15 Jan 2009

Holidays – Southern Style

Posted by Sam

Dear friends,

We got to Havelock, N.C. on Dec. 5th, just in time for Katie’s baptism and the New Bern Civic Theater’s production of “Scrooge.”  Susie and Becca both had singing parts in the play and were outstanding. They were so good I wanted to poke the person next to me and say “That’s my granddaughter! … and so is that one!”

We had a wonderful Christmas. Dave was felled very suddenly at 3 AM a couple days after Christmas; violent vomiting and diarrhea, he passed out, had a seizure and passed out again. The doc said the sudden dehydration made his blood pressure drop and caused the loss of consciousness. They monitored him in the hospital for a couple of days and within a week he was his old self. My mother fell and fractured her back on Dec 9th, so we were preoccupied with thoughts
of her and my brother over the holidays. Steve and Jane had to deal with getting mother out of the hospital and into a nursing facility in two weeks of record snowfall. Awful. Mother is healing and Steve is taking a big breath whenever he can.

We went to the beach on New Year’s Day after Xander opened his presents. He’s a dynamite little 4-year-old now. The beach was balmy, not even enough wind to fly a kite, just beautiful. We were at the kids’ for a month. The job we were going to do in the western part of North Carolina was postponed until spring. We loved being a daily part of Jason’s family. I got to cook a lot and totally get into what the kids are doing. We went to a piano recital, basketball game, fencing class, middle school concert and church Christmas program. All this an I bonded with Roxy, the springer spaniel. s.i.g.h.

Gramma and Roxy

On our way to Havelock, weather delayed us in Memphis so what else could we do but go to Graceland. What a hoot. Graceland is decorated like a really nice ‘60s motel. Huge earth colored table lamps, lots of those old mosaic ashtrays. You don’t get to see the upstairs on the tour. They say that when Elvis came downstairs from his bedroom, he clanked. Lots of bling. The house was decorated for Christmas and I was impressed to see that the 50 or so pointsettias on the stairs and around the house were real. The same cannot be said, unfortunately, for the eternal floral tributes in the meditation garden (backyard) where Elvis and his parents and Gramma Minnie Mae are buried.

Blog One

We also got in a road trip to the Outer Banks. I guess I expected a wild surf with sunken ships littering the beach and wild ponies racing in the dunes. There wasn’t any of that. Actually, there wasn’t much of anything; the Outer Banks close for the winter. Fortunately, the Wright Brothers Interpretive Center was open and we got a great demonstration of models of the first two planes. It was great.

We know we’re in the south because we see signs for catfish, dance studios, decoy festivals, sweet tea, frahd evahthin’ what ain’t bahb-ee-cue, discount furniture, pentecostal platitudes, pageant dresses, kudzu, well tended cemeteries and drive-thru likker stores. We just started our first job of the year, on Skidaway Island, on the coastal edge of Savannah.

As we listen to the President’s farewell address tonight, another simpering voice of democracy speech, we look forward to January 20th with new hope and pride. Makes Dave glad he voted and makes me wish I was 30 years younger.

Love to all,

Sam Red

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