I Don’t Know Why Everyone Gets So Worried

I think I forgot to tell you that Daddy-O and JiJi got me a new pink pocketknife for my birthday.  It was a happy moment.  Ain’t it purty?

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I’ve toted it around in my purse proudly for a few months but have only had a couple of chances to use it so when Christmas rolled around, I was pretty stoked.  See, we are a family that likes ourselves the ribbon.  We enjoy twisting that curling ribbon all around the package and tying it as tight as we can. It makes the packages look more festive.  We are also a family that enjoys ourselves some tape.  We like taping the gift boxes shut and also all the seams of the wrapping paper so that finding a finger hold to rip the paper off is nearly impossible.  But the packages look pretty and that is what is important.

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When Coach was opening his first package and having some difficulty, I ran to my purse to get my pocketknife.  “Here,” I offered, “you can use my pocketknife.”

Coach looked at me with horror.   “No,” he hollered.  “You put that away!  You’ll hurt yourself!”

And then Martie said when I offered it to her, “No, I’m good!  I’ve got this, see?”  And she sawed away at the tape with her nail.

Daddy-O said, “Lord, go get some Kleenex before you bleed all over the couch!”

Poppa whipped out his own pocketknife and sneered at my tiny little pink one as he expertly flicked his open and sliced through the ribbon.

Madre let me open my knife and use it on one of her gifts but when I had a brain cramp for a minute and couldn’t remember how to close it, Coach took it away from me and stuffed it down between the couch cushions. 

I got my knife back and will have you know that all my fingers remain intact.  I don’t even know why you worry. I am excellent with sharp things.  Except for this one time.  Geez, bunch of worry warts. 

 

In-Laws

I don’t have my own personal in-laws anymore, although when I did, I found them to be lovely people.  I probably didn’t realize at the time how lovely they were as I didn’t have what you’d call a happy marriage and it clouded my vision with everything.  However, I’ve made my peace with it (mostly) and with him (mostly) and I hope he’s done the same with me, so there’s no need to dwell on any negativity here.

The in-laws that I currently have the most of come from Martie’s husband, Coach.  He entered our lives so seamlessly, so flawlessly, that it is hard to remember what it was like before he ever came along.  Coach would do anything in the world for me and for our family.  He fixes my broken stuff.  He tells me how to listen for car problems.  He hangs out at Madre and Poppa’s house, with or without the rest of us.  He gives me a guy’s perspective whenever I need one.  It’s like he got a real wife with Martie and then a fake one with me.  (For the record, I seem to be the only one who breaks stuff and cannot fix it and calls whining at 11:00 pm with need for an immediate answer.  If he were close enough, I’d make him kill all my bugs, too.  So I have to say I’m probably not his favorite fake wife but you’d never know it, he’s so nice to me.)    

With Coach came his own family.  The more time that passes, the closer we all get.  I just never experienced anything like that really, so it is a constant surprise.  Coach’s parents, like Coach, would do anything for me, I think.  I am invited to every major holiday event.  I am hugged just like the other kids.  They ask about me every time there is a get-together.  And every year at Christmas, Coach’s mom fixes me a bag of goodies.  She makes all this homemade stuff, see, like jellies and pickles and okra.  One time, ONE TIME, I said that liked a jelly she made (it was corn cob, and if you’ve never tried it, you need to), and that was it.  Now I get a care package of one of each jelly she made over the course of the year (always a corn cob included), and one of each pickle, pepper, okra, etc. she made.  Martie, Coach, Pooh and Tigger come home on Christmas Eve laden down with every gift imaginable from Coach’s parents, and we rifle through all of it so I can see their loot.  Once we’ve done that, I sit back and wait.  I don’t say anything because one year Grandma might forget and I won’t want anyone to know how disappointed I’ll be, but every year Coach will say, “Oh, wait, there’s a bag for you in the car.”  Off he’ll trot and I’ll just beam.  It’s pretty much my favorite gift.

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If anyone would like to come over for some biscuits, just let me know.  I’ve got plenty of jelly to go around.  Freddie, the pickled okra belongs to you and me. 

 

Guest Post: Lucy Loo, Madre’s New Dog

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Hello!  We just had Christmas!  Here’s what I ate:

Book (Poppa was really mad)

Ping Pong Paddle (I barfed after that)

Jimmie’s Ear (She hit me on the nose)

Martie’s Chin (She hit me on the nose)

Jimmie’s Ribbon (She was mad)

The couch (Everybody was mad)

I also ate – look, another dog!  I want that dog!  Can I have that dog? . . . .  No one ever lets me have another dog! 

I ate:

The other dog’s ear (He was mad)

My leash (Madre was mad)

Puppy food!  (Why come no one was mad?)

Also, I ran! I ran! And sniffed! And ran and played! And! – zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Editor’s Note:  Poppa is a patient man.  Lucy Loo was tearing through the house and made a mad leap from the floor of the living room onto the sofa, clipping Poppa in the face and knocking his glasses and hat off.  Poppa merely reached over and retrieved those items and put them back on.  Later, though, he whispered to me, “I’m tired of that damn dog.”  She’s awfully cute, but it’ll be great when she learns another speed besides “Tasmanian Devil” and “Coma”. 

Hero

Before time was, before I was, He whispered into the void.

I am coming for you.  I will save you. 

There was no Earth.  There was no light.  There was no form, no sun, no moon. 

I am coming for you.  I will save you.

The rumblings started in the midst of nothing, deep and powerful, groaning and surging.  Angels gathered, seraphim and cherubim, warriors readying for the fight.  Spirits culminating, swirling, twisting, fighting, spreading, a tornado, growing, growing, growing, overlapping one on top of another.   The beauty was blinding, terrible, glorious. 

And it was good.

I am coming for you, He echoed through the darkness.  I will save you.

And then there was light.  And it was good. 

Time began.  A nation was birthed.  A world was destroyed.  A world was reborn.  The Father wept, His heart broken over the sheep that strayed, that stayed away.  Still, He loved.  He spoke.  And then . . .

A Baby was born.  There was straw and a manger, a mother and a father. A  Father. 

I am coming for you, He cried.  I will save you.

The Baby grew.  He learned and prayed and loved.  Behind Him, warriors readied for a battle, and in readying for the battle, they fought, spirits culminating, swirling, twisting, a hurricane, overwhelming, growing.  It was glorious; it was terrible.

I am coming for you.  I will save you.

The sheep went astray.  The sheep, which He loved above all else, turned away from Him.    

The Hero rode in on a donkey.  Regal, bearing the weight of the world, He rode the donkey and was celebrated by the few.  He was majestic, yet humble.

I am coming for you, He called from his seat on the burro.  I will save you.

They beat Him.  Lashes across the back, one, two, three.  Four.  Five.  Six.   Seven.     Eight.        Nine.          Ten.            Eleven.              Twelve . . . . .

Thirty-one. 

Thirty-two. 

Thirty-three. 

The crown of thorns dug into His skull, blood running down His face.  Wrist to the wood, WHAM went the hammer, once, twice, three times.  Wrist to the wood, WHAM went the hammer, once, twice, three times.  Feet to the wood, WHAM went the hammer, once, twice, three and four times.  Hoist the wood, slam into the ground, pierce The Side.  He died.  The Hero died. The temple was torn in two, from Heaven to Earth.  God cried out. The Earth shook.  The Hero delivered Himself to God’s mercy, and He died.

I am coming for you, He shouted from the grave.  I will save you.

I turn my back on Him.  I walk away from Love.  I embrace pretty things and I am empty.  I take my life and break it, shards scattered all around me, but the shards glitter and shine.  Pretty.  Empty. 

I gather the shards and offer them to The Hero who accepts them.  He puts them back together.  It is glorious; it is terrible. 

I am coming for you.  I will save you. He handed me the life. 

The enemy is coming.  He has been coming all along.  He pursues me with a relentless passion.  He knows no love, can accept no love, brings no love, but he brings the appearance of love.  He brings the appearance of beauty.  He brings the appearance of wisdom.  I follow it.  Pretty. Empty.

I am coming for you.  I will save you.  The Voice is louder.

I hear Him.  Save me from what?  From you. 

I am coming for you.  I will save you.  He thunders. 

I hear Him.  Save me from what?  From His wrath. 

How?  How will You save me?

Love.

The enemy is destroyed by a Breath.  The enemy is destroyed by a Light, glorious, terrible.  He is destroyed by the Word.   In a moment, the blink of an eye, in the whip of a hummingbird’s wing, the enemy is defeated.  Like that, it is over, that quickly.  I have been retrieved from the maw of death, plucked from its very edge.  He came for me.  He saved me.

He is my Hero.  He stands tall, His power so great, so terrible, so glorious, and it resonates throughout the Earth and none can withstand it.  There is no discrimination, only Love.  He came to save us all, each person, each heart, each soul.    

It all began before it ever began.  My Hero.  Happy Birthday.   

Christmas Eve

In Martie’s thirty-eight years, we have spent two Christmas Eves away from each other.  Only two.  The first time was the year that I lived in Colorado.  I was working two jobs and lived a million miles away and there was neither money nor time for plane tickets or family visits.  I had a lot of friends to spend the holiday with but it just wasn’t the same. I know Martie didn’t like it.  She was quite vocal about it. 

The next time we spent Christmas Eve apart was the first year that Coach and Martie were dating. Coach’s family does their big Christmas shebang on Christmas Eve and as his official girlfriend, Martie was invited.  While they were at the family event, the weather took a turn for the worse and Martie had to spend the night at his parents’ house.  There was no driving home.  Martie called to tell us, frantic.  She wanted to be with her family and sleep in our room, staying up all night talking about boys and family and what we wanted to be when we grew up and wondering if Coach was ever going to propose. 

Poor Coach.  He had no idea what he was getting into with her or this family.  Early the next morning, as the sun was just peeking out of the clouds, he and Martie rolled up in his giant man-truck.  The roads were slippery and icy yet he braved the weather to get her home.  She sprinted from the car, slid her way all the way up the driveway and rushed into the house, hair askew and clothes wrinkled from sleeping in them.  She was slightly wild-eyed and shaky.  Coach’s eyebrows were all up in his hairline.  He said, “I thought we were going to have to call the Rescue Squad to get her here in the middle of the night, she was so upset.  I’ve never seen anything like it.”

He learned the rules fairly quickly after that.  Martie and I spend Christmas Eve together.  We take literally three to four hours to unwrap every gift on Christmas Day.  We leave everything spread out across the entire living room so we can play with it all day.  We don’t cook a big meal.  Instead, we make finger foods and snack until we go to bed.  If we get out of pajamas it’s only because guests are coming over but sometimes not even then.  And we always go shopping the day after Christmas. 

I guess Coach is accepting.  He married this family after all even after learning all of our traditions and idiosyncrasies. 

What are your family traditions? 

Men, A Gift Giving Guide

Alright, boys, I’m here to help.  I know that most of you have yet to begin your Christmas shopping.  I’m guessing Wal-Greens is your first stop. Actually, I’m guessing Wal-Greens is your only stop.  While I personally feel like you should have already scoped out the perfect gift for your girl and ordered it online from Tiffany (or Godiva), I understand that perhaps you operate best under pressure and since you have a full 30 hours left of the holiday shopping season, you feel calm and serene.  Amirite?

A few years ago when I was a married woman, I had a husband who felt like useful gifts were a fantastic idea.  I’m here to tell you that they are not.  He purchased for me one year a Dust Buster.  You know, one of those instruments to CLEAN with.  As a Christmas gift.   For ME to CLEAN with.  I did manage to smile and say thank you.  He had purchased it before Christmas and wrapped it himself, so A for effort.  But my Dust Buster broke in the first year of ownership and do you know he got me another one the next year for Christmas?  That was a pleasant experience for him and me both.

Men, I care for you.  I want what is best for you.  I hate to see you spend long, lonely, cold nights in your dog house.  Because I care for you and don’t want you to spend long, lonely, cold nights in your dog house, I have compiled a short checklist for you to help with your holiday giving this year.   

  1. Small boxes are best.  Blue ones (like Tiffany blue, for example) or gold (like Godiva gold, for example) are particularly appealing.  Also, gift card boxes are extremely welcome as are small notes inside of big boxes that read:  Merry Christmas, baby. Let’s go shopping. 
  2. If your gift plugs in and she has not specifically asked for it, take it back.  Immediately.
  3. Cookware is not a good gift.  Nor are cleaning items of any sort. Anything that we can use to better serve YOU?  No.
  4. If you value your life at all, or most importantly your nether regions, do not even consider, nay don’t even breathe in the direction of exercise equipment or diet books.  Purchasing gifts of this nature will cause women everywhere to react in the same manner, as if you threw us nekkid out of the car onto 2nd Avenue. 

Following these simple rules will allow everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season.  It will also allow you to sleep in your own bed on Christmas night.  Isn’t that a nice thought?

Love,

Jimmie 

So Back To Glitzen

Sigh.  People just don’t appreciate the sparkle anymore.

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That isn’t entirely true.  The postman did say the first time he saw Glitzen, “Nice rack.”  That’s something.

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