Ah to be home again. The hearty, healthy meals. The heat, water, and electricity for free. The tree blazing away in a slightly off balanced nature. The long afternoons to read and the evenings devoted to dusty board games and old, classic films. The unwavering distrust parents have in computers and debit cards. I even found myself in the den one evening viewing via VHS circa 1985, videos of Christmas past, another post entirely.
Ah yes it's good to be home.
From the living room, the view of my parents in the kitchen affords many delights. On Christmas day it was to my enjoyment to witness the excitement with which Mom and Dad carved the turkey with an electric knife -- a technology first introduced into the United States in 1950, and first discovered by my parents in 2006.
On the adventures around town, I see familiar faces either in town for the holiday, or those lucky few who have finally made it home to stay. Lucky to be back before the rest of us, lucky to have found a job. Strangely, so many of us yearn to come home. Yet we live from Idaho to Seatle. From Portland, to Pheonix. From the Carrolinas to New York, Pennsylvania, and overseas to Britian, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and Australia. Some are in the army, some in college, some just working. But those who come home for Christmas all talk about the day they will return for good.
Among the other joys of being home is the embarrassment of holding up the line at Albertsons while your parents write a check for their $30 worth of groceries. Oh, how I love that one. The cashier requires a phone number, a driver’s license number, a lock of hair, three cc’s of blood and your first born. As the first born, I flatly refused to hole up at Albertsons while the bank confirmed the check was good. You may ask why they insist on using checks. I have a headache from attempting to explain a debit card works the exact same way and that it’s perfectly acceptable to write your purchases in the check register just as if you had written a check. But they laugh, shake their heads at me (as if I’m the dense one) and calmly submit their DNA for further investigations.
I think the best thing about home, though, is the games. We’ve always been a game family. Winter weekend nights provide some of the most fertile times for inventing entertainment. As kids, my brother and I were exposed to every board and card game in existence. We would listen to oldies on the radio, make some sort of treat from scratch, whether it be ice-cream, caramel corn, or suckers. Then we would round the table sweets only a nearby distraction and argue, laugh, taunt, and joke for hours over Monopoly, Pictionary Junior, Sorry, Clue, Outburst, Scattergories, Candy land, 21, Shoots and Ladders, Life, Yahtzee, Junior Scrabble and so on.
Now all grown up, sorta, I find that not much has changed in the game department. We’ve added a few, and I convinced the parents to try Risk last night. As we set up our little armies on the world map, my Mom pouted that she didn’t understand the game. My Dad re-read every instruction I’d already read aloud. Then the game began. Mom more and more upset over the rules insisting that Dad was cheating, Dad suspicious and relatively vindictive in attacking my Mom’s armies. Of course, Mom won the game. Then, oh, then it was fun as she played the ‘blond’ card of “oh you mean I win? Gee wiz? Really?” Ha-ha Mom.
We took a quick tour of Sorry after that, then Mom and I hung out watching an old Liz Taylor film from sometime in the 1940’s.
Yes, it’s good to be home.