For Part 1, click here.
For Part 2, click here.
The next day was our last day in Texas. The day after that would be the start of another 2-day drive half way across the country back to Los Angeles.
I was introduced to my step-father’s extended family that day, spending the morning house hopping between my step-father’s uncles and aunts houses before finally spending the afternoon at my step-grandmother’s sister’s house.
I stuck to my mother like glue that day and couldn’t bear being without her (irony there). Everyone was conversing and babbling all sorts of things in English while I stood or sat next to my mom with a smile pasted on my face without a single clue of what in the world was going on.
As the day faded into the night, hors d’oeuvres like celery and carrot sticks and olives began appearing on the kitchen counter. I tried each one but fell in love with the black olives. The saltiness was something I like even now.
Dinner was more or less the same that night but with a large turkey, ham, an assortment of mash potatoes, and pies for dessert.
Instead of spending the night at my step-father’s sister’s house, we spent it with my step-grandparents so when we leave early the next morning, we won’t be waking so many people. My parents spent the night in the guest bedroom while I was on a rollaway bed in my step-grandmother’s sewing room, a room which I would spend a lot of time in when I move to Texas five years later. Personally, I wish I have a room like this in my current house – to stash different color yarns for my crochet projects. Maybe someday.
The next morning, after a quick breakfast, we were on the road. Back to LA we went. I was more aware of this trip than the trip to Texas. We stopped along the trip in Arizona to take photos of the cactus – something that was foreign to me at the time – and ate at multiple fast food joints along the way, which surprisingly, I thought was way better than all the meals in Texas combined.
Now, as I am getting ready to mark my 20th Christmas in my memory bank, I can’t help but feel blessed to get to experience a Christmas as traditional as this.