…and a Happy New Year!

Our family always held a big reunion every New Year’s Day. It was a pot-luck affair and our many extended relatives brought all the favorite family recipes. Some of them were a bit too sophisticated for the oh-so-sensitive stomach of my younger self, to tell you the truth. It took me a long time to develop a taste for spiced, boiled pork, for instance. (Otherwise known as cretons or corton.)

The family heads out to the reunion

"Daddy, I don't feel good..."

"Aww... what's the matter, Nicki? Are you getting carsick?"

"Just think about the yummy food that will be at the party!"

"Mince meat pies... corton..." "Stop..."

"...shrimp dip..."


"EW! EW! She puked! Ugh, uht... uhht! HORK!"

"Well, this is an auspicious start to the new year..."

House Rule No. 1

Our family had very few, but very firm house rules. Mostly meant to keep the peace, once a rule was pronounced, it was set in stone. We’re all adults now and we STILL obey the house rules every time we visit home. I actually take great pleasure in invoking this rule even at age 30.

"C'mon girls! Let's get a move on! We're late!"

The girls head toward the minivanChrissy and Charlotte reach for the handle at the same time"What are you doing? It's MY turn to ride shotgun!" "No! y last turn didn't count. It was only a 5 minute ride."Ashley, Tess, and Nicki eat popcorn"Well that's too bad for you. Now it's MY TURN." "That's not fair! MOOOOOOM!""THAT'S IT! From now on, seniority rules. The oldest kid in the car gets to ride in the front seat. No more fighting.""WHAT?!"House Rule No. 1: Oldest gets the front seat