Had a very nice Christmas at Tom’s. Simon got me a Mizzou cap which I am learning to wear without worrying what people will think. I just pretend it’s a Gator cap. Only kidding – I’ll wear it with pride – assuming Tommy decides to attend next fall. If he changes his mind, I’m back to my Gander Mountain cap. Joey got me a signed copy of a book in which he is mentioned and in which Indian River Cruises gets some prominent page time. A client of his writes these Fodor type travel books and did one on the Central Florida Coast. Joey helped her with some ideas and photo’s so the book has a nice personal touch for us. I also got the worlds nicest Sudoku book – so nice that I hate to write in it. Nancy got me a bar of soap designed specifically to be used after cleaning fish. No doubt I could use dozens of bars but I wonder what there is about it that focuses on fish cleaning. From the same source she got Simon a bar that is supposed to repel mosquitoes and Tom a camp soap that works in cold water, hard water, and even salt water. Tom got us tickets to the UCF – UCONN basketball game later tonight so we’ll drive down shortly and spend the front end of the weekend there. That should be fun although I’m guessing UCF will not be much of a match for UCONN unless maybe part of the plan is to have UCONN partying and laying out by the pool in our 80 degree weather. That could work. Joey got us a gift certificate to Karlings, one of our favorite restaurants and he also plans to treat the whole family to PF Chang’s in the near future – when we can all synchronize our times and travels to let it happen. That became even more difficult when Tom got Tina a cruise to Cozumel and I got Nancy a trip to NY to visit Chris.
Simon got saxaphone lessons starting right after the first of the year. He already has a sax and has been trying to master it on his own. His goal is to be good enough to make the marching band next year. Glad he’s doing it there and not here! I’d have him practice down on the dock since I have deeply ingrained memories of Chris learning the Clarinet.
One of the more unique gifts was the Key Lime tree that Joey and Mark got for Tom and Tina. That should be the gift that just keeps giving and the new source for key lime pies and Corona toppers.
I think my biggest surprise gift was from Chris. He got me one of the old timey, manual pasta makers. It’s a bit of an inside joke. I loved the one we had in Utah and when he and I spent time together making chicken cacciatore with home made pasta. Well we made a mess usually so Nancy hated the machine and somehow it never made it from Utah to Florida. An automatic pasta maker showed up but it just didn’t come close to matching what we made with the manual machine. I haven’t made the cacciatore since in protest but I guess now I’ll have to resurrect the recipes – that is when Chris visits – and assuming the mess doesn’t doom it from the start.
All in all, there were just way too many gifts to remember – lots of games, clothes, movies, books – and it took us all a couple hours, literally, to open them. Waste management will have to put on a special truck to haul away the wrappings just from their house.