Sunday, August 28, 2016

Big Idea Number 9

Are you scared? Trembling? Panicked?

Well, rest easy my faithful readers, Big Idea Number 9 is not at all terrible. You're going to be impressed. You're going to think, "Hmm. Why don't we do that?"

I shall pass this on to you and you must feel free to use it, because it is precious.

In early December, we get out our Christmas decorations. The boxes are filled with homemade ornaments of Popsicle sticks and dough, covered with paint and glitter. (It's a kid's tree. Not an adult one.)

We trimmed the tree while listening to music and giggling, exclaiming over our favorite ornaments and recalling when we made them.

As we worked, my mother cooked. She made a feast that outdid the one in the Grinch's world. We had all sorts of finger foods.

From boiled shrimp to broccoli dip, little smokies to queso, it was a meal that we salivated over.

Cookies, dips, hot chocolate, cheese...

It was glorious.

And when we were done making our tree beautiful with its sparkling, crafty ornaments, we ate around it, watching the lights glow and twinkle, causing the world around us to be cozy, warm and magical.

My mama did good, don't ya think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My ABCs (I learned 'em good.)

Have I mentioned I'm a competitive person?

Or perhaps I didn't have to. Y'all are probably pretty smart and have read between my lines.

I enjoy a good competition in almost any format. My favorite opponents are boys because what is better than beating a boy?

(Ice cream is better. And bluebonnets. But only by a fraction of a percent.)

I think I get this competitive streak from my father. He'll play about any game. Spades, hearts, poker, pinochle, dominoes, baseball, doesn't really matter. To him, it's all fun.

And we played with him. He taught us the ABC game, which is something you enjoy on a long car ride that tests your eyesight, reflexes, and alphabet knowledge. We had to find words that began with each letter and whoever got to Z first won.

We usually played while we drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Do you know how many car trips it took for me to beat him? Huh?

Did you guess 50? Maybe 100?

Well, you're not even close. I feel like we played that game one million times before I beat him. We started when I was in the second grade, and I was almost fourteen, fourteen, before I won.

I still remember what my Y and Z word were.

We were passing the George R. Brown Convention Center, and there was this Asian restaurant across from it called "Yit Ingho". I screamed, "Yit!" so fast because I knew, I knew, where a Z was. We'd played so many dadgum times.

Right after I yelled out my Y word, I whipped my gaze to a blue sign on top of a green freeway board. The lovely, glorious, victorious "Zoo" was there waiting for me. It cried, "Here, Kara! Here I am!"

And hallelujah, I shouted that word at the TOP of my lungs.

It was a good day.