Monday, December 21st, 2015


(I guess I’m still in Dr Seuss mode with my titles!)

I’ve had strong indicators that this might be a discombobulated holiday.
Not disorganized, just topsy-turvy. Old traditions going by the wayside.
Changing rituals and people. It will be the first Christmas without some kid or grand kid under our roof. All good and right changes but I wondered if I would be kind of blue.

Not so much. Slightly invigorated, helped mostly by what I have already been given. Big fat gifts.

—I had a story book day with my granddaughter who lives close. I knew I was going to babysit and I knew it would be a day of chores. (I don’t always entertain like an enlightened day care) I had stuff to get done. It was a rainy, dreary day. I dreaded the car seat routine and the bargaining I was in for.
So not what happened.

—We went to the UPS store. Long lines. I had a big shopping bag that I emptied of packages and in she went. The worker was excruciatingly slow and the system fraught with mistakes. But Issa hunkered down in the empty bag and when anyone came in to join the line, she popped up with arms spread wide and yelled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”  It was incredible to see faces go from tense to soft as she did it and to see the immediate conviviality of the line. She was like a kid from a fifties Christmas movie the whole day long ending with belting out a song in The True Value Hardware Store that my mom sang to me and I sing to Issa. Never knew it has registered with her. There she was singing it word perfect, “I Love You a Bushel and A Peck”  

—Another gift not to be taken for granted is when I broke a 20 or more year tradition with my friend Eileen. She and her daughter have always come for Christmas Eve. I said, “I can’t do it this year for all kinds of reasons.” She lovingly accepted that. Big gift.

—Yet another big fat gift. I just had an annual brunch with the first two women I had as colleagues when I first moved to Maine,Joanne and Lynn. They hired me. We were a team of women who supported one another easily, foibles and all. We only get together once a year and then gab straight for three hours and not much of it reminiscing, We are a present tense friendship. This was our 31st year of getting together.  We are loyal and come when things are good and when they are tough. A gift.

—Here’s an odd unexpected gift. I have had reason to make many complex phone calls whether to fix an Internet connection, change a stove hood, figure out confused finances or order a gift AND I have had nothing but pleasant, helpful, laugh filled conversations. Stunningly different from the usual. I’ll take that as a big,fat gift also.

Best gift? I know when I’m receiving a gift.
PS– my husband brought me coffee in bed and turned the light in my eyes to wake me to get this posted after a week of no Internet. Gifts galore!! I growled just a  little as he did what I had asked. 


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