Another Tennessee Christmas

i took a photo of a rose in our front yard for this post, but i really didn’t do it justice. So the photo didn’t make it. i’m sad because it seemed the perfect photo for this post.

The earth will shake a little tomorrow around 11::45 Greenwich Mean Time. Maureen is getting up to get ready for, are you ready for this, a 15:55 GMT flight. That’s rising at 3:45 with a flight departing at 7:55 by the Southwest corner clock. Maureen never gets up at 3:45 anytime, anywhere. That’s my job.

i mean she is rising four hours and ten minutes before the flight departure. We are packed except for her toiletries (and this computer), and it’s a twenty-minute ride to the airport. i’ll give 15 minutes for the transportation from car parking to the airport. And we are, thankfully, “PRE TSA,” thankfully because i didn’t get down to the office to pay my blackmail to get it all the time.

So i figure, i’ll have not quite two hours in the boarding area. i plan to drink a lot of coffee…and maybe a bloody mary.

Had it not been for her being a wonderful part of this Christmas tradition, i would have been packed tonight, awoke at 5:30 and gotten to the airport to check in, cleared security and have about 15 minutes before boarding.

But i love her for eccentricities; or maybe she loves me for mine; or in spite of…

Regardless, we are going to Tennessee for Christmas. Again. Signal Mountain. A house that screams Christmas at you, makes you let go, feel free, sit by the fire next to the Christmas tree,  think about good things, love everybody, feel toasty, and want to sing carols…or at least hum them.

i won’t go too much further on this because my Democrat column tomorrow is on this very subject. However, i think we all need to take a break. We cannot meet everyone’s expectations, or even our own, at Christmas. As wonderful as it is, we can get wrapped around the axle about who is not with us, to whom we didn’t give a gift, why someone didn’t call or write, wondering who we left out of calls, gifts, cards.

i’m guilty on all counts.

But you know what, that kid who was born under that star about 2,016 years ago had it figured out. And it spread to those sheep herders and wise camel riders, and they celebrated.

Regardless of your religious preferences, this thing called Christmas began because the world was given hope it could be better. We keep struggling with that concept, but in spite of all of the rhetoric rolling around in the media and in our heads, it is getting better.

But even if you think your future, our country, the world, your finances, and life as you know it is going to hell in a hand basket, it’s time to give it a rest.

Think goodness. Think Christmas, and celebrate goodness, or the closest thing we’ve got to it.

We are leaving the Southwest corner tomorrow, something we’ve done for twenty-four years. i loved our Christmases here. We would find a pretty tree and set it up in the living room. Maureen has this incredible flair for creating beautiful trees. The weather was always Southwest corner delightful. i smoked a turkey. We spent a lot of time in the afternoon outside. Ray Boggs, my father-in-law, brought joy, laughter, happiness to Christmas. i loved my Christmases with him.

It was different. But it was still Christmas.

Sometime in the next day or two, i will sit by that fire underneath those stockings and that huge wreath up on the mountain, and  i will have a toddy. i will hope all of you rest from all of that stuff that sticks in your craw and have the most wonderful Christmas and remember where it all got started.

i don’t think that’s restricted to Christians. i think everyone should celebrate. The goodness, i mean. The goodness of Christmas. The hope.

After all, that’s really what’s it all about.

Merry Christmas to all of my family, all of my friends, and everyone else as well.

And i mean that.

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