Tuesday, November 18

Tuesday, Nov.18th… Winter is rearing her nasty, ugly, head……

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We will get a late start this morning…… in fact, I’m gonna discourage Miss Vicki from traipsing out to the duck and chicken house to install the final batten strips and nylon until this afternoon when we can hopefully partake of the days warmer hours. It was 32 degrees in the barn and about 28 degrees outside. The Pupskill Lake Pond has a skiff of ice adorning the surface, which is a real reminder that winter is peeking over the horizon. Yes, gone are the days we bitched about…… the sweltering heat of summer… causing us to sit in front of the A/C, hoping for this very weather to arrive, so we could breath! Now we can bitch and complain because it is so cold and we want the heat.
Wow!!…… The countdown continues with only 9 more days until Thanksgiving…… then a short break in which everyone can finalize their plans and preparations for Christmas. Christmas is the time of year that always held a special charm for me, though it has also become a time of personal sorrow, making it is so very bittersweet. My mother loved Christmas……. In fact, she loved it to the point of having the entire house decorated right after Thanksgiving. She had dad put the lighted candles on the porch, set up the Santa in his sleigh, with reindeers soaring across the banister of the porch and the twinkle lights all around the handrails and across the top of the porch roof. She had Christmas “everything’s” throughout the entire house…… coffee cups, plates, wall hangings, lighted Santa’s and Mrs. Clause in the living room, in fact, everywhere you looked in the house was a sign of the season. This was performed, to my dad’s obvious, seasonal displeasure, explained as, “constantly putting up…taking down, putting up…taking down”, as he described it. Yet regardless of his grumbling, he performed his solemn duty year after year. Mom was constantly walking around the house singing Christmas carols as she did her house work or while she sat in her rocker reading. She was constantly consumed by the Christmas spirit and that became a huge occurrence in my life……… one that abruptly disappeared in 2001 when my mother passed away, taking my Christmas season with her. Vicki has said that when you lose the part of a family that holds the family together…… everything changes. She is so right……our family went from a group of close relatives, to a bunch of selfish, “don’t have time”, individuals who turned their backs on my dad as if he had died also. Even a cousin that mom & dad almost raised. Though she stayed at our house, every year, over the summer, she is now very distant and forgetful of dad since mom died. She has forgotten about all the things dad did for her as she grew up, after losing her father at an early age. She now enjoys her own kids and grandchildren, as dad sits in a nursing home, a half hour from her. Perhaps the same will happen to her one day…… and although well deserved……I’d pray that this doesn’t happen to her.
I am now surrounded by Vicki’s love and family from Long Island and her parents and brother’s family in Lexington, New York. I’m desperately trying to gather a Christmas spirit again…… at least to some degree, but I think I’ll never regain that magical time of year again, unless I sit quietly on the sofa, lay my head back, close my eyes and bring my mom back to life through my childhood and young adult memories. Know what I mean………?

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