And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Lew and Brenda the Day After Christmas and the only pattering little feet to be heard are Rabbits.

Posted on: December 26, 2009

Dear perplexed and                                 Gaylord

put upon Felix

Lew and I have spent many Christmas’  with just the two of us and really are quite content with just us.   We come from small families (I’m an only child) and have lost touch with cousins  due to our lifestyle of moving often.

In 1977 we settled and built a home in Lake Padgett where we lived for 19 years  with our children,  and Christmas was a time of sharing and celebrating with family and friends.

Then as the children began to grow up and leave home our friends moved from the neighborhood one by one.  Lake Padgett is mainly made up of larger family homes and as the children grew up and left home the houses were just too big. (Ironically now the homes have been occupied by the first  generation of  Lake Padgett Kids!   All that a great many of them did was change houses.  As they married and  purchased homes it was the homes of the parents of friends, and some, like our daughter, bought their parents home.  Elaine  and her husband  are raising their family in the house she grew up in.)

Anyhow little by little our group of friends scattered.  Our first Christmas with just Lew and I was when both children were in the service and in Germany at the same time (different services.  son in Army, daughter in Air Force).

In 1991 we  received  the very best Christmas present any couple can receive: we had five beautiful years  with our granddaughter and being able to share Santa duties all over again. Our daughter got divorced and we brought her and the 15 month old granddaughter home so Elaine could go to college while Lew went back to work and I watched Krystle.   We had been traveling for three years  already and were just keeping the house until Lew was 55 years old before we sold it.

When Elaine called with her sad news Lew just took the for sale sign out of the front yard and we settled down to become parents again and grandparents on a grand and glorious scale.  Living with our granddaughter for five years thru all the holidays and birthdays and just growing every day was a gift from God.  A second chance to witness the miracle of a child.

As parents we are just too young to appreciate the miracle that children are.  It seems everything from our jobs to the dirty dinner dishes take precedence over our children and time with our children.  Given a second chance Lew and I took full advantage and the damned dishes just had to wait until Krystle was in bed or until the next morning!

In September 1996  Elaine purchased our home and Lew and I got back into the RV that had been setting in our side yard and headed West.  We spent 4 years  in the West (Rocky Mountains to the Pacific) Traveling in a leisurely way  in the spring heading North and then in the Fall heading South, but again very slow to

see the country and smell the flowers along the way.  After that we zig zagged our way  back to the Eastern part of this glorious country/continent.

While on our eleven year odyssey   we usually had dinner in the camp ground hall with the other campers, but  we were with strangers.  Not that we did not enjoy and get involved with some special activity for Christmas.  Oh no, we both have some lovely memories of ways and places we spent Christmas  seeing the way different parts of the country and sometimes different nationality groups spent Christmas.  And of course we were always part of a friendly group of people.

One year we went swimming in the outdoor pool and two hours later were throwing snow balls at each other.  The camp ground in California was on the desert floor  so it was warm and comfortably nice in the winter.  But just two miles  away straight up a winding road to the top of the mountain was a darling winter village and a white Christmas.  It really can’t get much better than that!

In October 2004 we decided we had seen all we wanted to see and were ready to settle in our retirement town.  I can’t stand the heat and Lew didn’t want too much snow so North Carolina seemed a good place to start.  As we had traveled we kept a listing of cities that just said “welcome as we drove thru”. It had to be large enough to have the amenities we needed and wanted: hospitals, libraries, entertainment and  still have a lot of parks and trees and be a “pretty” place to live.  Greensboro, North Carolina was one of these places.

So it has been just Lew and I again.  We have been invited  to dinner a few times and were pleased that people wanted to share their family with us.  We took pies and cookies and flowers and like good guests were careful not to spend more than an hour after dinner,  leaving the family to enjoy their time together as a family.

I can’t say that I have been anything but happy no matter how or who I am with on Christmas.  Just as long as Lew is there.  I of course decorate the apartment  in early December since I love a beautiful Christmas tree and all the trimmings to sort of spark up the season.  This year I used only white and silver bulbs and  long strands of glittering silver  beads with loads of white tree lights.   Then I just added touches of gold beads here and there.  It looked like the tree was covered with jewels, diamonds, silver and gold.  I have had some pretty trees but I do think this one ranks high on the list.

We open our packages to each other  while having  our morning coffee on Christmas day.  Lew usually gets me jewelry.  This year it was small silver hoop ear rings since I no longer enjoy wearing my larger ones, and a lovely tennis bracelet.  Just for fun  he also got me a box of my favorite Belgium chocolate truffles and a bottle of spiced rum which I am partial to.

I know to go practical with Lew. So this year I got him one of those divided into small squares baking pans.  He often makes  muffins or bar type cakes using the very shallow muffin top  baking pan then complains that they aren’t  “thick” enough.  But he doesn’t care for the cup cake pans either because they are too thick.  This pan is somewhere in-between and is non-stick so it should do the trick.  I also got him an electric throw.  Lew can’t take the cold weather and is always complaining that I keep the place freezing at 72%.  Any warmer and I can’t stand it! as I can’t take the heat.   He is using his throw right now while he sits in his chair watching  TV and says it is just the ticket.
Just for fun I saw a pair of fleece around the house leisure slacks that I couldn’t resist and made the gift from the Kids (Dinah our dog and the rabbits Felix and Gaylord).  The pants are blue with black shadow dogs all over them.  He often wears his sweat pants out when he takes Dinah for a walk or carries the trash to the dumpster.  I am waiting to see if he wears these out of the house.  He put them on this morning and  came strutting by for a comment so I said, “hey Mr.  do you know you’ve got a dog on your butt?”  Not very original but I was only on my first cup of coffee.

I have holiday dinners  with as much variety as I think we can stand eating for a week!  As much as I love green bean casserole and  pickled fruits after three or four days  it is a relief not to have to have them again until next Christmas.

I always  bring out the  linen table cloth and napkins and light candles hoping every year to have a romantic candle lite dinner.  Lew always comes into the dining room, looks at the table and says how nice it looks then turns on the glaring overhead light.   This year he fooled me by not turning on the chandelier and eating by candle light.  At the end of the meal he commented that he didn’t know what he had eaten, but it all tasted real good.

Now it is the day after Christmas and I am back to living in the world outside of my apartment.  Which means I am back to reading the news and blogging.   The world hasn’t changed and in fact has gotten more dangerous.  A terrible Christmas terror attack on an air liner was averted only because the explosive was faulty.   Our Guardian Angels will not always be able to stop these things so I do hope it is a wake up call to our government.  However since we have had more terrorist activity in the United States this past year than we ever had before and the horror of the Fort Hood Massacre and still the current administration is determined to weaken our national security I really expect we will see more Americans killed on American soil.  So I continue to pray for our country, read the news from all over and try to alert you my readers to things I feel you should know that the news media is not covering.   Pray that this year will be better than 2009.  BB


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