I made it to Vivian and Jeff's just after 10:00. Mom and dad arrived shortly after that, and we made some egg nog with the Covington family secret recipe, which I'm going to put here because it was delicious: 1/4 gallon of Bryers Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. 2 quarts of egg nog. 1 cup of Ancient Age Bourbon. 2 oz. of rum. (The Bryers brand is a requirement, as is the Ancient Age. Also, the order is critical. That's the family lore anyway.)
I asked Vivian and Jeff to open one gift from me before finishing the preparation for dinner, as the gift was serving pieces of their china. They were thrilled with the pieces I got -- a platter for the meat, an oval vegetable bowl, and two round serving bowls. She used them all for the dinner.
Meagan, Chris, and little Nicholas, along with Michael (my nephew) arrived just before one o'clock. Michael has grown so much that I'm not sure I would have recognized him had I seen him on the street. He has a little mustache now. He's 14. Little Nicholas is very cute. I believe he has a lazy eye, though no one mentioned it at all.
It was a little awkward sitting in the living room with them, as none of them say two words. It's quite apparent that seeing each other once a year does not make us a "close knit" family, and little Michael and Chris just don't talk. Mom asked Michael a couple of questions, and the answer is with the head down, one-word answers, mumbled. I asked Meagan a few questions about how it's been with Nicholas, and her answers were just answers, no elaboration, no conversation. Oh well. It was fun watching mom and dad dote over their great-grandchild.
Dinner was delicious -- ham and turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, peach and pineapple "fluff," cranberry sauce, olives, and pickles, rolls, and gravy. I've probably missed something. Dessert was a choice between pecan pie and a butter pecan cake. All delicious.
We actually opened the gifts between dinner and dessert. We decided not to do the, "let's go around and open one at a time" thing, which, in retrospect, was a good thing, as the kids had to leave rather abruptly to make dinner with Chris' side of the family. That reminded both Vivian and I about when we were all first married, the running back and forth between families during the holidays.
Mom and dad left shortly after them, and when dad and I went to say goodbye, he said, "I didn't say goodbye to you last time." I truly don't remember this; I thought we had said goodbye. He put out his hand, and I bypassed it and hugged him, and for I don't know what reason, I kissed him on the cheek when I said goodbye. I don't know what brought that on, but it happened.
After they left Vivian said, "Did dad say goodbye to you? Mom said he went nuts about not saying goodbye to you at Thanksgiving. For three days after they got home, he kept saying, 'I didn't say goodbye to John. I should call him.'" I found this endearing, and it of course makes me wonder how near to death he thinks he is that saying goodbye has become so critical. I have to admit, that while sitting next to him on the couch, and hearing his breathing, I thought, "That doesn't sound good." Perhaps, subconsciously, the reason for the kiss goodbye?
I left Greenville at around 4:30, and actually had a good ride back. I was not nodding off at all like my ride back at Thanksgiving time. I wonder if it being overcast helped. The sun wasn't in my eyes going there this morning, as it was overcast, then, too. That really makes a difference, I think.
I checked in with Robert just after Wilson. I got home just before 6:00, and took a nap until 9:00. I checked in with Robert via AIM. I was planning to stay in, but ended up out at Flex, where I first met Van, Rick, and Chris. When I got in line to get a drink, I saw Rodney S. there, whom I had just received a card from Tampa from yesterday. He was home for the holidays.
Shortly after that, Steve arrived. He was horny as the dickens (no pun intended), and spent some time lusting after Darrin, and then this guy who was bald, had black leather gloves on, and was smoking a cigar at one point. Just Steve's type. Walter was there, and has got a buzz cut, which I think is totally sexy on him.
Steve and I went over to CCs, where it was mildly festive. Unfortunately the piano bar was not "on." I'm not sure if they didn't have it tonight, or had just finished up. The doors were unlocked, and when I looked in, there were two women sitting in there at the piano. They came out shortly after that, and David F. came over and locked the room.
I danced for just a short while with this guy who is at Flex a lot, who often compliments my dancing. Unfortunately I don't know his name. I hate that.
I left there before 2:00, and had two deviled eggs when I got home. YUM.