Jack’s First White Christmas

Week 6.

During my first summer teaching English in Thailand, I took a week-long vacation to the magical island of Koh Samui, as referenced in the movie Meet the Parents (“Jack speak-a Thai?”).  While there, I went to a highly promoted (via hand-painted street banners) Muay Thai boxing tournament.  Inside the dimly lit warehouse-style building on the outskirts of legitimate commerce, I felt like I was part of the movie Bloodsport staring Jean Claude Van Damme.  Afterwards, as a souvenir, I cut down one of the street banners advertising the event and hung it up in my college dorm at Liberty University the next Fall.  Everyone who saw it laughed at the poor English translation: “Super and Real Fight”.  I mean, it was a real fight, and I would say it was super as well, but for the fight to be super and real in the same adjective phrase just sounds funny.  And that is why I couldn’t title this entry as “Jack’s First and White Christmas”.

In preparing our move from Nashville, TN to Fort Payne, AL (which is located between Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Atlanta), my wife (who is from Sacramento, CA) had asked me if it ever snowed in Alabama.  Though the words “snow” and “Alabama” seem like they don’t go together at all, though do. Just like a lot of people don’t realize that Alabama actually borders the Gulf of Mexico and has several beaches, like Gulf Shores.  I told my wife to expect it to snow a few inches, up to three times a year.  And sure enough, as we woke up around 6 AM Christmas morning to feed and change Jack, we looked out the window to see large snowflakes falling steadily.

A couple of hours later, we drove 0.7 miles to my parents’ house to spend the day with them and my sister and her husband.  Turns out, the snow didn’t stop falling and the temperature remained low.  So the seven of us ending up staying the weekend together, being that the roads were iced over.  One of the gifts my parents bought for Jack was a really cool wagon; ideally for when he gets older. However, when we started getting ready for bed on Christmas night and we were deciding where Jack should sleep, since we hadn’t packed his travel crib, I said, “Well, what about his wagon?” Not many people can say that their first Christmas was a white Christmas and that on top of that, that they slept in a wagon.  But I guess it’s not all that strange, being that we were celebrating a holiday where a baby boy slept in a manger.  We didn’t have a manger for Jack, but we did have a wagon.

Jack is swinging Christmas morning before we left for my parents' house.

We got snowed in.

Jack's presents from his parents.

Jack's presents from the family.

The Four Generations of Shells: Baby Jack is the only Shell boy to carry on the family name.

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  1. by Rhonda Senecal

    On January 31, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Hello Shell Family, from Melfort, Saskatchewan, CANADA. I thought I’d leave you alone after connecting to your blog back in November – it can be tough preparing for your first ride into parenthood. We too had a Radio Flyer wagon for our two boys; however, we live on a farm and our now 13 year old boy took it apart in the pursuit of engineering genius.
    It looks like you have such a lovely family. Baby Jack is pretty cute. It’s so funny you just finished moving from Nashville. My little brother just quit his 21 year job in Regina, Saskatchewan at the local daily newspaper to move to Nashville. He leaves tomorrow, where he will be managing his buddy’s office at Premier Global Productions. We plan to visit there after his family has moved with him.
    It’s great to raise a family in a small town, Nick. Take care and talk to you soon.

  2. by nickshell1983

    On January 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Hi Rhonda,

    Yes, now that Jack is nearly 11 weeks old, things are a lot easier for us new parents. That is neat about your relative recently moving to Nashville. It’s a good place to live. That will be great. How was hockey season?


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