A Tennessee Christmas

Oma, Veeka and Opa on the famous red swing at near the student union building at Union University

Christmas dawned bright and early with Miss Veeka racing to her stocking to rip out it contents. It turned out to be a puzzle that took the whole family several hours to figure out; ‘family’ being Oma and Opa, who had flown from Seattle two days before. Fortunatelythere was none of the usual pre-Christmas snowstorms in Denver (which is how they connected to their flight to Nashville), meaning they got here two days before Christmas. Well, really, three days but they got into Nashville so late on the 22nd, they spent a night at a hotel near the airport before driving 137 miles to lovely Jackson. Meanwhile, Veeka and I had been in Nashville the day before seeing the Nashville Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker, a slightly unusual production with the theme of the Tennessee Centennial. Sounds odd but it worked and I liked the first act better than the second. Veeka was not as taken with the performance; she preferred playing with the kids who belonged to the family we were with. So much for those $82/seat tickets.

Veeka in her new jumper with one of the Nutcracker ballerinas

Anyway, Oma and Opa were much taken with a tour of Union University’s campus, which was pretty deserted, my office, the local courthouse, the Green Frog (a coffee shop downtown). I thought of taking them to Shiloh, one of the most famous Civil War battlefields ever, but the temps had taken a sudden dip and it was too cold to drive an hour down there. Veeka and I had actually dropped by Shiloh for a children’s program there on the 21st, which was jammed. Then I headed east, then northeast on the Natchez Trace, a famous highway that goes from Nashville to New Orleans. Well…I was not that impressed, partly because I chose the shortest day of the year to see it, and we didn’t drive onto the Trace until almost sunset. It was kind of like being on Skyline Drive without the mountains. Which, if you’ve ever been on Skyline Drive, you know that what really makes it a special route are the wonderful views. The Trace had views of mostly woods. Maybe it’s nicer in the spring.

Opa helping Veeka assemble her new scooter

One nice thing made possible for Oma and Opa’s arrival: part of the interior of my house has been painted, so we were able to enjoy some of the pretty new walls in yellow and blue. Christmas Day was quiet for us; eating a lot (the honey-baked ham was especially yummy). It was mainly us watching Veeka open her many presents! I do wonder what my life would have been like without that little moppet and it would have far quieter and sadder.