Wednesday, November 21, 2012
My family is one of many traditions. We have traditions for Christmas and for Halloween and for Easter and for the Fourth of July, and of course for Thanksgiving. Every year, my family piles into cars and vans and drives the three and a half (closer to four for some people) up to Henryetta Oklahoma, not to be confused with Henrietta, Texas. There my Nana's brother and his wife have an old ranch located in the middle of about five or six acres of land. There's an old red barn, and a big white barn, and a rec hall, and a bunkhouse, and a trailer and a main house. There's a lane and there's a hay pasture, and there are cows that stare at you while you walk past. There are old wooden swings with rope handles worn with age, and a huge yard in which to play football, even if it is on a hill. And there's love. So much love. It's apparent in the daytime, when there are kids of every age running around, playing with the wagon, playing in the cowshoot, driving the tractor around, taking the old white truck to one of the 'fishing' holes. But it's even more apparent in the evenings, when everyone ends up in the rec hall, sitting around at one of the many long tables, eating dessert, or looking at magazines, or coloring, or playing Farkle. The sound of pool balls clicking together echoes from the back, where there is usually a game or two going on. Kids run in and out, either trying to take advantage of the pitch black by rounding up a game of flashlight tag (a mix of hide and go seek in the dark and tag), or flinching a cookie from the crowded dessert table. Eventually my dad and my aunt get out their guitars and an impromptu carol singing erupts. No matter what people are doing, they're singing. Coloring, playing farkle or pool, making out their Christmas list, doing homework for the more studious of the college/high school crowd, Christmas cheer comes pouring out. And even though our time this year is being cut a little short due to a wedding, it's still one of my most favorite times of the year.