When I was very young, our family spent Christmas Eve at the home of my dad’s boss. The boss lived next door to another employee, so she and her husband joined the festivities as well. I do not think it would be wrong of me to suggest that copious quantities of alcohol were consumed.
Going to the boss’s house was as exciting for me as going to dad’s office, because the route to each involved the clover leaf intersection of Waugh and Memorial Drive. Waugh North went to the boss, Heights South, the office. For whatever reason, that clover leaf exchange fascinated and delighted me.
Both houses still stand, rare for Houston. They live on Fairview, between Commonwealth and Yupon, and more than once, I’ve almost run into a garbage can or hit another car as I slow down to take a look. You can find them on the north side of the street, a grey Victorian just west of the boss’s bungalow with a fenced, overgrown front courtyard.
The boss and his wife had at least one giant English Sheepdog, Bussie, but because of the dog’s tremendous size relative to the four-year-old me, one seemed like a pack. The size of that dog’s tongue, good grief! I’m sure that by the end of the night, I was covered with dog slobber and hair.
My most vivid memory, even more vivid than being bussed by Bussie, is listening to NORAD track Santa as we drove back home to Briargrove. Whenever I began to doubt the whole Santa deal, hearing the official military broadcast as we wound around the clover leaf and through Memorial Park brought back the magic of believing.
NORAD, of course, sports a very high-tech Santa-tracking website these days. I love that at least part of my taxes fund this particular military program.
As I type this, Santa is on track to visit Sri Lanka. Sure hope those kids are asleep!