It is Christmas Eve afternoon on the mountain.
i sit on the porch hanging off of the mountain overlooking Shoal Creek Road (when the thousands of trees on the steep slope are bare in the winter). I am sitting on the porch because it is unseasonably warm for this time of year. A storm producing tornado conditions swept through last night with the warmth following in its wake.
i finally got into the Christmas mood this morning. I had been faking it until then. My sister’s grandchildren had kept me merry, but i was faking it for the Christmas thing.
You did not receive a Christmas card from me this year. This is it. Maureen has never been a Christmas card person. i don’t know why, but i am okay with that. Years ago, i decided i would take on that task but vowed to be personal. Even if i succumbed to the Southwest corner Jewell newsletter catch-up thing, i wanted to write a personal note. The first year, i began with “A” in my contacts list and got through “M.” The next year, i started at “Z” and made it all the way back through “L.” This became standard in one direction or the other every year.
i quit altogether, quite frustrated, about five years ago.
With my help, my sister Martha, put the turkey in the oven. We will have a late family dinner tonight: our Christmas dinner. Tomorrow, we are planning on leftovers and lots of sweets. Of course, the Prichard boiled custard will be included anywhere we can fit it in.
All of the other Signal Mountain Duff family will be here tonight. i may be the only one to go to the Signal Crest Methodist Church midnight service. That’s okay.
i’m not sure about tomorrow. Wisely, Tommy and Abby decided it would not be practical to bring 15-year old Hannah, 11-year old Olivia, three-year old Allie, and Max and Culley, the two four-month old identical twins over to spend the night here. Christmas morning for the children will be at the Tommy and Abby Duff farm.
So Christmas gifts tomorrow morning will be a bit later than usual. That’s fine. For some reason, i am sleeping longer at night than i do in most places.
But as i sit on the couch, i am missing my daughter. We were in Austin last year, but circumstances dictated we not be there this year. Because of situations i wish to remain private, i have not had Christmas with my older daughter, and now, my grandson Sam, since 1980. As a consequence, all of my Christmases since have had a hole of sadness.
But knowing Sam nor his mother and father won’t miss a step and have a wonderful Christmas makes it okay.
Besides, even though its warm enough to be April rather than December and i am sitting out on the porch rather than by a roaring fire, there are some children here reminding me it’s beginning, if not look like it, be a lot like Christmas.
i hope all of you have a merry one.