December 25, 2016
christmas dinnerchristmas 2016 – 7
click to read the christmas 2016 posts
It was a tradition to go driving through the west-end to see the various Christmas light displays. The area west of Goulais Avenue was infamous for over-the-top illuminations. Guess that tradition made more sense when we were younger, less jaded and had a more naive world-view. In the age of the crazy-man, naiveté is a dangerous characteristic. So I shot the house across the street. When I lived here, the Greniers, a French-Canadian family, lived in the small house. My parents referred to them as i francesi, because the family still spoke French.
By early afternoon, Mr. Zinga had exhausted himself and sat back in his chair commenting. Connie, the kids and I announced that we were going for a walk; Dave retreated upstairs to ESPN; and Mafalda and Isabel set about getting the actual meal assembled. Normally, I work with my mom at getting the vegetables, the soup, the lasagna and the turkey sides ready, but it was nice to leave all that in Isabel’s capable hands. The two of them worked wonderfully together and we even got some modified dishes – baked mashed potatoes, salad with black olives.
After our walk, Seane and I got the tables ready. Mr. Zinga couldn’t control himself and started to give us orders. I just looked at him and started to laugh especially when he questioned why we left a space in front of the fireplace. Seane and I had great fun grimacing about fly body-parts in the bowls, where to put the napkin, the knife, the fork. When Isabel suggested putting the soup-spook above the plate, we roared. I told her that we weren’t doing that, because A: the group wouldn’t find it and B: after finding it, they would hound her with their comments.
The Hub trail is one of the many wilderness trails in the west-end. It’s a 10 minute drive from my parents. The trail was again a reminder of that nouveau term – micro-climate. There was no evidence of melting or ice-covered snow anywhere. Strange given that where my parents are, everything was covered in a sheet of ice because of the rain the previous day. (After dinner, Alyssa and Seane went on about liking getting mentioned or having their pics on the blog. Who knew my jaded niece and my still unjaded cousin cared.)
The soup was done with store-bought capelleti instead of the small home-made meatballs – we complained; the lasagna hadn’t settled, it was wet – we complained; Daniel had a pimple – we complained; Christian filled up on shrimp – we complained; Seane dumped her boyfriend – we complained; Alyssa wants to come to Kaua’i – we cheered. After dinner, my mother complained about pics-on-phones, so she pulled out the old albums and we had a great time looking at the old pictures. “Yes, I was a monk. I used to be holy.” You can just image the comments that followed that statement.
Images top to bottom – the blue house across the street, Mafalda and Isabel preparing Christmas dinner, the table in the downstairs kitchen set for 20, Seane on our Christmas day walk, Connie, Seane, Christian on the bridge over the hollow