First, I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Most folks wish prosperity for others and I follow that tradition, but the last few years have taught me that without health, prosperity and other goodies are hollow.
Also a shout-out to Mrs. Hahn (although I am almost 65, she will always be â€śMrs. Hahnâ€ť because calling a former teacher by their first name seems disrespectful (grin). I saw in the paper she has hung up her weekly column â€“ citing age and the need to spend more time with Mr. Hahn, also a retired teacher.
This year will start my 73rd year of life. At this time of year, however, I was still a tiny surprise waiting to be discovered by my mother. It would not be until July 1940 that I actually showed up on the 27th day as a healthy 12 pounder, ready to hit the ground running. It seems as if I havenâ€™t stopped since.
It's probably too soon to write about Christmas 2012, which, in large part, for our family hasn't happened yet.
This, in short, is due to what I'm referring to as The Winter of Our Discontent.
It seems an appropriate choice since discontented is a mild adjective for the mood of just about everyone I know.
Because of the ice age we've been living in for the past few days, my bunch canceled the Christmas Day gathering and rescheduled it for later. Whether it happens on that day remains to be seen.
A house filled with children is a house filled with noises, commotions and smells not found in other places. If at least two of the siblings are in the adolescent stage of development and within one year of age of each other, the clatter and constant drone created simply by their presence is at levels that make the decibel scale insufficient for measurement. Adolescents create noise simply by â€śbeing,â€ť much similar to the way Pigpen creates dust just by standing still. Itâ€™s a law of nature. It canâ€™t be stopped. You can only hope to contain it.
Let me be the first to say that I WAS not one of those people who were running around hoping for a â€śWhite Christmas.â€ť Honestly? If I had my way, Iâ€™d live on an island in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by blue ocean waters and the ONLY time Iâ€™d leave is when there were threats of a hurricane. Or a tsunami. And maybe a volcano eruption? Ok, ok, I get it. No place is perfect no matter where you live, but I have to say, if I wanted to shovel snow and drive on icy roads, Iâ€™d have stayed in Chicago.
Ahhh â€¦ ainâ€™t it wonderful? Itâ€™s the day after Santey came bringing you and your household a Chevy Suburban chock-full of new â€“ what you think are â€“ state of the art electronic gizmos and gadgets which should make you happy for years on end. And, you have the credit card debt to prove it.
As I get ready to mark the first Christmas without my husband â€” which as anyone who has walked this path will tell you is no easy undertaking â€” I'm borrowing on the Norman Vincent Peale premise of "The Power of Positive Thinking."
In that vein, I'm turning my focus toward special memories of the 37 wonderful Christmases we had together.
There are some funny times, some hectic times, some frantic times, some times overshadowed with illness and loss. But through them all was the deep, abiding love we were blessed to share.