Thursday, November 8, 2012



This one is for Suldog who believes... and I do agree...
that the commercialization of the holidays are ruining them
by jamming them all too close together.
Each year he invites bloggers to put in their two cents worth as well
on the subject... this is my contribution.


My mom was big on decorating for holidays.
We had lots of the tissue paper things that had hard cardboard attached that you could open like fans and fasten
to make pumpkins, hearts, angels, trees, etc. according to the holiday.
Not to mention 5 children's worth of pine cone turkeys, paper machet or clay creations.
Boxes and boxes of the stuff crowded the mysterious closet under our stairs that changed in size
like the room at a fun house.

That was part of the fun of any holiday for all of us
and my mother's time to shine in her own creative way.
Decorating was the way we were all drawn into the fun and it set us up for anticipation of the event.

All of the holidays, were distinctly different in decoration.
Halloween was silly scary fun stuff.
Thanksgiving was more serious. 
Pilgrims, their big buckle shoes and hats, cornucopias, Indian corn ears and gourds that were not carved.
We never mixed the holidays together. 
Halloween came down on November 1st.
Thanksgiving would show up a few days after, but not immediately.

This year, working in the store... the holidays are all mixed up together.
There are Halloween things on mark down mixed in with a much smaller selection of Thanksgiving items and a big selection of Christmas items.
Thanksgiving seems to be shrinking in size each year.

I have my suspicions about that.
I think its greed.
Or perhaps I should say the absence of greed in the holiday itself.
Thanksgiving is  not about "getting something".
Its about being thankful for what you do have, be it grand or not...
because you've been granted another year and made it thus far...
and for being among the people living and those 
remembered  friends and family who sit at the table with us in spirit.

You can spend a fortune on Thanksgiving foods and the odd trinket.
But you can also manage to fix a great meal without going broke too.
It is a holiday that does not fall apart if you don't have much money.
An every-man's holiday.

It doesn't make the money that more "greed driven" holidays do.
Retail has scaled down the importance of Thanksgiving.
Turning their sights on more money as quickly as they can...
beginning at midnight on Thanksgiving...
not wanting to wait a single minute after the clock strikes twelve 
to start dragging in the dough...
while Tom Turkey still digests in our tummies.
Black Friday!  Black indeed!

My mother had it right.  There needs to be a break between them.
A few days that you don't have to dust around the decorations. 
A few days to mull over the delight of what just passed and
take stock of the normal day around you.
When you run them all together that reflection gets lost.

We have no one to blame but ourselves.
As long as we rush out to take advantage of those deals on Black Friday at 2:00 A.M.
or buy to excess on credit, things that we cannot truly afford...
as long as we set aside the meaning behind the holidays
and engage in the greed...
we deserve what we lose in the process.

I can't refuse to work Black Friday or I would lose my  job, which I need.
But I can refuse to participate with my pocket book...
and by savoring my Thanksgiving blessings until November turns to December...
and keep the true meaning of the holiday at my table.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Since my eyes fly open at 5:00 a.m. every morning, on my day off, its an opportunity to laze around in bed doing suduko with I love Lucy playing in the background. I'm really not much of a Lucy fan.  It bothers me that they joke so much about Ricky hitting Lucy like that is normal and sometimes deserved. However, it is not news or one of the annoying entertainment talk news shows.  I have trained my ears to close when Lucy cries and focus on the puzzle.

I was sipping my fresh ground chocolate almond coffee with white chocolate creamer when Roxy came up and began to tap dance. There is only one thing that makes my dog tap dance. I swung my feet over the side of the bed and into the man's flop feet, since mine were no where in sight.  A dancing dog really needs to get a move on.  With my bed crazed hair and my light weight night shirt, I scuffed off to the sliding door.

I considered the idea of letting her go out without a leash. We have a fenced yard. But someone chewed a giant RAT hole in the side of it and went off for a frisky time in the neighborhood.  The giant RAT hole is not yet repaired and the RAT must be accompanied until the hole is fixed.  So I set down my coffee cup and clipped on her retractable leash.  Picking up my cup as I slid the door open, I caught a slight glimpse of the hair raising on her spine and heard the sound of a fishing rod casting.

There are two wide steps down to patio floored with concrete and aggregate squares.  However I have no recollection of stepping on either of them.  In fact, it seemed as if I flew through two set up sawhorses topped by a board into the center of our rather good sized patio... where I skidded to a stop on two knees and one elbow for landing gear.  I dropped and lay like a lump of oatmeal.

The sound of clicking toenails made me look up from the glued together pebbles.  Roxy had her ears up.  "What are you doing down there mom?" seemed to be the question on her smiling face.  She wiggled happily and proceeded to wiggle about the cat she had chased away.  The world and I were safe now and she was a hero. Happy days!

I think the worst part of it all was that getting up required getting to my knees.  If I had been thinking of anything besides swear words, I might have saved myself some drama by rolling to a smooth concrete square instead of the aggregate one that tortured me. But the swearing in my head was way too loud for thought. Shaking arms pushed me up and I gripped the outdoor kitchen cabinet and hauled myself to my feet.

Roxy stood before me, no longer wiggling.  Mom just did not look like a happy camper. Her tail stopped mid-wag. She cautiously approached me, dragging the retractable leash behind her like a pull toy. She looked at me, then at my grated knees.  I was not fast enough to stop her tongue from shooting out and giving on a good hard lick!  She meant well.

I took ginger steps to the front door.  Outside I watched the man get out of his truck. He walked in the door and stared at my knees.  I handed him the leash and said "Roxy needs to do her business." before I shuffled off to pick the grit and leaf bits out of my wounds.

I still don't know where my coffee cup landed.  I don't really care. Two days later now, my knees are still stiff and swollen, with beautiful colors and various lumps beneath the skin. I will certainly live to take another face plant another day.

But you know, there is always a silver lining under these events.  The man felt very sorry for me. He set me up on the sofa with a footstool and put a bag of corn on one knee and a bag of peas on the other.  He made me new coffee and kept giving me refills. Later he made us a meal of a variety of appetizers and a frosty margarita for medicinal purposes.  I had a day off that began with my usual laze in bed for a few hours into a day of total lazing... with a servant.  Kind of a harsh price, but as an after thought, not bad at all.