Home for Christmas

16 Dec

Aunt Anna has been reaching out a lot these past few months. She’s been worried. As aunts go they don’t make them better.

She called just yesterday, in fact, wondering how things looked for me getting home for Christmas.

“Do you think you can make the drive?” Anna asked. “Because if not you should take the bus, or stay home even, don’t take any chances.

“Please,” she added, more directive than plea. “Promise me.”

“Haven’t decided yet,” I said. “But don’t worry, I promise not to do anything stupid.

“Besides, I’ve got the opera tickets. If I don’t make it down then how are you gonna get in to see Rigoletto?” (Our Christmas gift to her this year is an evening at The Met.)

Anna laughed, but only a little.

“Don’t be a wiseguy. I can wait to see you until you’re all better. Rigoletto, he can wait too.”

I won’t burden you with details but an accident back in August is what has kept me on the shelf these past months. (Many thanks and love to those of you who have reached out and expressed concern.) For reasons that escape not just me but also the medical brainiacs around here, a full recovery, though likely, has so far been elusive. I haven’t cooked or written a thing this whole time. My mood has been, well, foul.

Anna would never cop to being worried, of course. And she is skilled, unknowingly I think, at keeping your mind off of your troubles.

“The only reason I care if you’re coming is so that I know whether or not to make you eggplant, that’s all,” she told me. (I never leave my aunt’s home at Christmas without a tray of her awesome eggplant parm.) “So as soon as you figure things out you let me know, okay.”

What did I tell you? She’s the best.

Merry Christmas everybody.

See you again soon, I hope.

19 Responses to “Home for Christmas”

  1. Janet December 16, 2022 at 2:43 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your accident. Prayers and positive energy headed your way! Feel better soon!

  2. Nancy December 16, 2022 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh my Mr. Meatball, I wondered what happened, I’ve missed you. Please follow doctors orders, get healed soon and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. Nancy

  3. Lee December 16, 2022 at 3:02 pm #

    Wishing you Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery
    Xoxo ❤️

  4. Cheryl December 16, 2022 at 3:06 pm #

    Was wondering where you were. Wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  5. Denise December 16, 2022 at 3:37 pm #

    I noticed that we hadn’t heard from you, but didn’t reach out. I’m sorry about your accident and that you aren’t recovering as quickly as you’d like. I hope things improve you for and that you can get home for Christmas! Sending warm thoughts!

  6. Bonnie December 16, 2022 at 3:49 pm #

    I had no idea!!! Hope you are healed soon; miss your lovely banter and recipes

  7. Richard Noll December 16, 2022 at 4:02 pm #

    Ralphie, just saw this. Alarmed by learning of your accident. Will text.

  8. Lynn Marie December 16, 2022 at 4:03 pm #

    Best wishes for health and happiness. You have been missed. Buon Natale!

  9. Fred December 16, 2022 at 4:11 pm #

    Tell her to make the eggplant, regardless. I’ll pick it up!

  10. brasnes@comcast.net December 16, 2022 at 5:55 pm #

    So Mr. Meatball,

    I always find a good play on words, or a pun, to help me when I am down. And having hit a logging truck in a car accident 15 years ago which has left me on crutches full time (but not dead!) I know whereof I speak. So, instead of being in a foul mood how about a fowl mood and some chicken soup? If you aren’t up to it I could leave some for you but mine is Jewish. I could put some nice chicken meatballs with parmesan in it.just happen to have some in the freezer.

    Be well and here is a saying that a friend needlepointed for me. “Lord grant me patience.and I want it right now!” Recovery is hard.

    Best wishes,


  11. Leia Foxwell December 16, 2022 at 6:51 pm #

    Best wishes for a full recovery. Having an aunt like Anna is certainly a plus. Merry Christmas.

  12. Barbara December 16, 2022 at 8:44 pm #

    Aww, so sorry to hear about that! I was so excited to see Mister Meatball pop up in my email, but as someone still healing from an accident 10 yrs ago, i get it. Take care of you. Do what you can that brings you joy. Might be different than before but hopefully you find something similar. Really hope you can make it to see your wonderful aunt. Thank you for sharing the amazingness that is you!

  13. Linda Mandarelli December 16, 2022 at 9:02 pm #

    Glad to see your post, wishes for a full recovery and a Merry Christmas

  14. peg December 16, 2022 at 9:21 pm #

    Had not gotten your emails for quite awhile and missed you!! So sorry to hear about your health issue..wishing you a speedy recovery, a Merry Christmas and a better and healthy New Year!

  15. Gary C. December 17, 2022 at 3:30 am #

    Buon Natale, Mr. Meatball! As they say in Jamaica, walk good…

  16. Brian D December 18, 2022 at 2:26 am #

    Something I have learned as I grow older (olDER, not OLD), is that we DO things we would not otherwise just to mollify those who care about us – and we ask our elders to do things they might otherwise not do simply to give US peace of mind because we do care. Listen to Aunt Anna; her heart is in the right place and she DOES care! My very best for a smooth recovery and a return to your eloquent writing and memories of youth and home based food. Cheers.

  17. Jeff Kessel December 18, 2022 at 4:11 pm #

    Thanks for the eggplant recipe, inspiring instruction and xmas story, mr meatball. I hope you get to visit your aunt in the big city.

    Please call me to get caught up; especially if going to big apple. Ill be visiting there over xmas weekend.

  18. Don D. December 19, 2022 at 6:57 pm #

    Merry Christmas and get well soon.

  19. Matthew Fanning December 24, 2022 at 7:34 am #

    God Bless all and Merry Christmas!

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