Every year I want to write a witty, newsy Christmas letter - and I swear one of these years I will (followed by a blog post in defense of the Christmas letter that so many folks think is cheesy and boring - I, for the record, LOVE to receive and read them). But instead, I'm scrambling at the last minute to get my cards out. In keeping with the Oravetz family tradition, I usually pick a picture representing a highlight from the year and send a photo card because I love, love, love getting those in the mail as well. This year, however, I am a total slacker - or nothing that interesting happened this year (?!) and at the last minute dug out a picture from six years ago and used that since it's one of my most favorite pictures of us, and then added a picture of Little Lucy because she is certainly a highlight! Going through the motions of putting the cards out, I realized how much a part of this time of year it is for me. So much so that even though I'm doing no tree, no decorating and no baking, the cards are still going out. They might be Happy New Years cards, but I'm still doing it. It's one way to say, even though we don't talk as much as we should, or see each other near enough, I love and care about you and am glad you're in our life.
Here's a little trip down Oravetz Family Memory Lane:
1981: Le Snack Cafe Espresso - our restaurant. Also very representative of where we spent a lot of our time. I do NOT know how my mom handled two little kids, a restaurant, a home and still put delicious meals on the table three times a day. My dad was working full-time as an anesthesiologist, on-call. Good times.
This is the little boy who surprised his uncle and everyone else riding on the electricka in Bratislava one morning in the early 80s, by spontaneously belting out the United States National Anthem during a time of heavy communism and anti-American sentiment.
What possessed him that morning, we'll never know. But, the fact that it happend is no surprise. He's always been a kid who pushed boundaries. A person with courage and confidence in the Truth.
Keep believing in yourself, bro.
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand
So maybe 300 words a day, every day, was a little drastic. This chunk of the story is nearly finished. I have the begining, middle and end and just need to work out some transitions, come up with a title and do some heavy editing. My goal is to at least edit the draft over the weekend.
My last post until after Christmas - so a Vesele Vianoce to you! The photo on the left, in addition to featuring my super cool rainbow belt - captures one of many Slovak Christmas traditions I will miss this year - the sparklers on the tree. Matt being the practical American doesn't believe that we actually put lit sparklers on our tree but here is proof. Sure, it's a fire hazard, but oh! the memories!
When my parents moved, they gave me boxes of old family photos knowing I would keep them safe, as well as treasure them - this morning I came by a few that got me tripping down Memory Lane. I love the peripheal details in all these photos. I forgot exactly what certain rooms looked like. Seeing pieces of furniture peeking out in the background of pictures takes me back to other memories. I love that I have the butcher block from our old kitchen and the dishes we used for our holiday and special meals - and this tablecloth would be on the table downstairs as I type this if our dining table wasn't on display at Matt's booth!
Here's my dad sampling sauce - putting his stamp of approval on the meal mom spent all day making - I am really sad I'm not going to get to eat this the Oravetz Christmas meal this year, carp soup and all!
I remember my brother, Martin, walked to the store, PayLess or something, and was there for a very long time before coming home with what he said was "just the right gift." He was very pleased with himself.
On Christmas Eve, after Jezisko came and the Angel rang the bell for us to come out of hiding - because only my parents were allowed to see the Baby Jesus - we exchanged gifts. I was thrilled to open the package of a dozen coordinating lipstick and nail polish colors. Martin shook his head, shrugged and said, "I looked everywhere and couldn't find the little brush things you use to put the polish on."
Sadly, in exchange for his thoughtful gift, I think that was the year we watched In Living Colour a lot and I got him a "Homey the Clown" shirt and thought he'd like it. Not so much.