>Christmases Remembered

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It’s Christmas Eve and we’re preparing for the Feast of the Nativity. At St. John Orthodox Church, we have services tonight, with feasting afterwards. So, I’ve got a pan of The Best Cornbread Dressing Ever ready for the oven and a platter of homemade fudge ready to go. And another pan of TBCDE in the fridge for our family’s feast tomorrow.

Beth is on her way to the airport to pick up Jason, flying in from FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It will be our first Christmas in a few years with everyone here, for a variety of reaons. Jon was in Iraq in 2003. Jason and Jon were both unable to travel home last year. So it’s wonderful to have 5 stockings on the mantle.

But a bit sad that it’s our first Christmas without my brother, Mike. And without Father Basil’s dad, Bud Cushman.
All this caused me to spend some time in the photo albums again this afternoon. As a result, you’re going to get a slide show of Christmases Remembered instead of lots of words on this post. Here goes:

This is me with my brother Mike in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963.

I’m 12.

Mike is 14.

We are showing great restraint not to attack the presents yet.

And here I am afterwards, I always liked to arrange my gifts around me for photo ops. Yes, another HAT. And a tiny player piano. And clothes.

Now I’m jumping ahead to 1978… Jon was a year old. This was his first vehicle…. also in Jackson, Mississippi.
Seven years later was our first Christmas with all three kids here…
Beth arrived from South Korea in November 1985.

I’m including this pix from Atlanta with Grammy Ginny and Grampy Bud…. We miss them a lot this Christmas.
1985 was also the year of the OMAGLES. Sears was selling them for $99 a set, so it was a “group gift” to all three kids. They got lots of miles out of them… building forts like this one in the den with their dad…

and vehicles like this one.

It’s hard to believe Beth had only been in this country seven weeks when these pictures were taken.

Those Omagles were amazing… the kids actually rode this vehicle down the street! We should have known then we had an engineer/architect, army pilot and air force man in our midst!
Our last Christmas in Jackson was also our first Christmas as Orthodox Christians… 1987:
yikes… that hair! The 80s…. sigh.

But the kids were cute:

1988 was our first year in Memphis…
Here’s Jon with Granny Effie.

Okay… Jason just got home so I’ll close for now..

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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