As it would hardly be fair to write about one side of the family and not the other, I realized when I wrote “All I Really Want” that I was going to have to write a second journal entry on the topic.
Visiting with my dad’s side of the family is very different from visiting with my mom’s side. For one, Christmas with the Dunn’s involves seeing extended family we don’t get to see on a regular basis outside of our annual Christmas gathering. Though a few of the families live within a twenty mile radius of each other, a lot of that side is much more spread out. The other big difference is the average age. On my dad’s side we have four cousins instead of five. That may not seem like too big of a difference at first glance, but three of the four are grown –two married with either a newborn or a baby on the way and the third engaged to a long-time girlfriend—and the fourth just a little kid. Most of the time, therefore, is spent conversing, catching up and swapping the latest stories. When you are about to do something big that everyone knows about, like go to college, everyone is going to ask you what your plans are, so you’d better have an answer prepared!
Besides everyone coming to our house –a tradition begun after we moved into our new house here in Florida—the only other big tradition is the food. If you hadn’t guessed by that point after hearing the deep Southern accents, you’d know as soon as you caught sight of the wide array of delicious Southern cooking. Turkey, cornbread, divinity, seven layer chocolate and caramel cake, butter beans, sweet tea…and there are very few things better than visiting with family, your stomach full of good food, sleepily sitting on the couch as you sip a cup of hot apple cider.