. Also very brave. Who knew how Berkus and Rembrandt would
react to the newcomers!
drove into the night wondering how my next Christmas would be. Oh, dear God, I would be with
my husband and Mayra, and the rest of my family in Spain but, missing Chris, Beth, Sandra and
Alonso!! You can´t have it all, I thought, what´s important now is that THIS will be your last one
without your hubby.
There was no traffic on I-85, I had the road all to myself as I drove home
Hmmm... I loved an open road
I loved the idea of an open future close to Pepe