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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Un-Deck the Halls

Well, here it is, the first Saturday in January and I haven’t taken down my Christmas decorations. The worse thing about putting it off, we have been blessed with sunshine and 70 degree weather today.

One thing I’ve learned after living my whole life in Missouri is how unpredictable the weather can be. I walked outside earlier to check my mail and wore a short sleeved tee-shirt. Two weeks ago, we had an artic blast that left our water frozen and I went outside wearing my insulated coveralls, a heavy coat, and a stocking cap pulled low on my forehead. I looked and felt like the little boy in Christmas Story who couldn’t bend his arms or legs once he donned his snowsuit.

Thawing frozen pipes used to be Jim’s job. Then, after dementia limited Jim’s abilities the responsibility shifted to my shoulders. Several years ago on a cold winter night his mom called me to tell me our water had frozen. We shared a well and it was behind her house next door. Jim sat in front of the TV watching Walker Texas Ranger and didn’t even look at me when I told him the news. I put on a pair of Jim’s coveralls and called my son, Eric, and brother-in-law. By the time I got decked out in my warm clothes, the two of them were assessing the situation.

“Your dad didn’t even care that the water was frozen,” I told my son. “He’s still at home watching TV.”

“I bet he would have cared if the electricity went out and he couldn’t watch Walker,” Eric said.

There is no such thing as typical weather in Missouri. You just take it as it comes and deal with it.

For some reason, I thought that once the holidays were over, I could relax for a while. Ha! The next few months seem to be busier than ever. Today, I need to un-deck the halls and have two meetings—one tomorrow and one on Thursday—that I need to work on. So, I’ve just been flitting back and forth between reports, emails, laundry, taking down decorations, and thinking that I would really like to go out on the deck, put my feet up and watch the birds.

It’s foolish to waste a spring day in the dead of winter, and I do need to take the Christmas lights off the deck railing. After all, by next Saturday the lights may be covered with a coat of ice and subzero wind chills might make me want to burrow into a blanket and watch an NCIS marathon.

My granddaughter will be here soon and if I don’t get the halls un-decked, she will no doubt tell me, “Grandma Linda, Christmas is OVER.” I have the Christmas tree put away, but still have a few hours work ahead of me. I can’t decide if the chirping birds outside my window are urging me to hurry up and finish, or just put it off until another day.
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