After the holidays many people cheerfully ask, “How was your Christmas?”

I am so glad that you asked.

I experienced nausea, low body temperature, runny nose, hacking cough that at times was so deep I thought I would hurl a lung across the room, minor vomiting and, yes, diarrhea. In other words, I was sick, and according to the Yard Sale Queen (YSQ), a weenie.

Meanwhile, the YSQ – a pillar of health – experienced a minor sore throat, which she “doctored.” That is until she developed the cough, without all the secondary symptoms that befell me.

Neither weenie me nor the YSQ visited the doctor. I just stayed indoors watching bowl games – which in many cases were horrible – drank lots of orange juice and let Riley, our tiny Yorkie, sleep on my lap or listen to her woof at imaginary goings on outside.

It was not the flu. It was, as friend called it, “The Crud.”

We are all better now. Thanks for asking.

Beside the lingering weeklong sickness at Christmas, Thanksgiving was fine. The YSQ and I got a deal on a turkey from Wegman’s, a 25-pound turkey for 25 cents a pound. I am so glad we don’t have a Wegman’s in Culpeper, although we are surrounded by them in Fredericksburg, Gainesville and Charlottesville. If we had one here, I would spend so much money there and cook fewer meals. Did I mention that I fix almost all the meals because the YSQ works so that I may continue to live the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed? Thank you, sweetie.

Well, enough about Wegman’s, the most wonderful grocery store on the planet. Let’s get back to the holidays.

We always go to the YSQ’s dad’s for Thanksgiving. She cooks the turkey, makes a broccoli casserole, sometimes a yam dish and her world-famous cherry, blueberry or combination of both “delight.” I get the enjoyable task of slicing and picking the turkey. Her sister fixed delicious homemade gravy and other dishes. Meanwhile, her two brothers brought more food. The place was packed with people and food.

The family also visits the YSQ’s dad on Christmas Eve, but the menu is more laidback with finger sandwiches, meatballs and other less exotic side dishes. That is where I started getting sick and went home early.

Christmas day, the family heads to the YSQ’s mom’s house. Now, talk about a bunch of people feasting on a smorgasbord of delicious food. Somehow, the YSQ’s mom manages to find a spot for everyone to eat. We are talking about dozens of people or more in a small three-bedroom house.

Let me tell you, the YSQ’s mom can cook. But her coconut cream pie is to die for. It is beyond delicious.

Being old school, she wants to use ONLY “Cook and Serve Coconut Pie Filling.” Instant pudding/pie filling doesn’t cut it.

The YSQ and I, along with a niece, checked every Kroger, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Food Lion, Wal-Mart, Giant, Martins, Wegman’s and Weis within 45 miles of Culpeper. No luck.

We went to Virginia Beach for a Christmas getaway in mid-December to visit the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News and Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach but mainly to drive on the concrete “boardwalk” at the ocean front through the mile-long Christmas light display. While in the area we checked Hampton Roads grocery stores for the elusive pudding/pie filling.

Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. We found it at a Wal-Mart in Suffolk, Virginia. The Suffolk store had 20 boxes. We bought them all. The pie was scrumptious, as usual.

As for presents, I got a new laptop and a bunch of UVA sports gear. The Yard Sale Queen got a new iPad to replace her outdated iPad mini and clothes. She loves clothes. And Riley got some new toys that she can spread all over the house with her old toys.

Even with the sickness, the holidays were good. I give it a B+.


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