As a kid there was nothing more exciting than preparations for "company".
Mother spent hours deciding on the perfect menu.
And days fussing over the table to make sure it was "just right".
Our holidays were especially filled with anticipation.
Ethel would make plans with my Aunt Millie for weeks in advance.
Thanksgiving and New Years Day were our holidays.
Christmas was always at Aunt Millie and Uncle Fred's.
And for me that was exciting for many reasons.
Something we NEVER
had at our house -
Aunt Millie kept boxes upon boxes
of ice cold Shoprite soda
on her enclosed front porch.
All day long I could go out
and pick any flavor I wanted -
including my favorite
DARK BLACK CHERRY!
After all Christmas is Jesus' birthday. So every year we lit the candles and sang to our Lord & God. As my cousin Janet and I got older - we rolled our eyes during this tradition. But... we still ate that cake!
RITUAL OF THE GRAVY!
Millie was the polar opposite of Ethel. Mom wanted it done NOW! Millie felt it must be done "correctly". Wondra flour was sifted into milk then "drizzled" into the pan. Then stirred slowly with the back of a spoon so that there would be no lumps. Every year Ethel paced back/forth as the spoon moved methodically back/forth. It took every ounce of self control for Mother to not grab that spoon!
Uncle Fred always had the football game on. This was absolutely prohibited in our home. Mother GLARED at him all day while "Fritzl" blithely ignored her. Uncle Fred adored Cher - and if she was on air we watched! My vivid memory is of the "girls" sitting side-by-side on the sofa whispering "tramp" and "hussy".
It's funny how little things end up being big memories.