Part of my usual Modus Operandi for returning south to Monkeytown during the Holidays is to avoid the cold winter weather of North Carolina.
No such luck this year. We seem to be working off the same playbook we had this past summer – in reverse! My poor toes are already frost-bitten and Winter has not officially begun as yet.
There has been some news on the home front during my NC hiatus. My little house on Fairway Drive has finished the Short Sale process and been sold to a young couple who are repairing, adding-on and developing the property into an Ardmore Palace. Then they’ll try to sell it.
If I win the Lottery I can buy it back….So, let’s keep those fingers crossed, eh?
Most folks don’t realize all of the agony, frustration, anger, resentment, fear and stress surrounding what was at one time my little cottage-refuge. The story is a long one and I’m not quite ready to delve into it as yet…the wounds may be too fresh and the mountain of material too daunting. But soon. It’s not just my tale of woe…It’s an indictment of our Banking System, probably by extension the vast wasteland that is loosely called our Government, and the once respected Home Mortgage.
For now, let’s just agree that I had wonderful neighbors on Fairway Drive for the 15 years I lived there. They became very dear friends and will be missed. They should know – although I doubt they read VB – just how important they were and are to me and how much worse my situation would have been without their friendship and support.
For my Peeps – my friends who were there to celebrate with me and party like it was 1999 whenever the notion struck me to throw a party: (The Christmas Costume Party, my many cast parties, Halloween parties, Just Because Parties and the Final Party-the goodbye one). That little house proved to be a warm and welcoming friend to all in need of fellowship, laughter, love, libations and munchies. Thank you guys for helping to make the house a real home for me during all those years. I’d be remiss if I didn’t send a special shout out to my good bud Mr. Knuckle. You know who you are and we had some fine times there didn’t we…Isn’t there still some mystery surrounding a drunken pizza?
Also, I had the best damned Real Estate Agent on the planet. Blake Jacobs from Leonard Ryden Burr Realtors suffered through my ordeal right alongside me and it was by her hard work, patience (long after mine had run out) and personal committment that this sale happened at all. Thank you so much, Blake. And for the rest of you thinking of buying or selling a home… I can not express enough how strongly I recommend her. She was more than an agent. She was a friend and bulwark.
Alright, enough free advertising!
Back to the Holiday Message:
My Mother is addicted to the Hallmark Channel. She can sit and watch the same holiday programs over and over again as if seeing them for the very first time. I guess I should be relieved that her addiction to “Walker Texas Ranger” has run its course. She would watch those damn shows everyday – 2 or 3 in a row – and turn to me wide-eyed and in all honesty say, “That’s a new one. I’ve never seen that one before.”
To which I’d reply, “Mom, you watched that one last Tuesday.”
“No I didn’t.”
Mom doesn’t have Alzheimer’s. Several years ago she almost had a stroke and over time there has been slight deterioration in her memory or as the Doc’s like to put it: Minor Dementia. But, she continually surprises us with the things she does recall and her awareness of what’s happening around her. (As long as it does not involve technology) I can only hope that I’m that sharp when I’m an old dog…like next week.
Speaking of which…
Memories surround us during the holidays: Traveling to Grandma’s, Celebrating with our families as children, Establishing our own Holiday Traditions as we matured. When Thanksgiving rolls around, I am always reminded of my best and worst.
WORST THANKSGIVING EVER
I think the year was 1971. I was a student in the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College. Valet Boy was 20 years old and this was the very first Thanksgiving away from my family 2200 miles away back in Alabama. Depressing enough to be away from home and hearth during this time of year, but add to that the fact that I lived in a tiny dingy single in Wilshire Center replete with a Murphy bed – just a few lovely blocks from campus – and shared that space with Pat Mulligan (he slept on the sofa or floor ) and you have the makings of a mirthless Irish Wake sans the joy of Bushmills.
Neither Pat nor myself had family or friends to spend the holiday with, but I insisted on at the very least watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV and having some kind of bird for a Thanksgiving meal. Pat and I tried to watch the Parade, but that was an emotional torture worse that watching yourself being consumed by Necrotizing Faciitis, the flesh-eating disease.
We put our heads together, along with the Yellow Pages, and let our digits search for a suitable holiday spread away from home. Nothing. The whole town seemed buttoned up tighter than an Amish Girls’ Knees.
The only place we could find with a bird was the take-out dump Chicken Delight. You may recall their slogan: “Don’t cook tonight, call Chicken Delight!” So, we called and I ran out to get it. Somehow, driving to a take-out place on a warm sunny Thanksgiving Day did absolutely nothing to meliorate the thick despondency that settled over me like a suffocating black cloud.
Bringing the greasy chicken back to our apartment, Pat and I sat at that tiny pea green kitchen table and stared at our walls, ingeniously papered with smiling buxom Playboy centerfolds. We were both so depressed that at some point we just accepted our fates and laughed…My guess would be that we also did some rather heavy drinking…But, that’s a just a given – right?
And so ended my first Thanksgiving away from home. All in all, it could have been so much worse and the mere fact that I can look back upon it with some slight degree of nostalgia should stand for something. I mean at least I wasn’t eating the left-overs on other people’s plates at the Hawaiian Take-Out across the street from City on Vermont. No, but that was yet to come. Ah, good times.
And look here. VB’s run out of time and space for the Best Thanksgiving Ever. I guess that gives me something to live for.
Until next week….
Thanks for Reading!