Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas and Afterwards

As usual, our Christmas was spread out over several days. Terri and Don came up from San Augustine and based themselves at the Hampton Inn in Liberty. They got here on a Saturday, and met a friend for dinner that evening. Sunday evening we met them and Derek and Kristen at a Mexican restaurant in Liberty. After dinner, we all went back to their motel room and exchanged gifts. Then we sat around and visited for a few hours. It was really fun.

Christmas day Wayne and I were awakened around six in the morning by Garret, calling from England. He said that since he always got us up early on Christmas morning, he thought he should call and make sure we were up. It was so good to hear his voice, even at that hour.

We stayed in bed a couple more hours after Garret's call, and then we got up and opened our gifts for each other. We had agreed we would each buy the thing we wanted the most, and not get each other anything. Of course, that didn't happen. I didn't get Wayne too much, but he got us a television and DVD player for the bedroom. The television we had in there had stopped working. Wayne was looking ahead to the time when this terrible emphysema keeps me mostly bed bound. He had a terrible program getting everything programed with our cable service, and still doesn't have it where we can play the premium channels. We can watch the other cable channels, though, and play DVDs. It is nice.

We didn't even put up a tree this year, or do any decorating. We had decided that we didn't want a big Christmas dinner, so we fixed a beef roast instead of a turkey. In fact, Wayne fixed our dinner, and I cleaned up afterwards.

The twenty-sixth was Garret's birthday, and I really missed him being home. It felt worse than Christmas without him, actually. But that afternoon we went to Kathy's house to give her kids their presents. That was a lot of fun, too. Kathy had made some delicious fudge, and she sent some of it home with me. Since Wayne tries to stay away from sugar, I didn't make any candy or cookies this year.

Terri and Don left Saturday to go back home, and Derek and Kristen went with them. The kids are going to fly home this weekend.

Terri called me while they were driving through Arkansas, and wanted to know how soon they would drive out of the snow. I checked the weather channel, both on television and online, as well as channel nine weather, and none of them showed snow in Arkansas, only rain. Terri said that it was coming down pretty hard, and they had seen several vehicles off the road. Of course I gave her a hard time about "imagining" the snow.

I can't believe how much snow we have had already this year. It has already snowed four or more times, and there is snow on the ground now. We must have gotten a couple of inches overnight. We have had a couple of spells of ice this winter, too. I like the snow, but can do without the ice.

Our New Year celebration is always very quiet. I don't know if we will even stay up until midnight this year. Gosh, we're getting old!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Thoughts

We were in line for a big snowfall this past weekend, but we only got a couple of inches. It was so pretty for a while. I love when it snows in the daytime, so I can watch it come down.

One of our dogs, Teddy Bear, loves the snow. He sticks his nose down in it and runs around the yard like that. He always has to eat some snow before coming back inside, too. Our other dog, Jackie, doesn't like it so much.

I didn't see any neighbor kids sled riding. We got freezing rain before the snow, so it should have been pretty slick. When I was a kid, we played in the snow until our jeans were soaked. I would come inside, take off my wet jeans and socks, and squat over the floor heat duct with a blanket wrapped around me. My legs would be bright red from the cold. As soon as I warmed up a little, I would put on dry clothes and go back out.

We liked to go sledding in a pasture across the road from my house. It sloped nicely and was uneven enough to make a fun ride. This was not an empty pasture; our neighbor kept a few cows and some hogs. One year we used an old tin tabletop for a sled. There was no controlling it, and when we struck a frozen cow pile, it would often send us flying off of the tabletop. If we didn't fall off, we would still get quite a jolt before the tabletop took off in a new direction. There was no way to stop the tabletop before hitting the fence at the bottom of the pasture, so we would have to roll off just before we reached the bottom of the hill. It wasn't unusual to pick up a few bruises, but I don't remember anyone getting seriously hurt.

Now I am content to sit inside with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the snow from the warm house.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

MEMORIES Dec. 09, 2007

I dreamed about my grandmother last night, and that brought back some memories. My grandmother passed away when I was in the eighth grade. Before her last illness, she would often call at night to visit and ask about my school day. In those "olden days", we still had local phone operators, or centrals as they were sometimes called.

My grandma's eyesight had gotten bad, and she would sometimes fail to get the phone hung up completely after her call. Our phone operator would call us back and tell me that my grandma didn't hang up her phone. Then I would put on my coat and go to her house. She would be surprised to see me since we had just spoken, and I would think of something new to tell her. When she wouldn't notice, I would quietly hang up her phone.

It wasn't always fun knowing the operator. I remember my brother and I making crank phone calls when we were young. Some of you may remember the one where you would call a grocery store and ask if they had Prince Albert in the can. When the clerk said, "Yes", we would tell them to let him out as the queen wanted him. Sounds rather dumb now, but at the time we thought this was pretty funny. It wasn't funny, though, when the operator called us back and, referring to us by name, told us that she would tell our mother if we did it again.

You know, we didn't even consider this might be an invasion of privacy. It was just one member of the community looking out for others.

Starting A Blog Dec. 09, 2007

When I was young, I liked keeping a diary. I don't know what happened to most of them, but I have one from when I was in high school. I haven't read it since I finished writing it, but think I will give it a try sometime soon. Since I wrote some of it in shorthand, which I haven't used since high school, I'm not sure that I will be able to read all of it. I am hoping that I can figure out most of my thoughts.

Since then, I have started a journal several times, but never stuck with them, always throwing them away before getting very far. We will see how I do with this blog.

I don't have time to write much now, but later will write about childhood memories a dream brought back to me.