Christmas in Florida, and other paradoxes

Let’s face it.  Having Christmas in 80% weather is just…weird.  Oh, sure, for those who didn’t grow up in New England, it’s normal, but for proud Yankees like me, even after many years, it’s still a little strange to see Christmas lights decorating palm trees instead of pines, and sprawling stone houses instead of neat, boxy colonials.

That said, it’s really all about family (or Jesus, or shopping, take your pick), and it was neato this year to have my bro and sister in law with us for Christmas.

Most of the week was about vegging and eating, both of which my family excel at.  There were some presents thrown in there, some dominoes, and no golf, alas.  We made Chrusciki, a Polish “delicacy” consisting of fried dough drenched in powdered sugar.  As I manned the hot oil (with varying degrees of success), I could feel my grandma looking down on us and smiling.  They weren’t as good as hers, but then again, she used lard, and we did not. We enjoyed my mom’s awesome roast, and my sister-in-law’s yummy coffee cake, a new tradition.  And pierogi. And naps.  Naps are excellent, and often necessary during such intense eating and lazing about.

Once my bro and SIL left, though, the remaining Beznoskas threw down in the fun department.

We saw the Muppet movie.  I loved it.  Especially when, faintly in the background of a montage, I could hear “Piiiiigs Iiiiiin Spaaaaaaace!!!!” I teared up when Kermit sang “Rainbow Connection,” mostly because I miss the time when being naive and hopeful was possible.  My folks enjoyed it more than they thought they would.  Bonus.

We went to the Kennedy Space Center, and I renewed my five-year old self’s vow to become an astronaut, and will spend part of tomorrow watching Apollo 13 for the 17,000th time.  Space is cool.  It’s a shame we can’t get our national financial house in order so we can keep exploring it. 

The next day, we went to Magic Kingdom for a fleeting few hours.  Splash Mountain with my dad. It’s a Small World with my mom.  A blue sky above Cinderella’s Castle.  I never want to get old enough to not enjoy Disney World. 

All this fun was accomplished within the space of two point five days.  It was me and my parents, and it was nice to, for a change, not feel weird about that.  That’s the good thing about tourist stuff in Florida; it’s being enjoyed by all combinations of family units, and many are not having as much fun as we do. 

And then, I came back to Arkansas and a messy house that I thought was clean when I left, but pales next to my mom’s beautiful clean house.  Talk about a plunge into the cold pool of reality.

However, the weather gods have cooperated to ease me back into real life with a lovely warm weekend.  So warm, in fact that I cleaned out my garage and car today because it was too nice to stay inside.

And on the last few days of 2011, things are looking good.  I have friends to ring out the New Year with a game night.  I just remembered that my snarky 2011 New Year’s resolution post was mentioned on Arkansas Women Bloggers (hopefully making a few folks laugh).  I have lots of new books to read.  My dog remembered who I was.  Wisconsin’s in the Rose Bowl. 

And for the coup de grace, today I was seized by my long-dormant (more like non-existent) foodie tendency, and cooked myself a fantabulous dinner of kielbasa with onions and apples, over locally made pasta with a side of sauteed brussel sprouts.  AND!  I bought a butternut squash to cook tomorrow.  This is big deal, because I LOVE butternut squash anything, and I have never once attempted to cook with it.  Why?  I have no idea.  I can’t wait to try it. 

(For those who are wondering what has happened to the real Jodi, and if she’s been kidnapped and replaced, rest assured, this won’t last.  Cooking like this is a luxury for me that comes after a week of vacation and with no work for another 3 days.  Once real life and 50+ hour work weeks kick back in, life will resume as normal.) 

It’s likely this will be my last blog entry of 2011.  It was an interesting year, but I’m ready for 2012.  If the world doesn’t end, big things could happen.  Or a bunch of small things.  Either way, I’m good with it.  Change is in the air, methinks.

Best wishes to all.  Be safe on New Year’s Eve. 

2 thoughts on “Christmas in Florida, and other paradoxes

  1. Hi Jodi! I came on over from ARWB {great post!}. I can relate to the weirdness of the weather down here in warmer climates as I am from Michigan myself. It's weird…but I've acclimated quite well…my friends were a bit baffled at my "please, no snow" attitude during my Michigan vacation over the holiday.Happy New Year!

  2. Hi Gina! Thanks for the comment – I too have become very attached to my mild winters. That's not to say I don't love it when it snows, but I really loved coming back to Arkansas and having it be warm enough to do yard work on New Year's eve! Thanks for coming over from AR Women Bloggers – they are such great ladies and it's been fun to explore all the blogs! Happy New Year to you as well!

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