Some of our greatest treasures we place in museums; others we take for walks. — APlaceToLoveDogs
Mama is working on her novel, so she gave me permission to commandeer her blog again.
Permission — hah!
Greetings from Gulfport, MS, home of yesterday’s ice storm Leon.
Those of you (like my son Domer) who have endured months of snow and cold might not think much of our “little wintry mix,” but let me assure you, it’s way worse than it looks.
We traveled to Gulfport, MS over My Favorite Domer’s month-long Christmas Break.
Visiting family, shopping, trying new restaurants, walking outside in warmer temperatures — all that sounded pretty good. Besides, Domer had to fly from there to Miami for the
sorry lousy miserable National Championship slaughter game.
One fascinating difference between Central Illinois and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is their propensity to partay. Not that Illinoisans don’t like to have fun; just that we’re a bit tamer about it!
Anyway, as soon as New Year’s Day is over, folks down south bring out their Mardi Gras decor’ — and it’s especially obvious when Lent begins early as it does this year (Feb. 13).
It’s like they put Christmas back in the attic or storeroom and haul out Carnival.
They bedeck their houses with purple, gold, and green garlands; hang lavish wreathes on their front doors; begin attending (and hosting) fancy formal parties; and some scramble for cheap plastic beads and other collectibles during a plethora of parades.
Of course, that’s easier there than here. After all, they don’t have snow on the ground!
Another thing that’s popular during Carnival season is the King Cake. This delicacy happens to be one of Domer’s favorites, and his grandmother never fails to make sure he gets one.
This year was no exception.
And guess who else happens to love cake? Any cake, not just the King variety?
Dallas! Witness his patience while Domer partakes of a hefty slice:
I spent Christmas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, visiting my sis and her family and soaking up some warmer weather (though they, too, had some nights below freezing!)
When you’re away from home base for several days, you find yourself attending a different church, patronizing different restaurants and stores, and running into different people than usual.
I want to recapture some of those experiences here.
One of the churches I attended has a custom — after the adults’ collection plate has been passed — of inviting the children to come forward and drop their donations into a huge glass pickle jar to be given to charity.
Because of the holidays, the kids were dressed to the nines. Fancy crinoline dresses, little Christmas vests, bows in hair, khaki trousers, patent Mary Janes.
They looked darling.
They also seemed a bit hesitant about dropping their coins and bills into the jar (fortunately, no one reached back in to retrieve their donation!)
Anyway, one little girl with dark curls, a satin-looking red dress, and matching red shoes was the last to give. When she finished, she balked at leaving the altar, holding her arms up until daddy rescued her and carried her back to the pew.
The whole church giggled.
Grandparents and those of us with older kids reminisced over days gone by; parents of younger kids were all-too-familiar with the scene.
It brought to mind something My Favorite Domer said recently about how Christmas “just isn’t as much fun” as it was when he was little.
No toys, not as many presents, nothing from Santa.
Part of me wanted to argue that his “toys” now are much more expensive than when he was little and to snidely tell him, “Welcome to the adult world,” but I stopped myself.
What if he’s right?
Does growing up have to make us jaded? Can’t we find a way to approach the holidays with childlike wonder, to enjoy and fully live in the present without sacrificing memories of the past?