It’s Christmastime in Darbun, MS

It is no secret that I have been greatly looking forward to going to see my family in Mississippi for the holiday. It is also no secret that I can say, without trying to brag too much, that I happen to think that my family is one of the coolest families around. Christmas in Mississippi reminded me of this once again. In my family, although I am the second of three sisters, I love how Christmas in Mississippi means waking up in the morning, taking a shower, and then absolutely not bothering to look in a mirror for the rest of the day. It means engaging in such feminine activities as tractor riding, gator riding, shooting, golfing and Wii playing as exhibited by the following:

Sarah and Melissa play baseball on the Wii that we got my parents for their respective birthdays.
Sarah practices her golf drives into the wind in my parents’ backyard.

Here is where the real fun begins when Dad brings out the 22 (Jordan is pictured trying it out here). Although it may look like we are expert, we never shot guns when we were growing up except on that rare occasion when visiting family in Mississippi. Now, however, we all look to be seen as expert marksman, and spent much of the afternoon the day after Christmas adjusting our aim against a line of soda bottles and cans.

The time spent with a firearm also gave us the opportunity to learn more about one another. One piece of information I learned about my husband is that apparently, he likes shooting guns so much that he recently took his team from work in Seattle to a shooting range. For the urban yuppies that we are, I don’t know whether I should be concerned by this or not.

Here I am doing my best to exhibit the classic definition of the word “hipshot.”
Sarah’s wonderful friend Helen, who works with Sarah at Harvard in Boston, but who is originally from the UK shared Christmas with us. I am sure her British family will be quite concerned when they see these firearm shots. It is precisely the kind of thing that those Brits find particularly appalling about us Yanks.

Just to make sure that the worst of American stereotypes was firmly cemented in pictures for Helen’s family to see, my dad next brought out the Glock. I have to admit, this wasn’t my first time shooting a Glock. I shot this same kind of gun back in my New York days, not roughing people up in the mean streets of the Bronx, but rather, at the Police Training Facility at City Island and also at the NYPD Ballistics Lab in Queens. For Sarah, pictured above, it was a new experience.

For the record, I would like to note that we followed the best possible gun safety practices, including protective earwear when shooting the pistol as seen above. As I was told by an NYPD officer at the training facility, “A gun is just like any other tool – like a blender or something. It is only dangerous when used incorrectly.” I pause, to let you take that statement in…..

Back to slightly less dangerous activities, the time in Mississippi also gave my dad the opportunity to teach us to drive his new tractor, including a demonstration of picking up dirt from piles. Pictured below is Melissa, giving it a try:

It also gave us the opportunity to endulge in another favorite Street family activity – “Gator Ridin'”.

Wait, who is that cute little puppy that I am holding in the shot above, you ask. Well, that is Knightley, our new puppy and the newest addition to the Street family. He officially joined the clan on December 24, 2008. He promptly set out fitting in and leaving his mark, literally.

Here is Mom introducing Knightley to Ralph. Although Ralph is more of a people dog than a dog’s dog, I appreciate his patience in dealing with a very curious little puppy. (Sidenote: if you are a dog lover, you might want to think twice about seeing the movie Marley & Me. We made the mistake of seeing it on Christmas day, and Melissa and I bawled our eyes out so much, that we will still sobbing upon exiting the theater, the entire hour car ride back to the farm, and after we were home as well. It made us think about the mortality of Ralph, who is such a fantastic dog and who we know is starting to have some serious health problems. Here I go crying again as I am typing this. Fortunately, my mom went to the Tom Cruise Nazi movie with Sarah and Helen. If she would have seen Marley & Me with us, then she similarly would have been a wreck.)
Here is more evidence of my mom’s affection for the canine variety:

Most of all, what made this Christmas so fantastic is the opportunity to spend time with my family, the people I love most. Melissa and Jordan gifted to my parents a fantastic outdoor fire pit that we made use of on a breezy warm evening. We cooked hotdogs and smores, talked, and sang along to our favorite songs. The evening was one of the best I can recall of recent memory.

Three loud huzzahs for the opportunity to spend Christmas together at a place already filled with happy memories.

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