i pulled my little, green datsun into the circular drive, which ran alongside mr. and mrs. moss' home, recognizing only a couple of the cars. i parked 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, got out, and made a mad dash toward their door. it was so cold that day, and the wind coming off the ohio river was brisk and cutting.
it didn't help 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, warm embrace.
"merry Christmas!" i exclaimed as i pulled away and began making my way into their den and over to their Christmas tree where i knelt to place my gift among the others.
after doing so, i stood and turned around to see mrs. moss arms wide open offering a hug.
"i'm so glad you could join us," she said in her gravelly sophisticated voice, "here, let george take your coat."
as soon as i removed my coat, mrs. moss took my cold hand into her warm, soft hand and began to introduce me to their 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. i was not disappointed!
"dani, do you like country ham?" mr. moss asked.
"i love ALL food!" i answered with a giggle and a big smile.
watching 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
after the table was set,
while we dined we talked, laughed,
after our bellies were filled, we all sat in the den listening to the wind blow outside, watching the fire roar in the fire place, and chatting. everyone, i suppose, was a little curious about me. so, i obliged them by answering their questions...
it was the first of many merry little Christmases