Thursday, December 22, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Mixed family

We’ve had a strange Christmas family week already and it’s not even Christmas yet.

Our granddaughters’ father lives in South Dakota and he and his fiancee came early for Christmas this year so they could see the Binkster perform in the Nutcracker at her dance school.

Jason and Amanda arrived Saturday afternoon and went to the cast potluck supper with us that night. They spent the night at our house, so Sunday could be spent with the girls before the momentous dance performance that afternoon.

Tuesday evening Jason and Amanda came to watch the girls in Marshall Academy’s elementary Christmas program and followed us home for awhile.

Thursday, as soon as the girls were out of school we picked them up and headed straight on to Pappaw’s house to spend the day with Pappaw, Jason and Amanda.

We had a great time! We all crammed into Mammaw’s tiny kitchen (Mammaw passed away about six months ago, but it will always be “her” kitchen) — and cooked.

The Gremlin still cries if someone has cornbread at Pappaw’s. She won’t eat it there anymore without Mammaw.

So we had pan-fried pheasant, pan-fried venison, creamed corn (what I will always in my brain call fried corn), and knefla soup (a German potato-noodle soup); along with fruit pizza for dessert.

Pappaw enjoys food, but he loves dessert! He really enjoyed the fruit pizza (along with the rest of us).

The girls loved everything — the venison and the soup and especially the pheasant.

We all enjoyed the day together, which might seem kind of strange, as Dana and Jason are divorced and Amanda and Jason are planning to be married next summer.

Jason often refers to our group as a mixed dysfunctional family — and the term fits.

Dana and Amanda really seemed to get along well together, sitting together at lunch and after lunch sitting on the couch companionably — Dana knitting and Amanda reading — while one of Jason’s uncles visited with Pappaw. I even saw Dana and Amanda rolling their eyes together at some of the more outrageous comments by the uncle.

The funniest part of the day was actually the next day — the Gremlin and I were talking about her dad and Amanda getting married and all of us going to Gatlinburg this summer.

Then Grem started worrying about Pappaw being alone. She’s working on solving the problem though. She told me very firmly that “Pappaw needs another old woman!”

The scary part is I think she’s hoping to find him one for Christmas...


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