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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Story







I watched the Jim Carey version of A Christmas Carol the other night. It's a lot scarier than the one with Mr. Magoo. Of course Mr. Magoo was the first one I ever saw and, at 6 years old, it scared me silly.



I remember I was in Arlington, Virginia with my mom, and my sister was having heart surgery at Walter Reed army hospital. My niece, Jeanna and I were left with a Nazi baby sitter that night. Oh yeah, she was all sticky sweet, pony tail, Bobbie sock girl, while my mom and Si (my sister's husband) were there. But as soon as they left for the hospital she started treating us like, well like children. This was something I was not used to. The baby of a large family is always treated as an equal. Better, but equal. I didn't take naps and I was certainly never on a schedule. I was a princess and Jeanna was royalty, being my niece and all, and this sitter was just plain wicked.



After watching the terrifying, yet animated tale, we were promptly sent to bed. We didn't get to discuss our fears or how the story affected us. No prayers or drinks of water, nothing. Just go to bed. But worse yet, she made me sleep in Jeanna's baby bed. I was 6 years old. I couldn't even stretch out my legs. I lay there while Jeanna cried and looked at the bars all around me. It was like prison. Then suddenly I smelled something. I thought, it couldn't be, but it was. The wicked Nazi baby sitter was having POPCORN!



Finally, Mom and Si were home. The sitter talked about what good children we were as she fell all over herself flirting with Si. I hope she had popcorn stuck in her teeth. Mom rolled her eyes at the girl and under her breath said "good Lord" when she saw me in that baby bed.



Later that night Jeanna and I would sleep snug against my mom in her tiny bed, and all was right with the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Today I watched Prancer for the first time. It's one of those movies I always intended to watch, but just never found the time. It made me cry. It had all the things that make a great Christmas movie. A small snow covered town, reindeer, a sweet, misunderstood little girl, Sam Elliott...Oh I love Sam Elliott.
I don't know why there aren't any good Christmas movies on television. There are a few newer ones. They're usually an adaptation of some classic, It's A Wonderful Life or Dickens's Christmas Carol, and they all star Tom Arnold or Tori Spelling. And, they are all really bad.
We had open house last week at the bank. Little kids from all over town came to serenade us with Christmas carols like, The First Noel. The words had been changed to The First Snowfall, which has nothing to do with Christmas or Jesus but, was less offensive than the other big number, Joy To The World, My Shopping's Done. Even sadder, I think most of the children don't know the difference. Their parents are too lazy and apathetic to take them to church, so they wouldn't know who Jesus is anyway.
I can't imagine my own childhood without God. I saw him in everything. I prayed whenever I was fearful or anxious, which was a lot for some reason. I can't see how a child survives the day without him. There is so much violence and hatred in this world. Television and video games look so real, who do these kids cry out to when they are afraid?

Monday, December 6, 2010


Tis' the season. The cold and allergy season, that is. And it's one of those especially dry seasons here in West Texas. I feel miserable, congestion, coughing, sneezing, itchy watery eyes. I feel so sorry for myself and then I get to work and find everyone feels as bad or worse. My department sounds like a TB ward.

Yes, it's that time of year when we all walk around in a drug induced stupor. Not the kind of drugs we experimented with in high school. No these are much more expensive, harder to obtain, over the counter cold medications. I am forced to stand in line at the pharmacy and ask for my nonprescription Zyrtec D, show my ID and wait while they check some data base to see when I last purchased it. All this, to make sure I am not cooking meth. I think to myself, I don't even want to cook supper.

I can kind of understand. I must look like an addict, red eyes, chapped lips, reeking of Carmex. And maybe I shouldn't have yelled at the clerk for being out of my favorite nose spray. And maybe I am addicted to Carmex and nose spray. So, send me to rehab....maybe on some beach somewhere....


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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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