As I sat down in my office in front of the computer to write this post holiday blog my first thoughts were, “Hmmm…we didn’t have much of a traditional Christmas this year as per usual”. Past years, especially the last 12 or so we have lived a 250-2000 miles from loved ones on both sides of our families. Loretta’s sisters and brother (5+1) are strewn out from Northern California to the Central Coast. Her daughter lives in Texas, her son and mother in Lompoc. As for me, kind of the same scenario…a son, mom, and two sisters on the Central Coast a daughter in Seattle. It isn’t like we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, not in the least, we’ve gotten used to long distance relative relationships with an occasional face to face once a year or so, usually not around the holidays. On the contrary, I feel very fortunate to have been able to have the Christmas I had. We have done a few things with other people!
As I recall the past couple of weeks, we had time with folks from work and from our families, not all of our family, but enough to feel and bit warm and fuzzy inside. Our “company” dinner was first up the week before Christmas. Initially we weren’t planning to go at all then we did plan to go then we didn’t plan to go. In the end…we went! “Let’s go. We won’t get in trouble for NOT going, after all, it’s Walmart! But let’s go anyway”. So we went and it was gratifying if not for the fact that we got to say Happy Holidays to a lot of folks in the same situation we are…working stiffs that don’t get to take time off during the holidays. Aargggh….retail! Is that how to spell “aarggh”?
I received a lot of handshakes and hugs and wishes to get better soon and “we are praying for you’s”. That was worth the trip, not to mention a free meal. The meal left a lot to be desired but that wasn’t the point. I don’t have near as much of an appetite as I used to so nibbling on a little of this and little of that to be polite was suffice. It was a catered self serve thing at the restaurant next door so people on duty could come and partake during their meal breaks. All in all, I will just leave it at that. Goal that night: commiseration. Goal accomplished.
Before I get to the next Christmas affair we attended, know this: being sequestered sucks! So when I get to go out for something, anything, I kind of relish the opportunity more than before. By choice, I can languish indoors for weeks at a time and not get antsy. Well, when your ‘sequestation’ is not by choice it changes things. Though I am not electronically tethered to my residence, it’s just not that easy to make a break for freedom. I get halfway through a long grocery shopping stint straining at the bit to head for the barn. I get pooped easy.
My son, Jimmy…James the third…made a long-awaited appearance to our home. It was planned a couple of weeks in advance and actually happened, I got to see my son for first time in a year or so. We accomplish a good semblance of communication through FB and an occasional phone call and text. He lives 250 miles away, so the casual, pop-in, “How’s it going son. Got a beer?”, sort of behavior can’t happen. I am extremely happy, pleased, and gratified to know that he is doing well, likes his job, and is totally into moving forward in his life. With a new work schedule for me when I return in April, I will have more time to make that trek to his neck of the woods more often. He’s such a good kid and I love seeing him doing well. I love seeing him in person as well. Feel very fortunate if you live near your children.
Jen, Roth, & Rowan arrive today for two days before driving back to Seattle. I look forward to spending time with them especially more face time with my grandson, Rowan.
More of my holiday get togethers later…in part deux.