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  • cathyhendrix

I'm Dreaming Of A Big Al's Christmas...

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

"On This Day" for last year and a number of years before that, shows me eating vast and varied types of seafood, mostly shrimp and crab, some crawfish; fried, boiled, etouffee, gumbo. This year, for only the second time in my life (IN. MY. LIFE.), I am not in Louisiana for Christmas.

The first time was in 1998, the year my marriage ended. I left Nashville on a very cold and overcast morning. Within just a few minutes, the sleet started. It took me 3 hours to drive about 30 miles at which point, my car slid off the road. A tow truck brought me, my car, five dogs and a cat and a whole bunch of Christmas presents back to the big house. Fortunately, I had decorated so it wasn't too bleak. That tree would stay up until March. By Christmas day, the metro roads were passable but I couldn’t find anywhere good to eat. Who was with me? Kim Webber, I think? Aside from her company, that episode is best forgotten.

This year, I don’t know. The timing wasn’t right. Stuff to do. Dogs. Long drive. Sarah and Mark are leaving for Rome the day after Christmas; Kelly is leaving too. Erin and Brandon are only there Christmas day. Susan is never there. With mother gone, I don’t get to Louisiana as much as I once did still I tried to hang on to Christmas. This year, I’m just not feeling it.

But I wouldn’t have minded hitting Big Al’s two or five times.

Instead, I’ll be okay with my go-to holiday meal (though it’s usually at Thanksgiving or Easter). See, I’ve wised up since 1998 - well, at least about holiday lunch options. I’ll be having brunch at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. They do a really nice spread.

If any of you find yourselves alone for Christmas lunch, PM me - or just show up and join me. Hey, we’ve gotta eat, right?

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