by Tamara Hillman
Another year, and more promises to ourselves, and others, to DO BETTER.
Oh, the resolutions we make and never keep! Mine usually are: lose weight and keep it off, do more exercising, and don’t ever swear no matter what! I fail on them all…At least with each New Year tho’, we can look to the future, and set a few goals that are achievable.
Did everyone get their fill of turkey & dressing, or a big juicy ham this Christmas? And have you heard enough blow-hard conversation from your brother-in-law, gossip from the aunts who gathered in corners like old hens, screaming from excited kids, piles of ripped paper and bows, and spoiling of your kids from grandparents? That pretty well sums up Christmas at most houses.
Is anyone but me happy they DON’T TRAVEL on airplanes during the holidays? Wild horses couldn’t get me to make reservations this time of year. Sleeping in an airport for days on top of your luggage (missing Christmas with friends and family anyway because you got stranded and couldn’t make connections home) is not my idea of fun. It happens at airports every year, and this year the entire USA, plus several airports in Europe were shut down because of blizzard conditions, and no connections to wintry hubs. Must be Global Warming! ha! ha!
When I was growing up, my family was never one to celebrate the New Year. We’d just seen all our relatives and friends over the Christmas holiday, so New Years was a day to just have quiet time with our immediate family.
The snow was deep outside, so my brothers and I would usually stay indoors and work a picture puzzle all day, or play Gin Rummy or other card games we could get into fights over. Of course, if we called on the folks to settle any disagreements, the cards were put away immediately. They made us work out our own problems, and it was a great teacher of how to survive idiots in the outside world. Trust me, they’re out there, and dealing with them never changes. I personally see things in ONLY black or white, so diplomacy was not one of my gifts. I have to just walk away rather than tolerate fools!
I miss the snow this time of year, but ONLY at the holidays. Anything after that, I remember as wearying. I got real tired of bundling kids up to go outside, only to un-bundle them thirty minutes later, and dry their clothes in front of the fire on old clothes racks Mom handed down to me. That’s all it took in between going out and coming in when they’d be too cold and wet to play outdoors. And shoveling your way out of the driveway every morning to go to work got REAL OLD about four months into wintertime, too. Even if only a little snow fell overnight, the snowplows would be out in the wee hours piling a foot of new scrapings across the front of your driveway. And for the ranchers and farmers with animals to feed and keep warm during blizzards and deep snowfall, an early spring was prayed for from January on…That was winter as I remember it when I was growing older.
As a child, snow was wonderful in those long winter months because we only played in it, but as an adult with joints starting to ache a little more with every passing year, I couldn’t wait to leave the snow and cold behind for warm, sunny places—thus, retirement in Arizona! Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of snow in northern and eastern Arizona where the mountains grow to over 7,000 feet, and I know I can go that direction if I want to enjoy snow for a day or two, but in low-desert where I live, snow does not happen. Hurrah!
I hope & pray the New Year brings you and yours good health, and happiness!
Below is a poem to ease the chill in your hearts or limbs!
A turkey sandwich with cranberries,
and maybe even stuffing—
down the stairs I come waddling,
my lungs huffing and puffing.
I stumble to the kitchen
as daylight meets the dawn,
start to empty the dishwasher
before slowly moving on.
There I find Aunt Flora’s dish,
the one she didn’t claim—
instead, she took home Grace’s
with no chips, and no taped name.
I wonder if my uncle
can close his pant-top button—
he ate too many helpings,
but he always was a glutton.
Bet Louie is hung over—
he drank all of the punch,
after spiking it with vodka,
his head must hurt a bunch.
Gran retrieved her casserole
with most of it left over,
tho’ the kids tried desperately
to feed it to old Rover.
Matt and Art aren’t speaking,
fighting over politics,
will they forget next Christmas,
or will each opinion stick?
I guess I’ll grab some pumpkin pie
with whipped cream on the top,
and hope I can get in my jeans—
I don’t have time to stop.
I’ll just lie down across the bed
and hold my tummy in,
tugging at the zipper
while my hubby sports a grin.
The house guests should be rising,
tho’ last night, we were up late—
they’ll love reheated foodstuffs
for they still will taste just great.
The men will spend another day
with football on TV,
and kids will run us ragged—
just you wait and see.
By evening we may settle down,
play games when dishes clear,
for it’s almost January,
and more plans for the New Year.
Safe and secure within this room—
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