I wasn't going to. Budgetary constraints and common sense and painting and general house confusion had caused me to say, "Impractical. Let's just forget it for this year." But then I drove by the little lot where we always get our trees and there were just a few left. They looked lonely. And I figured the guy would cut me a deal. I mean, it's almost Christmas. It may be a $50 tree but take the $20 bucks I'm offering or eat tree soup in a few days. I figured they'd rather have the $20. I was right. And didn't a whole BUNCH of us do this when we were kids? I remember lots of Christmas Eve trees. That was before Christmas started in September like it does now.
So my tree is sitting on the back porch while I finish painting the wall where it's supposed to be displayed. Nothing like the last minute. And I was counting on Bo having the day off to decorate it so, naturally, she had to work unexpectedly. The poor thing is EXHAUSTED. She just finished finals last week with 16 units (and it looks like she pulled another 4.0 - she has to keep her grades up to keep her scholarship), worked the whole semester and has her volunteer work as well, and a sometime-second-job. If the kid doesn't collapse it'll be a miracle. (Spring semester: 20 units - really?) I miss her. We haven't had one minute to celebrate the season together. No lunches, no shopping, no just sitting with a cup of hot cocoa. These are the times I wish we didn't have to struggle and I could say, "School is enough. Drop everything else and have a life." But we can't. Grizzly's work injury in March started us down a rough financial path when they never covered a single sick day. We've been lucky to hang on to the house by the skin of our teeth (ewww.....what IS the skin of your teeth?). That means we need Bo to work for the things she must have so she ploughs forward and probably builds some character muscles that will last her a lifetime. And her supervisor's daughter was just diagnosed with a serious virus so, naturally, Bo helps and fills in where she's needed. She would never leave her co-workers in a lurch.
And now I added the tree to her "to do" list. But she wanted it, too. We talked while she was lying in bed and we both decided we never know when last Christmases come. Last time it's just the four of us? Last time when we're all in the same town? Or, just the last time? Who knows what life has around the corner for any of us. Isn't that a cheery Christmas thought? Hey, it's been a rough year. There were times I thought one of us would croak, several times I wished I would, and probably a few where others wished I would. (But I lived to spite all of us so why not grab a bargain tree and celebrate?) Come Christmas morning, we might be gazing at a bare tree but it will be a bare CHRISTMAS tree!
So, I'm off to paint and hopefully make fudge at some point - Easter maybe. And then two hours of physical therapy with Atilla the Hun this afternoon. (She's actually a darling girl I absolutely love but she WILL torture you if she needs to and never bat a big, beautiful eyelash.) And I need to quit losing time every day to this S.T.U.P.I.D. issue I'm still dealing with. Right in the middle of painting yesterday when SMACK - six hours gone. No one has six hours to give away to POINTLESSNESS five days before Christmas.
Golly, I bet you've missed all this whining. Sure is good to be back! (And THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR RESPONSES AND WELCOMING GREETINGS! Sounds like it's a strange year for many of us but we're making the best of it and counting our blessings. Guess that's why we're still hangin' together. If your life is perfect, you probably won't like it here!)
In case I don't see you before, I truly wish you all the merriest of Christmases - time with those you love, an opportunity to bless others, and a minute to stop and say, "Everything may be topsy-turvy, troubles may knock at the door, but no matter what, God holds us in His hand and, it is well with my soul."
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