Friday, December 24, 2004

Well, Everyone Else Is Doing It

Writing a post on Christmas Eve seems to be required if you're a blogger. Well, if all the cool kids are doin' it, I'm going to, too!

I've tried REALLY hard to not be reflective, emotional, irrational, and sentimental today. Doing any or all of those would lead to crying and I'm trying REALLY hard not to have that happen. I'll admit to being on the verge of tears many times though.

The first time was when I drove to a local food bank to help the pantry prepare for afternoon donations. I'd called earlier in the week to inquire about the need for help and the dates and times that were available for volunteering, so there was actual planning involved in this effort of mine. I knew I was REALLY serious about doing this do-gooder gig because I set my alarm today. Keep in mind that I have to talk myself through the instructions of setting my alarm because I don't do it often enough to remember how it works. This is a girl who doesn't wear a watch, so time is something that just keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. At any rate, I woke up before my natural waking time (which will remain a secret), beautified a little bit, slipped on a festive forest green sweater and jumped in the Jeep for a jaunt to the Jewish Family Services food pantry location. It's a good thing my heart was warm and in the right place because when I got there I quickly learned they were closed today! WTF?!? I couldn't believe it and neither could the three workers who looked at me with a most puzzled look on their faces. They were there to tie up a few loose ends and thanked me for caring enough to come by. I was obviously misinformed when I made my query on Monday. *hmmph* So much for that effort and damnit! What do I do now?, I wondered. I'm not usually out in public at this hour so I felt like an explorer!

I didn't venture in unchartered territory even though that could have been fun. Instead, I headed for a bookstore so I could thumb through a few magazines and read Sabrina Ward Harrison's books. I've had her books on my Amazon Wish List for a while and decided to treat myself to a reading of them all. I had no where to be, no one was waiting on me, especially not the hungry of Jacksonville, so why not claim a cushy chair and read for a while? It was entertaining to overhear the shoppers. I was definitely the only one there without the shopping-at-the-last-minute adrenaline flowing through her veins. I was comfy-cozy, treating myself to inspirational text and visually pleasing illustrations and photographs and felt the tears well up a few times when a particular part of the reading would strike a chord---but I was strong. I fought them back damnit!

After several hours, I'd concluded my browsing and reading and felt the tummy talking so I came home. It took me all of 5 seconds to decide what to cook for my late lunch/early dinner: Mom's Goulash. Christmas Eve has never included that on the menu, but it was calling me. I did think back to the Christmas Eves of my childhood while stirring the tomato sauce and taste testing after the chili powder was added to the pot. It was on CE that my family would celebrate with gifts. No matter how rough the year was for my mom financially, she always provided the perfect presents. My gifts would always include reading material, games that were slightly cerebral, and items I could use in my correspondence. Oh sure, one year there was a ten-speed bicycle, a bean-bag chair for my bedroom and a soft plaid blanket that I'd drape around me when I sang along with the Bay City Rollers! My family always seemed so happy to gather on that evening. My siblings, who were much older than me, would make that night a priority so they'd come home no matter what. Having the four of us kids there with my mom was simply perfect. My brothers and sister would sometimes bring friends home and it always seemed the more, the merrier. I remember falling asleep on the couch, buried deep beneath a billowing hill of winter coats, while the older folks stayed up playing cards or games or just sitting around sharing the evening, being social. That was a comforting time for me. I miss those days and the smell of Mom's Goulash can take me back to my childhood as quick as any kid can unwrap any Christmas present found beneath the tree.

Once the goulash was simmering, I got busy baking a couple loaves of banana nut bread. I wrapped one fresh and hot from the oven for my husband to take to his mom's. He's with his mom and stepdad for the day/evening, so yes, that means I'm home alone. I'm not letting our rapidly digressing situation start the tears a-flowin' tonight. I refuse. Well, ok, I did drop a couple while soaking in the bubble bath I took before I sat down to blog. Crying in a tub full of Christmas tree and holly confetti just seemed too wrong to let any more fall.

I'm now watching Miracle on 34th Street---for the first time. I hope it's not a tear jerker!!
Happy Christmas Eve everyone. :)


Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

What wonderful reading suggestions! I read your Amazon wish list, too. In fact, I just borrowed a few titles from your list to add to my own. Thank you for the suggestions. If you're ever in the mood for a book discussion, mosey on over to my blog. Based on your reading list and your snow quote (below), it seems like we're on the same wavelength. Great minds (ack!) think alike I guess. :-)

December 24, 2004 11:16 PM  
Blogger Memphis Word Nerd said...

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December 25, 2004 2:49 PM  

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