Saturday, December 18, 2010

Proof There Is a Santa Claus

I remember sitting in my third-grade classroom one day right before Christmas break. The kids had surrounded my friend Sheila and were making fun of her for believing in Santa. They were so mean that they reminded me of the reindeer who made fun of Rudolph in the Christmas special I'd watched the night before. For the rest of the day, I wondered if it could possibly be true. I went straight home from school and I asked my mom if there was a Santa Claus. She assured me that he was real. She even told me that Santa did not leave presents for children who did not believe in him. There was no way I was not going to believe!

Christmas Eve came and we made our traditional visit to my Granny's house in Maysburg. I looked forward to seeing the Christ in the manger display on her front porch. (My mother has it now.) Granny would cover her front door with blue wrapping paper "to symbolize the night sky," she told me. On the door was a lighted Star of Bethlehem. We celebrated with a wonderful Christmas Eve feast. Our cousins were there and we played all evening long. When dinner was over, we sat around the tree with a rotating colored light shining on it. We opened our pajamas that Granny bought for us every year, and then it was time to leave. Granny, Mary Ann and Bud stood on the porch and waved until we drove out of sight.

All the way home, I looked in the clear, night sky for the Christmas Star. I looked for it every year, but it had always been foggy or snowy and I couldn't see it. When we pulled into the alley going to our house, I asked my dad why I couldn't find it. He told me that it only came out the year Jesus was born. He explained that it was not supposed to come out every year. So both my mom and dad answered two of Christmas' great questions for me.

We put on our new pajamas while Mom made warm cocoa. Before going to bed, we wrote a letter to Santa and put out a platter of cookies for him. When we kissed our parents goodnight, they promised to stay awake so Santa would not miss our house.

I woke up at 2 o'clock Christmas morning, and raced to the living room to see a room glowing with Christmas glory. The tree was glittering and the stockings were full. The room was so packed with toys that there was barely a path to the tree. There were bicycles for all three of us, games and toys, a racetrack and presents piled everywhere. There was even an organ and a pinball machine.

On the table in front of me there was an unfinished letter from Santa Claus. I thought I must have scared him away because there was a still warm cup of cocoa and one the cookies had a bite taken out of it. Then I saw it. A display case holding 52 Dawn dolls, which were like miniature Barbies. Each was dressed in her own high-fashion outfit, including one doll in a beautiful bridal gown. I picked up the entire case, and went through the house shouting, "He came! He came! Santa Claus is real! He came!" That case of dolls was bigger than I was but I was out of my mind with joy.

I woke up my entire family with my shouting. Billy and Rhonda were just as ecstatic as I was when they saw that roomful of presents. Our parents watched as we cheered and squealed with joy. Wrapping paper flew at the same time we stuffed ourselves with candy. We did not know which toy to play with first. Every year, I look back fondly on that most perfect of all Christmases in 1970, and wish every child could experience one half as spectacular as mine was that year.

Thanks Mommy and DaddyI

Sneak Attack!

I had an appointment with my heart doctor last Tuesday. I thought everything was fine and I was waiting for the receptionist to make an appointment for 3 months from now when she got on the phone and said, "I need a stress test asap!". I thought she was calling about someone else so when she looked at me and said, "are you fasting? can you do it today?" I looked around to see who she was talking to.

So I had a stress test. It was miserable as usual. They found a blockage (apparently) so now I have to have a heart cath on the 29th. I still haven't recovered from the stress test and the heart cath is going to make the stress test look like a walk in the park. I am considering not doing it. He didn't find anything the last time he did one and I don't see where it will improve my life at all.

I have an appointment to talk to my heart doctor the same morning as the stress test. I don't imagine he is going to be pleased if I tell him I'm not doing it. We'll see.

Since I have been hibernating this week (and will continue to do so if the weather report is any indication) I have much of my Christmas decorating finished. All I want to do is put icicles on the top part of my tree but I am too weak and unsteady to do that. Eddie has promised to do it for me but he is busy with his own stuff. He has been feeding me this week and he likes fatty catty more than he will admit so I know I won't have to worry about her when I go in the hospital for the heart cath.

I plan to see my mom Christmas day. I haven't been able to make my early visit because of my health and the weather so I figured I would just go Christmas Day. I told her not to cook or do anything stressful but I know she won't listen and I will just take the day as it comes.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Last Night I Went to a Living Nativity

It was excellent. They had everything from a waving Angel to greet us to a recreation of the village of Bethlehem. There was a petting zoo (it was much too cold to get out of the truck) and of course Mary and Joseph in a stable with wisemen and shepherds.

Unfortunately it turns out that the village of Bethlehem was heated by many bonfires back when Christ was born. It took a matter of seconds (even with the truck windows up) for me to realize that I needed to get on my oxygen. Unfortunately my O2 tank was empty. I had run out coming home from work the night before and since it was Sunday I couldn't get another tank until Monday.

I was in such bad shape when Eddie and I got home that I had to get on my breathing machines. This meant that I had to miss the little carolers that had come to our building from the grade school next door.

In spite of all the problems I was truely impressed with the living nativity and I plan to go back (better prepared) next year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I am blessed

I have a nice warm apartment that I don't have to worry about losing and I am in the process of putting up my Christmas decorations.

4 years ago when I got sick I became homeless on Thanksgiving day. I lost most of my belongings when that happened.

I moved into a room in a little old ladies house but one morning she came in my room and saw me on my c-pap machine. It scared her so bad that she told me I would have to move. She did give me time to find another room to rent.

I rented a room off of a man who ended up stealing food off of me. When I protested he let another tennant threaten me and I had to move out immediately. I lost a lot more of my stuff. I ended up sleeping in my truck when it was 24 degrees outside one night and somebody stole my c-pap machine out of it. I guess they thought they were getting something valuable.

My friend Kathy was so distressed by my situation that she talked her brother, Roger, into taking me in. I lived with him for 3 months until I found a suitable place. He wouldn't let me pay rent but I did help him with utilities and bought him groceries and gave him rides when he would let me. He liked to party and smoke but the night I moved in complete with my oxygen machine he made his friends smoke outside even though I was a complete stranger.

Roger saved my life.

I lived at another woman's house until I found a tiny apartment that the landlady dropped the rent so I could live there. I was still in danger of losing it because I couldn't afford my truck and the apartment. I couldn't loose my truck because I can't walk a block. I call my red ranger my glorified wheelchair!

Finally I applied for housing assistance. I didn't want to do it because it means I had given up trying to make it on my own but I was killing myself. I couldn't work enough to support myself.

Now I am safe and warm and I am in no danger of losing my apartment. I work enough to get out of the house and maintain my dignity.

I am blessed.

I Adore Scrooge

I adore Scrooge. If there is a version that I haven't watched or read, it is because I don't know that it exists. I guess it is the thought that anybody can find the Christmas spirit of giving. That spirit is what I love and adore about Christmas.

The first year that I was married Bobby ruined my Christmas. He complained so much about all my preparations (which were mostly for his twin daughters) that by the time the big day came I was completely fed up! Ironically on Christmas day he had such a good time enjoying the wonderful day which I had painstakingly planned that I postively hated him! I emphatically told him at the end of the day that if he ever ruined another Christmas for me that I would divorce him on the spot - and believe me he had no doubt that I meant it.

After that I can honestly say that he came to enjoy the Holiday as much as I and we shared many wonderful Christmases together. It became a running joke between us that I would call him Scroogie. I think it was our third Christmas together that I was in the mall one day and I went by one of those booths that print your name on Santa hats and such. I had one made for him that said "bah humbug". He wore it proudly every year after that and we many good times over many holidays. I miss those times, but I still seem to have a good Christmas every year.

I get so tired of people complaining and belly aching about the holiday. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I always have an excellent holiday and since my divorce I have definitely been at the lower end of the economic scale. It doesn't take money to have a good holiday. It doesn't take getting good gifts to have a good holiday. All it takes to have a good holiday is a good attitude and the ability to bask in all the glories of the season! There are wonderful things going on all around you, if you just take the time to look. (many of them are free too) Make up with somebody that you have had problems with, give your child an extra hug or go to a homeless shelter and help serve dinner. It will give you a whole new perspective.

Tonght I will be going to an outdoor nativity display. I have always wanted to go and unless the temperature plummets, I'll be there!

I watched my favorite version of Scrooge

1. Scrooge - starring Albert Finney

2. Ramona and Beezus the closest thing to a non movie that I have ever seen, it couldn't even be a non tv show.

3. Grownups It had it's moments

4. Last Holiday It was good but I was expecting a Christmas movie

5. The Christmas Box heartwarming Christmas movie

6. True Blood HBO's take on Twilight

7. 4 Christmases I was surprised by how much I liked it. It reminds me of me and my ex!

8. 3 Kings It was good but once again I thought I was getting a Christmas Movie. I guess I should start reading the descriptions.

9. A Christmas Wish It was good