Toby and I stayed up the other night past our usual ten o’clock bedtime, because Toby was baking bread. You heard me right. I won’t explain the bread thang right now, but I will say that he was on Toby-time – running late. While we waited for the bread to rise and then for it to bake, we watched "White Christmas." It has been a while since I sat and watched the whole movie. Bing Crosby is good, but I love Danny Kaye. Watching that movie reminded me of the first time I remember seeing the movie. I was nine years old and living in RR. The Clines had asked me to baby-sit their two-year-old while they went out on the town. My mother was horrified that they would want a nine-year-old to baby-sit, but they said they would rather have me than any teen-ager in town. So, the toddler and I sat and watched "White Christmas" on TV. It became a bit of a tradition. I babysat for the Clines at the old Siesta Motel quite often after that. The next year they had a new baby girl. Mom was really worried about me taking care of a newborn baby, but Martha and Ziggy were not worried in the least. Mom told me that I was not to "pick up" the new baby under any circumstances. So when the baby started crying, I called Mom, who came to change the baby and put her back to bed while the toddler and I continued to play and watch TV. Both of those girls are now married with babies of their own.
Another great Christmas tradition that I had forgotten about was guns. Yep, toy guns with a big shoot-em-up is great fun on Christmas morning and a big tradition in our family. This year, Mom had bought all the grandkids a toy gun with foam darts. Any kind of gun that shoots disks or darts has been great. The year that we had marshmallow guns was lots of fun. Those guns were made out of small PVC pipe and you would load small marshmallows into the pipe and then blow through a mouthpiece. They would shoot a marshmallow across the room. Of course the gun barrel became wet with spit, and the marshmallows became a bit sticky, which was funny. It was not so funny when months later, Mom was still finding marshmallows in her house.
When we walked into Mom’s house yesterday, we were blasted with darts and disks and memories. It was a vicious attack, as we were unarmed. The grandkids were running and squealing and ducking and shooting. Mom was offering breakfast as if nothing wild was going on. We had Jan with us. He sat down to breakfast and Mom handed him a gun. He was like Dirty Harry – eating while calmly shooting Jesse’s cousins whom he didn’t even know. The shooting never slowed down while we were there. Bo and Sara showed up with the GGs. Bo joined the shoot-em-up. Sara gave him the "Bo, if you shoot me, you are in big trouble!" He shot her anyway – it was a challenge he couldn’t resist. GBN1 eventually got a gun and joined in. She was not a good shot, but she laughed so hard every time she shot a gun, that everyone got tickled too. No matter the age, the grandkids had blast (pun intended) with those guns.
One year Nickie joined us on Christmas morning. Nickie was a Black kid whom my dad had fostered from elementary school through high school. Nickie was 6’6" and was a Michael Jordan look-a-like. He played football at ASU for a while. He joined in the big shoot-em-up that Christmas and was wild. At 6’6" it was hard to ignore Nickie when he was under the dining room table shooting the cousins.
Years ago when the kids were younger and we lived in RR, we went over to the Donnithorne’s for Christmas dinner. Although we were best friends with the Donnithornes, we had not met their relatives that were also there for Christmas. Of course we had bought the usual Christmas guns – these shot disks. We made our plan of attack. We hid our guns inside our coats. When we walked into the D’s house, we were being introduced to family and such. Toby gave the word, and we pulled out our guns and opened fire. We sent the Donnithornes squealing and scattering. Our friends loved it! I don’t know what their relatives thought. Of course we had extra guns and passed them out. The shoot-em-up was on!
Jesse took her camera this Christmas. Maybe she will post photos or let me steal some photos to post later.