Friday, December 23, 2011

All is calm? All is bright?

Despite the serenity of the picture on the right (taken after a rare snowstorm in 2010), Christmas at Andalusia was not always the peaceful affair the O'Connors might have wished it would be. In this excerpt from a letter written on Christmas day, 1958, Flannery tells her friend, Betty Hester, about a major dust-up between resident farmhands, Jack and Louise Hill:
"Big doings here the other night in preparation for the Yuletide. Louise came over after supper and said she was afraid to go back home because Jack had the gun loaded and said he was going to kill her. He was eventually persuaded by my mother to bring the gun over and leave it in the back hall. After the liquor wore off them, they all calmed down and yesterday she gave him back his gun; but today, we had to stay home to make sure hostilities didn't redevelop. So far nothing. My mother gave them a snappy sermon on: 'thou shalt not kill during the Christmas season' when she she gave them their presents last night and I guess it paid off..." (Habit of Being, p. 310)

Since we will be closed for Christmas (Dec. 25-26), Craig and I want to take this opportunity now to wish you and those you love a peaceful holiday. Oh yes, our pea chickens - Manley Pointer, Mary Grace, and Joy/Hulga - want to add their greeting, too. Eee-ooo-ii! Eee-ooo-ii! (which in their language means "We wish you a merry Christmas!")
- Mark

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