i pulled in the circular drive that ran alongside mr. and mrs. moss' home recognizing only a couple of the cars that were parked there. i parked my car and reached for their Christmas gift, a book of poetry i had written for them.
"a pearl untouched...
a jewel of the sea.
a heart touched by many...
a jewel of me."
i opened my car door and made a mad dash toward their house. it was so cold that day, and the wind coming off the ohio river was brisk and cutting.
it didn't help that i was wearing my pink corduroy walking shorts...
before i could even ring the bell, mr. moss opened the door...
"bless your heart, dani, come in here," he greeted me with a big hug.
"merry Christmas!!!" i said as i walked toward the den to place my gift under their tree.
after doing so, i turned around to see mrs. moss arms wide open offering a hug.
"i'm so glad you could make it," she said in her gravelly sophisticated voice, "here, let george take your coat."
as soon as i removed my coat, mrs. moss began to introduce me to their extended family. of course, i already knew mrs. moss' sister, nellie, and mr. moss' sister, "buzz", from many, many sunday lunches; but it was so nice to finally put faces with the names of their niece and nephews, their spouses and children, respectively. i had heard so many wonderful things about these people. they were all so warm and welcoming.
"dani, do you like country ham?" mr. moss asked.
"i like everything!!!" i answered with a big smile.
i watched as mr. moss sliced the country ham, as mrs. moss carefully removed the cheesy grits from the oven, and as nellie spooned the turnip greens from a pot into a bowl.
i asked if i could help.
mrs. moss gave marlene (nellie's daughter-in-law) and me
the food was blessed: we broke bread.
while we dined we talked, laughed, and enjoyed a delicious kentucky meal.
after our bellies were filled, we all sat in the den listening to the wind blow outside, watching the fire in the fire place, and chatting. everyone was, i suppose, a little curious about me. so i obliged them by answering their questions of how my mother was doing, how college was going, etc...
it was the first of many merry little Christmases