Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas Miracle

In 2001 my dad was in the hospital dying on Christmas Day.

He was in so much pain that they had him in a medically induced coma and he was still lying in the bed stiff as a board and there was blood on his lips because he was clenching his teeth so hard. He was a diabetic and he needed to have his leg amputated because of sepsis but he was too weak for them to do the surgery and they did not know if he would make it through the day.

Needless to say I was miserable, not only was my dad dying but it was Christmas Day and Christmas would be ruined for the rest of my life! I promised God that I would do whatever I could to help him if he would let him live.

They decided to do dialysis on Christmas Day saying that it was the absolute last thing they could try for him. Fortunately the dialysis worked and he became strong enough a couple of days later to do the surgery. Also he never had to have dialysis again which is one of the complications of having it once - being on it for the rest of your life!

Daddy became strong enough to come home with me on February 4, 2002. They told me that he had around 10 days to live. I was blessed with taking care of him for another 2 3/4 years. He had lost around 100 lbs. during the course of his illness. When I took him home and he still didn't want to eat, I would make him delicious,appetizing foods. When he would turn them down I would sit there in front of him and eat and smack my lips and just enjoy the hell out of the meal in front of him. Usually he would lean over and peep at the plate and say "I think I'll have a little of that." I managed to put 50 lbs. back on him but I also put 50 lbs. on myself! I definitely didn't need it, but it was worth every pound.

Taking care of daddy by myself was hard. I had a little help from my uncles but for the most part I took care of everything for him. I do appreciate the help that they did give me though.

There were lots of ups and downs but he eventually became well enough that he was quite happy. I told him that if he could bear with me that I might make mistakes and do a lot of things wrong but I would always do my best and never intentially hurt him.

That is exactly what happened.

Track Santa on Norad 2009 index.html

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tickle Me Elmo Gloves

I think it should be illegal to sell these gloves to anyone under the age of 18.

Little boys all over America will be so in love with the Tickle Me Elmo Gloves that their parents may never see them again!

In my mind...this is not a kids toy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

When You Got It, You Got It!

Well "it" happened again yesterday.

I went to Fruth to pick up a Christmas Tree (now there's a long, boring story in itself!) I was standing there talking to my friend, Kathy when I looked down to see a little girl of about seven years old standing by my side just beaming the most star struck smile I have ever seen in my life at me. She actually looked a little crazed to me and the look on her face kind of creeped me out. I did recognize "the look" though and so I spoke and she raced back to her mother's side.

Kathy and I laughed and continued to talk when I looked down again and there was the same little girl standing beside me, grinning with that same huge smile again. Once again I spoke to her and once again she ran away. Kathy looked at me and said, "Pam, they love you so much. Isn't that sweet." Now, Kathy is like Old Mother Hubbard. No one on earth loves kids as much as she does and we have worked together long enough for her to recognize "the look" also. The really weird part about it is that I wasn't working. I didn't have on my Santa hat or my Mrs. Claus button and I didn't recognize that little girl or her mom as regular customers.

Kathy and I started to talk again when once again I looked down and for the third time that little girl was there again, right by my side, with that big, ole, half-crazed with delerium smile on her face. Her eyes were shining with happiness just being in my presence. I tried to speak to her again but she was too shy and ran away for the last time. This time Kathy got irritated. I really shouldn't say irritated, I should say jealous! She said, "I just don't get it. I LOVE kids. They don't act like that around me. You can't stand them and they flock to you like you're a magnet or something." I had to laugh at her irritation because she was right.

I told her, "when you got it, you got it. There's nothing I can do about it." By "it" I mean the Christmas spirit. I have an overabundance of it and when little kids see me they know it. Nobody has to tell them. So gather up some Christmas spirit while you are here reading my little stories and go out and spread it around. It's free you know.

Mrs. Claus

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Wish List

Everybody has their wish list of must have presents that they just have to have for Christmas. Over the years I have gotten most of those presents if not all of them. Looking back I can only recall a couple of those make it or break it presents that I just had to have or it would not be a good Christmas.

Here is what I do remember:

1. My 4 year old nephew, Arnie, flinging the mountain of tissue paper aside sheet by sheet that I had piled on top of the Tickle Me Elmo doll that only I could find.

2. Becca and Arnie laughing with glee when they opened the Furbees that only, once again, Aunt Pam could find when nobody else could.

3. My ex-husband, Bobby's shy, quiet smile because once again I had got him something he really wanted when he didn't even know it himself.

4. Katie, my stepdaughter, bursting into tears because she got the computer she had been dreaming of. (this was in the days even before the internet)

5. Kandi, my other stepdaughter, squealing with glee over the boom box and the awesome cassette collection that she never imagined in a million years she would get. (back in the Thriller days when she was positive she would marry Michael Jackson)

6. The pretty porcelain ornaments the my mom bought me for my first married Christmas - I still have ALL of them.

7. Katie and Kandi getting 8 cabbage patch dolls that first year when there was a feeding frenzy over them in the stores. (twins from us, 2 from their mom, 2 from their stepfather's parents and 2 from my parents)

None of those moments (except for one) have anything to do with me getting one of those must have presents!

Christmas Light Hero

There goes Santa!




Monday, December 14, 2009


This happened three years ago

I met a little girl named Heather. She is 8 years old. Heather did not have a Christmas. I don't mean Heather had a bad Christmas, I mean Heather did not have any Christmas. She did not get so much as a candy cane for Christmas. She is a sweet child with long blonde hair and very quiet and mannerly. She is shy. When you ask her if she wants something she is afraid to say yes.

Her mommy is a crack head. Her daddy is a drunk. I met her on New Year's Eve at her uncle's house. She was having a good time playing on the computer and her uncle bought her a personal pan pizza and went to Rite Aid and bought her some play dough. When I walked in he pulled me aside and told me what was going on. He did not know what to do for her. I had not planned to have a child in the house so I went digging through my Christmas stuff (I have entirely too much) and started giving her what I could find.

She was appreciative of every little item down to the candy canes that I let her have off the tree. Fortunately I had not taken it down yet. She would run to her daddy and show him every little thing. She was just tickled pink as only little 8 year old girls can be. Her drunken daddy would slur and paw over "my little girl" and go on about how much he loved her. Heather does not know that real daddies don't act like that. I kept her distracted all evening.

New Year's morning I woke up and went to the local dollar store, they had toys half price. I got Heather a few things. In fact I got her more than I could afford and I was afraid I would have to take some of it back. I woke her uncle up when I got home and told him what I had done. He immediately went to his wallet and paid for everything. He was grateful. He said he just didn't know how to shop for a little girl. I wrapped up the presents and we circled them around Heather and woke her up. Apparently Santa had come that night and left her presents there at her uncle's house because he couldn't find her on Christmas Eve.

Heather's eyes were shining and she was laughing and playing. Her daddy got up and cracked open his first beer of the day. She had pumpkin pie for breakfast because everybody knows you can eat anything you want on a holiday. She played for hours with the few toys I got. I know a lot of kids who would throw a tantrum over the little presents I bought for her that day. Heather was happy.

The next day I went to work. I work at Fruth Pharmacy. The pay sucks but this is the reason I work there. I started to tell my coworkers about Heather. My coworkers are mothers. Within a few hours we had her a smorgasbord of toys - even a few regular customers pitched in some money when they found out what we were doing. When I left Fruth that night I had 4 bags of toys and candy and toiletries hand picked for an 8 year old girl. In a few days there will be some clothes for Heather too. This is not the first time my friends and I have run into a child in trouble and everybody chipped in to help.

Now Heather had a Christmas. It was 10 days late. The hard part is yet to come. I will try to turn her parents in. Not having a Christmas is only a small problem in this child's life. As of today no one still has seen her mom since Christmas Eve. It is presumed she is off on a crack binge somewhere. When her uncle took her presents to her, her daddy was still drunk. He has not had a sober breath in days. I'm not talking just drunk. I'm talking on yourself, can't walk across the room drunk. Even to get yourself another beer drunk. I am disgusted I have to do something or I won't be able to live with myself.

I could not find Heather after that. I don't know where she is now. I tried to call her school. The woman I talked to was not interested in even looking for her with the little bit of information that I could provide.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

It has always been my contention that decorations make the tree. It doesn't matter what flaw the tree may have, too short or too skinny or even a bald spot here and there, it can be fixed with the proper decorations and or the perfect placement of the tree. Once the tree is decorated it is always beautiful. Some people do the perfectly structured trees with matching colors or a theme tree that can come in as many variations as there are ideas. I like them all.

I have to admit though that one time I had a tree that nothing could fix. I was living on my hundred acres and I had the bright idea of going out and cutting my own tree from my property. I knew exactly what tree I wanted to cut down. I was in the middle of a field, in a tiny cluster of trees which were in my way when I mowed the field. I was ready to kill two birds with one stone as it were - cut the tree down and clear the field so I had a clear shot during mowing season. The perfect solution.

So I marched out of my house with a hand saw to cut down that tree. No power saw for me, by golly, I was going to do this the old-fashioned way! There was a light snow on the ground so I slipped and slid up the hill to the tree. I sawed at that tree for probably a half an hour before it fell with a gratifying thud. I felt like such a lumberjack.

I dragged it to the house and I put it up in the corner of my living room. I started to turn it to find the "good side". To my dismay I found there was no "good side". So I decorated it with my lovely decorations that I had saved from year to year and had always had a gorgeous tree. Not this time. It looked pitiful.

It looked so pitiful that I went back outside to that little grove of trees and cut down another tree. I took it into the house and I took off all the decorations and I put the two trees together and I wired myself one big, giant tree! It still didn't help. Even after I decorated my makeshift tree it was still the ugliest monstrosity that I have ever had the pleasure(?) of putting into my house at Christmastime.

Every year I enjoy my ritualistic burning of the Christmas tree when I take it down. The burning was particularly enjoyable that year. And that is the story of my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

on fruitcake

one year my mom made homemade fruitcakes. a proper fruitcake recipe calls for the cake to be soaked in rum or whiskey for about 6 weeks. she took the cakes and gave them to my grannies on christmas eve. they bragged on them profusely.

the next day my granny brennan called and chewed my mom's ass out because she was a christian woman and did not drink. of course my mom apologized. it was a legitimate mistake and she just didn't think about the fact that soaking the fruitcakes in liqueur would violate my grannies' religious beliefs.

mommy then called her mom and apologized for the fruitcake. this granny told her that it was alright and she understood. she also confessed that it was the best fruitcake she ever ate!