Operation Caracal, part 2
Unlike some of our earlier family trips, this one didn’t have a lot of frills. For me, this was a chance to put some distance between myself and the problems I had been dealing with for most of the preceding year, and try to determine how best to handle whatever came next. For Lisa, it was a chance to collect and prepare for her upcoming plunge back into the workforce. For Caitlin and Michael, this was a chance to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Days 3-4, December 23-24.
These two days were quiet days, devoted largely to recovering from the grueling drive. We did run some errands, such as acquire stocking stuffers for the kids and some other last minute things. One strange observation, for me at least, was the sight of teens and twenty somethings walking around in t-shirts, Bermudas, and Daisy Dukes. I know that Louisiana is one of the warmer parts of the country. But even so, the sight of so much traditionally summer attire at Christmas time created a cognitive disconnect.
As with the last time we spent Christmas here, Mr. Wayne prepared a traditional Lithuanian kūčios dinner. The main course contained fish, onions and mushrooms, while the side dishes consisted largely of, well, onions and mushrooms. Caitlin wasn’t very thrilled, because she’s not fond of mushrooms. She asked why there were so many onions and mushrooms in the meal. I told her that in the days prior to refrigeration, onions and mushrooms were among the few foods that could be preserved well into the winter. It was either eat these things, or go hungry until Spring. That’s not much of a choice when you think about it.
Day 5, December 25.
The dinner was amazing, with roasted Cajun-style turkey, a variety of vegetables, and some decadent Louisiana-style desserts. My blood glucose read me the riot act a short time later.
That evening, we did a drive-by of Celebration in the Oaks, a long running tradition in the New Orleans City Park. Lisa and I returned to Hammond, because Michael was falling asleep, but Caitlin stayed with the rest of the family and went through the entire display.
To be continued.