Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday Review

Some folks wrote and told me that they missed getting my Christmas newsletter this year; I sent them out to those who wrote, but am guessing that the mid-west snowstorms slowed down the planes that would carry my greetings to out of state areas so, before the year ends, I include the highlights here!  Hope everyone had a great it is:

We're waiting for our bailout!  Should the government debt program float some funds our way, I can assure you they'd have it back faster than you can say, “What do you want for Christmas?”  All monies would be spent back into circulation in no time flat.  Nothing would change, we’d still be broke!!!  But, what a Christmas it would be!

My wife only wants all expense paid trips to Hawaii, Italy and Ireland, and would be happy to spend about three months getting it all in.  I told her that a trip like that would be very expensive and most likely we couldn't afford for both of us to go.  She said, without a blink of her eye, “Okay.  I can send you postcards!”   She came up with that too fast!

She'd also like a home in the country.  You see, she doesn't think that we live far enough from civilization.  For those of you who know where we live, I'll wait a minute until you stop laughing.  For those of you who don’t, all you have to know is that I need a GPS to find my way back from the store.  Any time I mention my desire to live near a sidewalk, to get to places, like walking to the store for a quart of milk, instead of driving an hour for it, she takes me on “know your county” drives, that lead further into the woods each time.  I'm waiting for the day when, in the midst of uncharted territory, she makes up an excuse for me to get out of the car and drives off leaving me there until I come to “her senses.”  She loves the wildlife that frequents our front and back yards...I've pointed out similar things in the city, like the guy in New York City who was riding his roller board down the escalator at Barnes and Noble, “Look at that turkey!”  See, nature!  Or, that cute woman I spied in the Metropolitan Museum, “That's some fox, huh?”  (Should have kept that bit of nature to myself).  In the city, we've seen people who are bears and loons.  Near the Playboy Club (no, we didn't go in), we saw bunnies.  South Street Seaport…someone with a rod and reel...a fisher!  Lots of nature.  She also expounds that she wants “tranquility.”  I told her that she could buy it in any fragrance store in the city and that it comes in a yellow bottle, her favorite color.  No comment.

As long as we’re in a spending mood, the boys each want a brand new car, clothes and musical instruments (the youngest-guitar, the eldest-guitar, the middle child,-guitar, keyboard, drums, whistles, bells, pieces of iron that you can bang together to make noise...yikes).  They would also take a private apartment each and a weekly cash allowance to support their efforts on their own and, on some days I think, “new parents.”  We know it's hard on them having to eat our food, use our laundry equipment, and turn up our heat.  While we're still not empty nesters, I do know some day when they are all moved out and on their own they will look back at these days and fondly state, “What were we thinking...we should have stayed!” 

I should also take a moment to review some of the highlights of the past year, that would be of great interest to you.  We had the septic tank pumped.  It's a good thing, as we've found out in not such a good way in the past, so I try to keep ahead of it.  My wife reached her first anniversary in the dialysis unit and continues to provide great health care…there.  At home, should I cut off a finger or fall on the floor writhing in pain, she‘ll barely throw a glance and say, “You might want to have that looked at!”  I took a break from work to become a student.  Nothing like reliving your youth and basking in the glow of many long-forgotten educational processes (skipping classes, dropping courses before the four week cutoff so you can get 50% back, paying someone else to write your paper, and attending the freshman beer bash...and, with everyone in my class older than 50, we can actually buy kegs with our own IDs).

I still get up every morning and wave to the school bus as it goes by.  I truly love not making those lunches.  And we took a few trips this year.  We were in Maine, New Hampshire (over a mile higher than sea level at Mt. Washington), Massachusetts (below sea level if you count my falling out of the boat and going underwater), Vermont, and Virginia.  Spent a full week at the lake in Richfield Springs, and we've been through New Jersey on several trips to New York City.  Going through a state counts, right...but, then, the fact that it's New Jersey, well....

Last year for Christmas, we got clothes and goodies, games, fragrant things of all sorts, and I actually got a crate full of coal... not because I was bad (I think), but it's useful.  My wife got it for me as, she explained, it burns cleaner and longer than oil and it helps the stove fire burn hotter.  I like to burn things.  That bothers her, but she supports that habit when it’s contained to the woodstove; it was a nice gift; kept us warm!

Then my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year and I told her, lightly, “Peace on Earth, Size Large, Color Blue.”  She immediately wrote it down on the “What I Want For Christmas” list that appears on the refrigerator each year around Thanksgiving, that we’re supposed to fill out so we buy gifts that people actually want.  I thought the idea would touch her soul.  I was a little bothered by the fact that I saw her pull out her “other” list and cross off Scotch, Vodka, Xbox Kinect, and Chocolate Covered Cherries!  Not sure if she all-of-a-sudden remembered that she had bought those things for me or if my idea sparked another thought.  You see, these days she 'forgets' things...which works for me as I'm wrapping up all of last year's gifts that I gave her to put under the tree for her again this year...the ultimate re-gifting!  Then, when I looked again, I realized she wrote, “Piece of Earth!”

Knowing how her mind works (or doesn't), I started to put it together...she probably forgot the coal gift last year, but an ember of that memory relit in her brain and the bill we had recently received, for “Large, Blue Anthracite,” is now for me the ghost of Christmas future. 

Did she forget what she bought me last year, or is she thinking that she won't have to think about a gift for me as she knows I think she forgets, but she didn't, and now she can get away without thinking about a gift for me by getting me the gift for which she can state, “I forgot I got you that,” when she didn't you think? 

Okay, I won’t think about that for very long.  Coal or scotch, I hope your holiday is warm, too!

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