Keys Disease

Keys Disease
Battling Keys Disease at the Futura Yacht Club in Islamorada, Fla. three years ago.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pickled on Christmas

It was Christmas dinner at the Walton's. More people than chairs or space available at the collection of tables scattered about my sister's house resulted in a couple of people milling around with a full dinner plate in one hand and a fork in the other. More or less this was the traditional Christmas meal my family has had for at least five generations. It was turkey, chestnut stuffing, real mashed potatoes, Cope's dried corn, cranberry sauce, candied yams and gallons of artery-clogging gravy.

My sister's family insists on adding olives – both green and black – pickles and pickled jalapeno peppers, she lives in New Mexico after all. I'm not thrilled with their tinkering with the menu, but my mouth is usually too full of stuffing and gravy to offer objection. The 18 of us made quick work of the holiday spread. Hours of preparation culminated in a feeding frenzy that lasted maybe 35 minutes. The wreckage left in the wake of this chow down was biblical. Fortunately the contingent of teenagers in this family is large and motivated. They attacked the cleanup with nearly the same enthusiasm as the gift opening a few hours earlier.

As much fun as it was to have everyone under one roof. I shed no tears when the last of them proffered hugs all around and headed for home. The resulting silence was deafening. The age spread had been 74 yrs. to 8 mos. The noise had been at coliseum-like levels for most of the day. I was ready for some peace and quiet.

Today we are doing it all over again as the same crowd gathers at the home of one of my nieces to celebrate her wedding anniversary. And people wonder why I drink…  

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