Familiar Stranger

Luther come up the walk wif' his chipped mug o' cawfee, its steam curling upwards into the early mornin' air.

"It's jes' me Belle," he said as pulled open the kitchen door.

I reckon after all these years I know when a fella has stuff on his mind, but ain't no rushin' a pensive man. "Luther, yore timin' is infallible--Uncle's venison sausage is still warm on the stove. But hep yoreself 'cause I'se up to mah elbows in this cookie dough. Cawfee is hot too iffin' ya ned a refill."

He settled into Uncle's fireside chair. "Whar's that ole man of your'n? Already down to the huntin' camp?"

I stretched some plastic over the bowl of dough an' shoved it in to the icebox. "Oh no...he's over to missus Simmons heppin' her stand up them Christmas yard deer what the wind blew down last night. Her boy went off courtin' over to Palatka fer the weekend an' stayed on fer a few days. She is fit to be tied, sayin' how James Roy is runnin' after a hank 'o' hair he met at some trade show an' now he spends all his time wif' them strangers livin' way up the highway."

Luther snorted, "Has Aloysius got a case of Christmas do-goodism?"

"Naw, but heppin' Missus Simmons wif' her decorations is the price fer her liver pate. I doan make the stuff, but Uncle loves it, an' Janey Simmons knowed that. She done leveraged that pate of hers fer years. Reckon Christmas cain't come 'lessen Janey calls over heah an' as't Uncle to do somethin' fer her round her place an then he can wax poetical over her pate."

Luther smiled to hisself. He mumbled, "Pah Tay". Out loud he said, "The widow's pate, huh?"

"Doan git no ideas Luther," I huffed. "Thang is, I wouldn'a have folks thinkin' yore comin' up mah walk this early meant nuthin' more'n than youse stewin' over somethin'."

" I is."

He din't say nuthin' more. So I fussed about at the sink some, jes' waitin'.

"Belle, thas' a purty tree y'all put up. Uh-huh...real purty....we has a tree only half done. Seems we's lost heart on account of Mary Sue brought home another fella this year. She say he is jes' a dear friend, but I seen her eyes is twinklin'. He's a stranger. An' I means a strange stanger. An' too ole' fer her. Doan see much in him, but our gal sure sees somethin'. She acts like she done dragged home a 10 point buck."

I chuckled to meself. "Mebbe he is--in her world. Now she's a big city air traffic expert, off up yonder, this kinda fella mayhap is to her new way of thinkin'."

"He ain't to mah way of thinkin', thas' certain. Spends the whole time after supper out on the side steps shoutin' into his fancy fruitphone. Rest of the time he has that applepod thang stuck in his ear. Mary -Sue say he's listenin' to NOAA weather reports. How does she know? Why's he wanna know so much about the weather? Mebbe he's listenin' to phone love. I hear him snortin' while he listens."

I spit a mouthful of cawfee into the sink. After I wiped mah mouth clean I said, "Luther, Mary Sue can be trusted to pick a decent fella. She's 30 years old an has a fine haid on her shoulders. Iffin' he is snortin', reckon it's that he might be worriet about blizzards shuttin' down his way home."

He kicked out a laig, hitched up straight in the chair. "He has a Roosian name too. Bogdanovich Nick Bogdanovich. Ain't ever had nuthin' like a Bogdanovich in mah house afore. He came in heaped high wif' boxes an' such. It ain't natural to git presents from folks ya' doan know. AN' when he seen we ain't finished our tree, he took it on hisself to put the star on the top."

"Luther youse jes' suspicious cause he is sweet on yore baby-doll,Mary Sue, an' he ain't from round' heah. His ways ain't any stranger than our own way must be to him--ever think o' that?"

"He has a friendly visage, I reckon, but he's a big woolly Roosian an' fer all we know he sleeps wif' a baryshnikov under his bed."

I shook mah haid in laughter. "Luther, go on home. Hang up every ornament in the house an' make merry. Smile an' laugh and make Nick feel welcome. It's Christmas. Make folks welcome when they show up on yore doorstep. Some folks has entertained angels unaware in jes' that spirit of makin' the stranger welcome."



Pam said...

Maybe Nick is a bit more North-Pole-ian instead of Russian??? Ya never know!

Boxer said...

amen Aunty.

(tree pix, tree pix, tree pix)

SophieMae said...

Hey! Reckoned I oughta pop in an' say HEY! And maybe snitch a spoonful o' that cookie dough! 8-]
Yep, I'm still alive. Been one thing after another, not the least of which was my annual cold/flu/throat-thingy... whatever... and a super-slow dial-up connection what seems to keep gettin' slower as the season progresses. First thing on my Christmas wish list is broadband.

Blow Uncle a kiss and tell him to give you a big ol' hug for me!

Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

Blowfish said...

I think while i am making a wish list I will add this item:
"Breakfast at Aunty's for venison sausage, cookie dough, tree trimming and make merry advismennts".

Aunty Belle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunty Belle said...

Ho Ho HO!!!

Y'all is makin' mah day !

heh..uh-huh. Bogdan(ovich) means "gift of God", thus, Nicholas, Gift of God. Course, the REAL St. Nick was the 300 AD Bishop of Myra (now Turkey, then Greece) who dropped sacks of money off fer families of girls who din't have no dowry--a fate that led to abandonment.


comin' comin' comin'...by Sunday fer shure.

Sophie Mae!

Chile' I 'bout give up on ya! SO SO pleased y'aint give up bloggin'. Hope youse fellin' much much better and that St. Nick puts a thang or two in yore stockin'. Love to Duller, an' blessin's of Jesus be upon all y'all!


Ohmigoodness, would Uncle love to have ya come on down fer his sausage and then make ya pay fer it by bein' his helpmate fer gettin' the dern tree tops adorned.

As fer the cookie dough--I doan charge. Jes' tell me the cookies is yummy. Real pleased to have ya "blow" by the porch.

moi said...

Hey, I want a baryshnikov under my bed, too. You know, just in case I need to ballet dance an intruder to death.

Kymical Reactions said...

I want to come for venison sausage with Fishy!

(I got the husband a kit for making jerkey for Christmas. It's a suttle hint for him to make me some deer and elk jerkey!) nom nom nom!

foam said...

no doubt he was snorting about the blizzard that just blew through my neck of the woods last night ..

Gypsy said...

I just popped over to wish you a happy christmas Aunty and to tell you how delighted I was to see you over at my page.

I'd forgotten just how much I loved your southern posts.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Aunty! I am drooolin' over that cookie dough. Yep, even as an adult I'd still eat the dough raw until I felt ill! haha!

I like your closing lines about making strangers feel welcome. I had a cocktail party last night and a new friend had asked to bring along three other people the other day. I told him no, worried about having too many people in my tiny apartment. After a day, I called him back and told him "of course he can bring his friends" my mama didn't teach me any other way and I realized it ALWAYS works out the way it's supposed to and people enjoy good company, food and spirits, even if there is no place for them to sit! The party was a success and we had some very lovely people and quite an international crowd to boot. Isn't that what the Christmas season is all about? People?

Got the salt book!!! One of these days when I'm not too tired to read in bed, I'll start it! Have a few days off with hubby and looking forward to relaxing and reading!

Merry Christmas Aunty to you and yours! xx

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