Archive for the ‘visits’ Tag

12-14-2015 Journal–Christmas Musings!   Leave a comment


Ten shopping days left till the big day arrives. Time always loves playing tricks on us and even more so at this time of the year.  If we’re doing something we really enjoy the time flies by quickly but if it’s something we dislike it seems to drag on forever. That for me is Christmas in a nut shell.  The more tasks that we’re required to complete to celebrate the holiday causes time to speed up in a big way when we don’t think we can finish them all. Then time slows to a dead crawl as we wait for the final day to arrive after the tasks have been completed.

This week for me is all of that and then some. Within a few days the first of the visitors will begin arriving and that’s exciting right up until the time they actually get here. They’re excited as well but that feeling wanes in just a day or so. Then they start missing their regular life and routines and each day that passes makes those feelings grow. That’s when time begins to play it’s tricks.  None of us want the gathering to end so it feels like time is flying but all of us wish it would end to some degree making time drag on a little. It’s a real conundrum.


‘It can’t be Christmas without a skinny Elvis picture.’

Believe me I’m not complaining, it’s just one of those weird facts of life we must deal with and appreciate at the same time.  I’m wishing right now that time would speed up so the festivities can begin. As a family grows and it’s members pursue their individual lives these holidays become more special. In most cases all of the participants make some sort of sacrifice to gather like this. We all need to acknowledge that fact and truly try to appreciate each other’s efforts. 

I’m lying here in bed, it’s 5 am, and I’m already excited to get today started but this effing waiting is brutal. My tasks are completed but the better-half is racing around the house in a swirl of wrapping paper, ribbons, and rolls of tape.  It’s actually fun to watch her but I’d better not be enjoying myself too much or there’ll be hell to pay.


12-10-2013 Osama Bin Santa   Leave a comment

A few years ago I posted this story more as therapy for myself than anything else.  I suffer from a nagging case of Santa PTSB that recurs every December.  I want it to be known that I was fighting terrorism as a six year old before it became fashionable.  Each time I repost this story it helps me with my Santa issues like nothing else can.  That big fat and jolly SOB is known in our house as Osama Bin Santa and the only difference between him and other terrorists is that Santa loves victimizing young kids.  With that in mind here’s my scary and terrifying Christmas story.

As a young child my parents made every attempt to make Christmas memorable for my sister and me.  My sister was very young and I was just turning 6 years old. I still firmly believed all the stories about Santa’s elves and all the other good stuff. In the back of my young mind there was a seed of skepticism secretly growing. I was beginning to have serious doubts about Santa and my parents as well. A lot of what I was being told by my trusted family members wasn’t what I was hearing on the street (school yard). My friends had almost convinced me that the whole Santa thing was just BS and that the adults were actually the real gift givers.  It think it was at that early age that my trust issues with authority figures first began.

My parents began to suspect I was wavering and their propaganda was now falling on deaf ears. In a conspiracy involving my mother, her sister, my grandparents, and my Dad it was decided that drastic action was immediately necessary to convince me that Santa was the real deal. I’d been acting out a lot and being a little disrespectful to my elders so it was time for Santa to step in and straighten me out once and for all.

It was the week before Christmas and we were visiting my grandparents. I was being a huge pain in the ass as usual like a lot of six-year-olds can be at that time of the year. It was just after dark and I was walking through the house down a narrow hallway towards the kitchen. It was dark outside and as I passed the window I glanced over and almost had a six-year-old heart attack. There was Santa looking back at me and smiling a frightening smile. My blood turned cold and I got the hell out of there screaming all the way upstairs to hide under the bed.  My parents let me know in no uncertain terms that Santa was out looking for those children who were being good and keeping an eye on those that weren’t.  I was on the latter list, of course.

For the next few days I was a complete angel but after dark I was still nervous about looking out the windows. Santa the terrorist had accomplished his mission. I saw him again on two or three other occasions over the next two Christmases, once at our house, and again in the coal cellar at my grandparents home. Unfortunately I’d already consulted with my knowledgeable friends at the playground and I was officially a nonbeliever by then. I went along with the charade for as long as possible since my parents  were giving the gifts.  They finally had a meeting and decided I was just playing them for extra toys and my game was over.

Many years later while I was digging through an old trunk in my aunt’s bedroom I discovered where Santa had been hiding for all these many years. His retirement consisted of being tucked under a pile of sheets and pillowcases in that old trunk. My aunt laughed until she cried when I confronted her.  We relived a very special and scary Christmas memory and enjoyed the moment very much.

What I never told her or my parents was the lingering collateral damage from their actions. To this day during the Christmas season I’m careful in dark rooms and hallways and try never to look out the windows, NEVER. In the malls and stores where Santa is holding court I stay the hell away. That guy still scares the bejesus out of me. Terrorism is no joke.

04-11-2013   Leave a comment

It’s raining here in Maine this morning and I’m hoping it’s Mother Nature’s last and final gasp of the winter.  Listening to the weather forecasts for the last few days was too depressing for words.  They were calling for sleet and a few inches of snow this morning but thankfully they were mistaken.  A light coating of sleet that melted away almost immediately is something I can live with.

My better-half was up early to deliver her son to the bus station.  He visited us for three days but now is on his way to somewhere in NY state for the wedding of one of his friends and then back to Los Angeles.

I was wondering to myself before his arrival just how he’d react to the new grand baby.  It was fun watching the transformation from being my better-half’s son to the uncle of his younger sister’s baby boy.  Babies have that special ability to take you out of yourself and your everyday worries and to really enjoy the moment you’re having with them.  He was totally disarmed by the whole experience and found himself swept away by the baby and the new relationship they had begun to build.  It showed a side of him I’d never seen before and I was glad to see it emerge. He was able to spend a lot of time with the baby and the bond between them was strongly made.

Things should quickly get back to what we call normal around here.  Getting ready for Spring and the garden are at the top of our To Do List for the next few weeks.  I’ll be off to Lowes to purchase paint and primer this week and hopefully the new room will done by midweek next week.  If I time things just right I should be able to put the finishing touches to the room and then immediately move outside and get busy with the yard cleanup and garden prep.

We’ve already started talking about a few weekend photography trips to the northern part of the state.  The Attagash region is a few hours north of here and is truly a beautiful place to visit.  Hundreds of lakes, small and large, surrounded by thick and dense forests.  Wildlife is plentiful with a million opportunities for excellent photographs.  I love getting away from all the trouble with the economy, politics, TV, talking heads, cell phones, and any other BS you can think of.  Peace, quiet, wilderness, and calm.  It beats any kind of drug you can find anywhere.