But it all worked out and it was fabulous!
I can only hope that each of you had a Christmas as happy and funny and satisfying as mine.
There was a plan.....isn't there always? My sons, Tom & Frank were supposed to come on the commuter rail. I went online and printed out the Christmas Day schedule, highlighted the times that their trains backs and forth would leave. I knew the train times too and I was going to pick them up at South Station (across for the #Occupy-Less Dewey Square). Foolproof, right?
Then I went out yesterday and got everything for chutney, assembled everything in a bag. that way I could wake up; make chutney; leave it to cool; pick up the boys; pick up
Jen at Grace's (I had her car from the party last night); deliver some of the chutney in their orange shell portions to Walter & Tom around the corner; and be in my seat at 1300 hours.
I got up at 9 and kinda lazed around for a few minutes. My parents called upstairs, knowing that I wanted to be up at 9. My father called my name and I answered. My mother called up "It's ten past!". I called back "Oh no!" and we all laughed. I showered, dressed, made my bed and took my stuff downstairs.
I sat down with parents to give them their gifts and told them this was the first Christmas since 1962 that I had them to myself on Christmas morning. I went out to the kitchen to start chutney at 10 am on the dot. My schedule was rolling right along. No last minute rushing. No stress. I called Walter & Tom and asked them to look out the dining room window. It looks right into our kitchen window. I held up the cranberries and the orange You see chutney is a tradition and I was too blah to get up and do it on Thanksgiving. I told them I'd be over at noon.
I cut the first orange in half and the phone rang. It was my son Tom telling me that the train was leaving at 10:40, not 11:21. I was confused and protested. Then Tom explained (while I pulled it up on the laptop) that I was looking at "Christmas Day Observed" meaning the holiday that the T gives it's workers because Christmas fell on a Sunday. Today was just the plain Sunday schedule.
Fine, I hurried up making chutney, calling Frank trying to wake him so he could make the 10:40. I put the chutney in a box and outside the backdoor. There was no room in the fridge and it was colder outside anyway.
Then it was off to grab Tom, Frank and Jen. Everyone was loaded up and it was back to Charlestown. We were lucky and there was a parking spot right out front, in front of my Dad's car.
Frank and I walked around the corner to deliver the chutney and enjoyed a visit with Walter and Tom. But Frank was quick to remind me as the time got close, that we had to get back. you don't mess with Papa's schedule. Walter & Tom teased him, but he held firm.
So there was everyone, everyone but Grace and her family who do Christmas with her in-laws.
Tons of delicious food and fun conversation. Family and presents and laughs. My Frankie & Jennifer one upping each other, telling crazy stories....my brother's kids laughing so hard they couldn't talk.
My Tommy gave me my favorite candy, Hersheyettes! But since he left first, it was the least he could do. Other plans? Really...that's ridiculous. LOL
My brother and he family packed up an hour later. Jen and Frankie left minutes before Grace and her crew showed up. More presents, more desserts, more stories, more laughing.
After Grace left I cleaned the kitchen and dining room. We had been cleaning off and on all day, so there wasn't a lot. But I swept and vacuumed and cleaned all the counters and the stove. I washed all the tablecloths and napkins and put the kitchen back together.
Once I was completely tuckered out, I came into the living room and fired up the laptop. I flipped through the channels and that's where I found my last Christmas present.
"Rio Bravo" is on AMC "Christmas With the Duke"
A wonderful, happy, satisfying day. I hope you are all as happy as I am.