It doesn't get better than a good devil's food cake made from scratch, with milk chocolate buttercream frosting, the kind my granny made and most likely passed down from her granny, too.
I remember as a little boy hiding underneath the mahogany dining table, holding my knees in my hands for no reason except that I could.
Old houses make my heart beat fast -- the chipping paint and aged patina of a 100-year-old fašade and the view from weathered windows looking out through giant oaks toward the river.
I was first introduced to Monopoly from the swivel bar stools of my family's kitchen, and it was there on Mama's yellow Formica bar that I learned about making deals, taking chances, and how one never wants to go directly to jail.
I hear the bells ringing in the church towers every night, but it's the sound of the whistling train near the river that carries me back to being a little boy following after my older brothers near the tracks of my childhood.
It made me uneasy as I cut into the hem, the scissors traveling across what seemed like oceans of sparkling blue fabric, and with each turn, my mind wandered back to all the times she wore the peacock shirt.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Daddy wore his brown leather blazer, always a siren to alert us that we were destined for town.
My holidays are not like old black and white films where the family sits around the piano belting out carols. Trust me.
I laugh at rules and conformity.
My vintage Santa plates stare at me from my holiday table, nestled onto blue and gold chargers as red crystal goblets stand beside them.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and, oh, the rich memories it all conjures up of Christmases past.
Several years ago, I fell asleep on the sofa only to be awakened by the sound of the QVC home shopping network, every light in the house turned on, and Mama flailing her arms in the air. I wasn't dreaming.
The architecture of life is so similar to that of the stained glass windows posed perfectly still across time, illuminated by lanterns and candles in ancient churches along my drives through old towns.
Like the old song says, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.
Walt Disney said, "We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
The birds are chirping outside my window. As I lean in to listen, I wonder what they are saying to each other.
Seasons come and seasons go. Years pass by in what seems like no time at all.
If the runways of New York and Paris were any indication of fall's mood in fashion, women will be falling in love with a 19th Century return to lady-like drama.
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