Monday, December 19, 2011

Nobody Told Me: A Christmas Story


The famous carol "Christmas Time Is Here" that is sung so wonderfully by Charles Schultz's "Peanuts" choir generally makes me feel somewhat nostalgic. I usually begin thinking about my late Uncle Aubrey and my world famous or infamous bourbon balls. My uncle taught me how to ride my bicycle without training wheels. Actually, he took them off my bicycle against my better judgement.

"My Momma and Daddy are gonna get mad if you take my training wheels off, Uncle Aubrey!" I stated.
"I ain't scared of your Momma or your Daddy," he replied.
"Well, I am!" I said.
"Get up on this bike and pump that bike down the sidewalk," Uncle Aubrey commanded. "Pump that wheel, boy!" he yelled over and over again behind me as I tried to find my balance. After a few moments, I was now riding with ease down the sidewalk. Yahoooo!

Later that afternoon, I decided to tell Mom and Daddy what Uncle Aubrey had done just in case they had noticed that my training wheels had been removed. They both replied, "Oh, that's nice." Well, so much for snitching on my uncle.

Years later during the Christmas season, I stopped by my parents house so they could taste my annual holiday treat enclosed within a container. When I entered their house through the garage door; I found my mother with her brother, Uncle Aubrey, sitting on the couch in the family room engaged in some pretty lively conversations. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought that they were twins. I think Daddy may have been in the bedroom taking a nap or spreading some holiday mischief at one of his friend's house.

After I took a seat at the table and allowed Uncle Aubrey to catch me up on the latest family news and plans for the holidays; I noticed Mom studying the decorative container in front of me.

She finally asked, "What do you have in that container?"
"Bourbon balls. Would you like to try one or two?" I asked her.
"Yeah, let me try one," she replied as I handed her a napkin and the container.
"Uncle Aubrey, would you like to try one, too?" I asked.
"I think I will," he replied, reaching for a napkin and then a bourbon ball.

So, for another hour or so and after more lively conversations, I decided to return home with promises of seeing my Mom and her last living sibling real soon. Now, entering my house after running several errands, the ringing of the landline phone caught my attention. The caller ID indicated that the incoming call was from my parent's home. "I just left their house. Why are they calling so soon?" I thought aloud.

"Hello," I said into the receiver.
"Hi," Mom said in a cheery, upbeat tone.
"Hey. What's going on?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing much. How much liquor did you put in those bourbon balls?" Mom asked all at once.
"I dunno. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup. But, I used about 2/3 cups."
"Why did you use so much?" she asked.
I thought, "I didn't see you turning them away. You had two or three." I then said, "I wanted to be sure that people could taste the liquor."
"Oh, I don't think you should've used that much."
"Why?" I asked.
"Uncle Aubrey just called," she replied.
"And what did he say?"
"Well, he had to go home and put on his oxygen mask because there was too much liquor in those bourbon balls. It made him short of breath," Mom replied with a soft giggle.
Trying not to laugh, I asked, "Is he okay?"
"Yes, you know he doesn't drink anymore."
"Nobody told me. He's been drinking all my life," I offered.
"You know he has an oxygen tank and all," Mom offered.
"Yes, I do. But, I didn't know that he had stopped drinking. All those times he came over to the house asking me where Daddy hides the liquor...." Then, thinking to myself, "Mom, you knew those bourbon balls had a lot of liquor in them. You should've stopped Uncle Aubrey from eating them. And you were sitting right next to him, too."
Interrupting my statement and thoughts, Mom stated, "If he's on oxygen; you should've known that he had stopped drinking."
"Nobody told me," I repeated.
"Well, I guess he will be alright after he take a few deep breaths from his oxygen tank," Mom said with a hearty laugh.

The following Christmas, I whipped up my bourbon balls - once again. Actually, there was so much bourbon in them that they looked like little chocolate drops. Of course, I made a point of asking Uncle Aubrey if he would like to try some. The only response I received was a very harsh, "Hell No!" Normally, my feelings would've been hurt; but, considering what happened the year prior - it was completely understandable. I made Daddy the same offer a few hours later. His response was the same as Uncle Aubrey's. Obviously, Mom must have told him what had happened.

Well, Uncle Aubrey passed away a couple of years later with me crying almost uncontrollably at his cold, rainy day funeral. I probably thought that he had died too soon because of my Christmas bourbon balls. Plus, he taught me how to ride my bicycle without training wheels.

In case you are curious and have never tried bourbon balls before; the recipe is published under the post entitled, "Bourbon Balls - A Recipe." Feel free to add more liquor - if you desire.

Until next week, keep praising His name.

Merry Christmas to Each of You,
Sir Charles


My novels are available on http://www.xlibris.com/ - Charles Carroll Lee. They are now available on ebooks just in time for the holidays!!!

Check out my "What's Happening" blog at http://www.aroundtownhappenings.blogspot.com/. If you or someone you know are a new or local talent in your area, author, band, lecturer, church or organization, and would like to notify the world (or half of the world or the neighborhood) of your event; send me an email with the date, contact information, time, location and a paragraph about your event to cclee_06@yahoo.com. Then, share this and the "What's Happening" blogs with all of your friends. Your event will remain on the blog until the event ends. It's free - for now!


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