A few days ago, I told myself I’d spend this week shopping for Christmas gifts. I made a list and felt completely in control. Now that it’s almost Thursday, and I haven’t bought a present, I’m trying to figure out where the time has gone, and I realize that there have been several things that have happened this week that qualify as attention-grabbing, Christmas-shopping deterrents.
1. I have spent many hours singing, rehearsing, and pounding out notes on our out of tune piano while re-discovering a joy that I haven’t experienced in over 30 years, singing with a choir. This is due to my new year’s resolution – yes, that’s right, it was a resolution I made for 2013 – to do things that make me happy. So, since singing makes me happy, and there are only so many parties with karaoke machines, (thanks, Rosa!), I recently signed up to sing in my church’s choir just in time for their Christmas Concert. And, because there were already 24 sopranos and only 4 altos, I’m now singing in a key I’m having trouble locating.
2. Another few hours were spent worrying over our sweet, 14-year old dog, Maggie, culminating with a visit to the vet. Maggie was a pound puppy when we adopted her, mostly border collie, and has been the most wonderful pet. Lately, she has developed a terrible skin condition that looks like dandruff and causes itching, and her arthritis has gotten worse. She rarely gets up from her doggie bed, a far cry from the days she happily ran/walked three miles with me daily, or madly chased squirrels in our backyard. Today, I had to lift her into the car, while she moaned and whimpered, and then, sadly watched as she stood nervously waiting to be seen by the doctor, her back legs shaking as if they could barely hold her. All her problems are attributable to old age, and she was prescribed numerous meds to help keep her comfortable. I hate to think what the new year will bring for this sweet girl.
3. Last Wednesday, in anticipation of the Arctic blast, I exchanged vehicles with my husband, taking his truck to pick up our Christmas tree. My plan was to head to the tree lot, pick out a beauty, have the elves load it into the truck , then drive home, back into the driveway and leave the tree there until my husband arrived home from work to help me unload it. Everything went according to plan until the tree lot people told me, after accepting my credit card and loading the tree into the truck, that it needed to be put in water within 30 minutes. Seriously? It would take me nearly that long to get it home. “Okay, sure. Thank you so much,” I muttered. I raced home dodging noon traffic, wondering what in the world I was going to do with this tree that had taken two people to lift. I went with my plan to back the truck into the driveway, then I lowered the lift gate and literally pulled the tree out of the bed, dragged it into the garage, and propped it up against the wall. I was seriously hoping my neighbors weren’t watching. I found our old tree stand and placed it next to the tree, took a deep breath, tightened my core and lifted that damn thing, dropping it straight into the stand. “Yes!” I shouted, as if I’d just made a basket for the Spurs. I filled the stand with water and shut the garage door. Today, one week later, I think it’s stopped drinking water as I listen to its brittle needles hit the floor. But, it is decorated and its colored lights are brightly shining.
4. My 23-year-old daughter survived the Ice-pocalypse that struck Dallas last weekend. I was sick with worry beginning Friday morning when I checked my weather app and saw that it was sleeting and 29 degrees in Dallas. My Facebook friends of North Texas noted that they were without power and were headed with their families to hotels. I called my daughter to no avail. A few hours later, I was relieved to receive her text that she had simply slept in because work was canceled. Then, “OH NO,” she texted. “MY POWER IS OUT!” and “IT’S COLD!” I asked if she had any food. Yes, plenty of cereal, oatmeal and Hot Pockets. But then, “LOTS OF FOOD BUT NO WAY TO COOK ANYTHING. AND, MILK’S SPOILED.” I, helpfully stated, “Hey, you can boil water for your oatmeal.” “STOVE’S ELECTRIC,” she fired back. Then, I called her to say, “I have to talk fast. You need to conserve your phone battery. Write this down: bread, peanut butter, trail mix, fruit, cheese sticks, crackers. I love you. Goodbye.” She said, “I hope I’m not one of those people who is discovered days after the storm, frozen and all alone in her apartment.” Click. Soon she sent a picture of the snowy scene as she walked to the nearest Tom Thumb. “All dark here but at least they’re open,” she wrote. Next, “Feel like I’m in New York City.” And, “IT’S SOOOOOO COLD.” Later, she called her dad and said one of her friends had power and she was going to make her way to her apartment and spend the night. “Keep us posted,” he advised her. Before long, it was Sunday and I realized I hadn’t heard from her. Then, late Sunday, “YAY! Power’s back on!!” Monday morning I texted again,”Were you able to get into work today?” “Yes, but everything is still snowy and icy.” “Well, I’ll bet it’s good to get out of your apartment and try to get back to normal.” Silence…then, “Mom, I sort of got out some this weekend.” Minutes passed. “My friend had an extra ticket to the Kanye concert.” “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” “Mom, calm down. I COULD NOT pass up a free ticket to see Kanye.” I thanked her for not telling me that she risked her life to see Kanye West, father of North, boyfriend of Kim Kardashian, until three days after the fact.
So, you see, I’ve had lots going on. But, I’d better get busy. Christmas is in 2 … never mind, I don’t want to stress you out!