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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holiday Social Circuit

Dear Mom, 

At Thanksgiving, we talked about the fact you didn't want to leave us at Christmas. Although it was a terribly hard week, and I know Christmas will always feel bittersweet, there were some unexpected blessings to the way things played out.

One was the fact that we were able to enjoy seeing a lot of people who love us and care for us at various Quincy social events. When Leigh Ann got home, the first thing you said to her was, "What did you bring to wear to the Sawano Club?!" She was pretty surprised, as the dance certainly wasn't the reason I'd told her she should move up her planned arrival. But that joy for seeing us mingle in "The Q" is one of the things we loved most about you, as we said in the eulogy.

So, that Saturday night, we gussied up and headed out to the big ol' red clubhouse. We took what may be the last formal shot in the "traditional picture-taking spot" under our portraits in your living room.

Notice I am wearing the consignment store Givenchy heels I bought in Dallas with Babs, which Anne Jolly Thomas said were definitely the best shoes at the party! (Dress from Espana, purchased in Santiago after I finished my big walk.) 

We had such a nice time at the dance. It was great to catch up with my "first husband" Ashley, and Elder's husband Ben pulled out a little redneck flair for our photo. 

I promised Miss Densyl I wasn't going to post this photo on Facebook, but maybe I can get away with putting it on the blog. It's not a great shot of either of us, but it reminds me of a happy moment in time.

The next day was Sunday, so we headed to Jessica's for the annual Cookies With Santa party, which she and Ranie do such a great job of hosting. The kids are adorable all dressed up in their holiday outfits. 

We were relieved Santa was not enforcing an age limit... 

Quite a change from our last photo shoot at the Northwood Mall in the early 80s! Though I am tickled to note we sat on the same knees without even realizing it...
Two days after your funeral, Ranie and I dropped by Kay Edwards's house to return her brass container for the altar flowers. She asked what we'd planned for New Year's Eve and suggested we stop by Mack and Dianne's house, as she was coordinating their party and thought we'd enjoy it. I'd always wanted to see their gorgeous house, so we gate crashed. I took Miss Dianne a memento from your dresser as her hostess gift. Mr. Mac showed off his game trophies from Africa and got Byron Spires to snap a shot of us in his library.

We also hit the school gala at the Golf Club, but we forgot to get a photo there. I'm very sorry we didn't get a shot of ourselves amusing ourselves in our furs!

Speaking of fur...I know you were totally grossed out by that mink coat Leigh Ann bought me for $40 at Christ Town. ("Don't bring that thing in my house! It probably has fleas!"...and then there was Va's quote: "Do you think it might have belonged to Sister Baby? Is it mink? Or maybe something else, like possum?") But I think it's a hoot!

I wore it to the Old House on New Year's Day...but then proceeded to hear it get a big ol' rip in the shoulder. Maybe it's suffering from dry rot?! I need to get it repaired but can't put more into it than Leigh Ann spent purchasing it.

Anyway, it was JT's birthday party, and it was so much fun. Ranie had done an excellent job of playing "the peacemaker" all week and helping LAS and me avoid getting crossed up. So, I insisted we pose for a good ol' "Martha, Mary & Jesus" shot.

Somehow Ranie doesn't recall the Lenten luncheon at Centenary in the late 80s where you and Betty provided the devotional (re: entertainment). It was a skit of the three of us acting out the Bible story where Jesus has to play referee between Martha (the hard-working sister who is slaving away in the kitchen) and Mary (the social chatterbug who is providing entertainment in the living room). 

Can you imagine why that story possibly would have been relevant to us that week?! HA! Aunt Judith did  a great job of gently reminding us to respect each other's unique grief process. And I think we both realize our differences are quite complementary in many cases, though we both need to take turns switching roles from time to time. 

Naturally the menu included the traditional New Year's Day foods, plus an appetizer platter of Gretna pate. 

I teased JT about not having any squirrel or Vienna sausages, but I guess those are reserved for "boys only" events.

You would have loved it all. I'm sad you missed it, but I'm grateful you left us with so many fun friends and such a strong support network.



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