On Occasion, He Danced


Christmas morning on Harris Street always began with my sister begging me to get up so she could open presents.  Mornings were not my thing.  By the time she could convince me to get up, the house would be in full swing.  Daddy would already have his Christmas albums playing vociferously,  while his strong baritone voice carried over the volume.  He would be dressed in his green Dockers, with his red sweater and Christmas tie,  matching socks, along with his well-worn penny loafers.  This was the one day of the year that daddy cooked, and he went all out.  His dusty waffle maker would be going full force.  He usually made about fifty waffles for the four of us and tried relentlessly to make us eat them all.  As he rotated batches of burned and “not quite done” waffles, my mom, sister and I would giggle and watch with awe.  He exuded happiness.  On these mornings, he danced.

In the midst of cooking, he would take turns dancing with us.  One by one, he would twirl his three loves around as he continued to sing along to his records.  These memories fill my heart with an equal amount of happiness and grief, but I’m incredibly thankful for them.  Memories make up the chapters of my life.

Yesterday, I sat with my mom on her deck, and we talked about happy things…lots of them.  These moments are also few and far between, but also, magnificently special.  We had mostly avoided the topic of daddy, maybe on purpose so we could avoid the inevitable tears, but of course, he came up during our conversation.  How could he not?  She told me a story that I had never heard before…a story from recent years, most likely his last summer with us.  She said the two of them were at the beach for the weekend and they had decided to go to the Dollar General.  Apparently they had good ice cream there.  🙂   While they were there, daddy chose a new tape for them to listen to in momma’s jeep.  They finished their cones and walked outside to a beautiful sunset.  They were parked on a side street.  Momma said that a construction crew was across the road working on a house.  Daddy put his new tape in the cassette player and blasted it as loud as the speakers would allow, and danced with momma in the middle of the street.  Momma’s eyes glistened with so much love as she told me about the dance.  They were in their own world for a moment.  When the song was over, he kissed his love and the crew from across the street cheered and clapped.  She said when he asked her to marry him, he added that dancing was not a part of the deal.  But on occasion, he danced.

Getting Hype for the Holidays!

Getting Hype for the Holidays!

One of the girls that I work with has been telling me for two years about the lights she and her fiance set up at their home for Christmas. Last year I had dreams of filling the Suburban with lots of family, friends and cocoa and taking a trip to see the lights. Time always gets away from me this time of year and I was unable to make it happen last year.
I talked to my sister about my wish to take the kiddos to see my co-workers lights and we decided to go last night. Kelly picked me up last night, with the kiddos in the backseat eating snacks, and ready for an adventure. It was a short drive to her home, about 10 minutes away. She had told me prior that the “show” starts every half hour. Amazing! We pulled up across the street and parked. We rolled down our windows and the kiddos crawled out of their car seats and into the windows for a better view and better sound. They have used a ton of Extron controllers to synchronize about 4 songs to the music with the lights. It’s awesome! Little J was so excited that he gleefully announced that he had peed a little bit. 🙂 I may have, too. Just kidding. My sister told DG that she will be able to decorate her home the way she wants to when she grows up and then asked her what she would want to do. Her answer, “I am going to draw lots of Christmas pictures and tape them up everywhere.” Her eyes gleamed bright as she told us. It’s nice to see so many people getting hype for the holidays! Merry Christmas!