Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Keepers of Christmas

Old iron bumper for a pick-up truck.

If life was always easy, I'm 99% sure I would have died from pure boredom decades ago.  Fortunately, I have been blessed with an uneasy life and have never been plagued with that problem.  With oncoming winter promising cold showers last Friday, and a super crisp night dropping into the twenties to follow - regrettably, my Thanksgiving found me still working in my yard, still finishing a low retaining wall to the south side of the house   That's right!  My day of official thankfulness was chained to a project that selfishly refused to go away on its own any time soon.  Bummer!  I plastered my pale cold face with a frown of Grinchatude proportions as that blustery day and my new wool socks strangling my cold tootsies in shoes with no forgiveness, refused to remind me how great it was to still be breathing.

Multi-tasking inside-the-house with outside-the-house (is that even a possibility) is not practiced in this household of aging noggins.  Any thoughts of preparing the feast were crammed into the farthest corner of my brain to vegetate until the wall was completed.  We finally sat down to a lovely dinner of bacon and cheese quiche, spicy mandarin muffins and a large tray of veggies and dip just before nine that evening.  I might have been a bit more grateful if I hadn't already nosedived into the loony bin about two hours earlier trying to tie up all the loose ends of the preparations before midnight - but the force of invincibility was sadly not on my side that day.  The pumpkin pie remained a figment of our tired imaginations until it was baked the next morning after a good night's sleep and a softening of attitudes.

New Furniture
A gift to ourselves while Vic was still working.

I'm the sole keeper of Christmas in my household of two opposite humans that are so frightfully alike, and the patter of four little paws quadrupled.  If I procrastinate, Christmas silently slips into oblivion...poof!  This has the weight of an iron anchor around my neck, a weight my heart and soul puts there all on its very own. Some years the decorations fly up in one day flat; but I'm looking at all these now only half filled boxes still cluttering my living room floor and I see drudge with a capital D.  I would like some company and a cup of spiced tea, but all I'm getting is little old me this morning at a half past three pondering where in the hell do I place this orphaned garland while rising out-of-bed time to get ready for work is just two hours away.  Rats!

And speaking of rats, or more specifically, their cute little cousins with those tiny mousey feet; the first day of my winter is always that first day at work when those furry sweet cheeked cuties leave a delicate trail of lovely turds across the top of my semi-cluttered desk.  Yesterday was officially my first day of winter, I'm armed with dozens of wood traps and, any-mouse-worth-its-weight-in-cheese's downfall, a new jar of out-of-this-world super chunk peanut butter.  So there!  Bah Humbug, you little buggers! 

Drawer Knobs
A gift to myself because I love pretty things.

Collection of old glass ornaments
to remind me of my childhood.

As a child, I skipped through my world of rosy glow contented to be - well - just contented to be little old me.  I was a child, and I was allowed to grow up before I had to worry about starving mouths to feed and a huge world out there to save.  Life was hard for my parents as they sheltered me under their umbrella of care, and that shelter made my life so very easy - not materialistically easy, but easy just the same.  I never had more than two pairs of shoes - one pair for just life and one pair for dress up.  I shared a closet with two other sisters, so the changes of clothes were few.  I worked for my small allowances, allowances so minuscule that to have the buying power to purchase something like a little radio would have taken a few years.

BUT - I had Christmas, that time of year when everything I needed throughout the past year but quietly lived without, was hauled out of its hiding places to be lovingly wrapped and placed under the tree to shout out to the rooftops that Santa indeed had again been extremely generous on Christmas Eve.  Panties, bobby socks, school clothes, maybe a winter coat or a brand new pair of shoes - I'd gather them all up before sitting down to our holiday breakfast of smoked sausages, fried apple rings and Danish pastries; knowing I was completely set up for the coming New Year.  AND, if the year happened to be a prosperous one for Santa and Mrs. Claus, I'd get something totally, awesomely impractical, leaving my face double rosy glowed for the rest of the month.  Oh, how I miss all that now!

Soaking up the morning sun.

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