When I arrived at Denver Airport, I was greeted by this adorable jazz band. Instead of rushing through security, I plopped down to eat my sandwich and enjoy their music. I gave a few compliments and ate it up. They're Shriners, like my Grandpa Wilbur, which made me love them all the more. Their swinging melodies ringing throughout the terminal really helped put me in the holiday mood.
Meanwhile, my transition from Death Bed to Holiday Madness has been taxing, to say the least. A nasty cough still remains and I'm still recovering from bronchitis. I hadn't even realized the blog had been neglected until I got a note from Fang, "Are you alright?" God knows, I love the Internet but it sure was peaceful being unplugged for a few days. I've returned to my 'informed state' and the world just got weirder, it seems.
Here in Mississippi, men and boys go hunting in every spare moment - duck, quail or deer mostly. EVERYTHING comes in camoflauge - even RMAC's new golf cart is camo. At left here is Brandon, a family friend, getting ready to go sit in a tree on the family property known as "The Farm." (Robert, my brother, is having a blast as he gradually builds up his dream property, bit by bit.)
As someone who aspires to be a vegetarian (all signs point to failure so far), you'd think I'd find this hunting business offensive. Instead, I see it as a very healthy return to mankind's roots. Before we could order pizza on our cell phones, we had to go out and kill our dinner with our own wits. (I was reminded of this in Africa - when we complained about having cabbage soup every night, we were told to go get a goat or pig and get the spit ready. We were hungry enough that we did just that. My fangs sharpened there, no doubt about it.)
Of course, we certainly don't need to hunt to get our meat any longer but that is only nutritionally speaking. I think that for some male humans, the hunt taps into a primitive need - it returns a sense of dignity that has been worn away by centuries of luxury.
Just watching these grown men get giddy and glow with accomplishment - it's really hard to ignore. Of course, as long as everything is eaten - and it is - I'm okay with it. Anyway, the best land conservationists are hunters - Teddy Roosevelt and National Geographic taught me that much.
So, while the men went off duck hunting on Xmas Day, the women gathered round, poured the wine and watched - what else? - "Steel Magnolias."
I will admit that the film choice was mostly my urging; I wanted the chance to view the classic Southern Woman film with a bunch of the real thing. The cast seemed to have every actress in 1989 Hollywood - Shirley MacLaine, Darryl Hannah, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis - and is known as "the funniest movie to make you cry." All I know is, I want a place like Truvy's Salon nearby, where beauty and gossip flow freely behind a screen door. It would have to include a wisecracking Shirley MacLaine as well.
Also, here in Mississippi, the Fireworks Stands is a year-round business. People stop here the same way folks go to REI in Colorado or pick up bread and milk everywhere else. Here's Mama Iva and Robert just getting a few necessary items. I've seen them shoot them off on a Tuesday night before - because it's, y'know, Tuesday night.