Christmas past

One of my fondest Christmas memories took place in my early teen years. The whole family was in my parents room watching TV one Christmas Eve. I kept hearing this noise in the next room. It sounded like we had a mouse. I mentioned it, but no one else had heard it.

A few minuets later, I heard it again. Again, no one heard it. The third time it happened, I got up to investigate. My brother Scott said he heard it and it was bats in the attic. Unlikely, I said. Bats hibernate in the winter. Even if there were any up there at this time of year, they would be asleep. I did what any self-respecting, bat-loving little sister would do. I demanded he prove it.

Scott, being certain I would chicken out, started to head to the attic stairs. Mom, being certain I wouldn’t chicken out, told Scott not to take me up there because I might get hurt.

All of this I met with suspicion because I had been up in the attic before and never had a problem. My dad said turning on the light would upset the bats. Ok. Case closed.

That was the night that dad took Dan and me for a ride in the car, looking for The Star. There was an alignment of planets that was supposed to be the star that the wise men saw. So we drove around on a rather overcast night, chasing a star. We caught a possible glimpse, but nothing definite due to the clouds.

When we got home, it was time for bed.

The next morning I found out the cause of the noise. No, not reindeer on the roof. It was my new pet rabbit. I named him Caesar Augustus — Gus for short. He was one cool rabbit. Grey circles covering his jaws, eyes and ears, with white bisecting the circles. His shoulders, front legs and his four little feet were white. The rest was grey. When he stood on his hind legs, it looked like he was wearing grey, old-man pants or hip waders. The grey came up under his armpits.

Gus was a fun rabbit. In the summer, we kept him outside in a pen. There was a dog house for him to sleep in, but he decided to dig a warren and use the dog house as a bathroom. On nice days, he’d hang out on top of the dog house of sit under the butterfly bushes. I’d sit and talk with him, pet him, or sometimes read to him. I’d let him out when I was there and we’d just hang together. I’d pick butter-and-eggs –one of his favorite vegetation delicacies.

I look back to that Christmas with Gus and family as a favorite Christmas.

 

Just a few observations

A) Several times a week, I go to my favorite coffee shop — Rothrock Coffee. The owners are wonderful; the coffee gods and goddesses are some of the nicest people in the world; the coffee kicks ass!

But now I’m wondering if I go there too often. Nah. Not really! But last week I worked graduation. The weather was wretched and it made students late and harried. In short, it was tougher than usual. To make matters worse, Rothrock opens after I have to be at work and closes before I get out. Yes, there’s coffee at the venue, but it’s not Rothrock coffee.

Sunday, I went to the shop per usual and it was closed! For a private event! The horror! They were having an employee holiday party for family and friends!

Ok. Seriously, no worries. I think it is great they were doing that, so I turned and walked back to the car, knowing they’d be open the next day. Suddenly, I hear my name called. I was being beckoned back to the shop. When I got in there, I was handed my usual large latte. OMG! They knew my name AND my beverage of choice. Sort of like “Cheers,” but for coffee. I was over the moon! When I told this to a friend of mine, she suggested maybe I went there a little too often.

So today, the day before Christmas, they closed earlier than usual for a Saturday. I got there and the chairs were up, the door was locked, and the baristas were cleaning up.

Again, no worries. I think it rocks that they were giving their employees a couple extra hours. I’ll be back. I’ll always be back. But, no! One of the owners again called to me and asked if I wanted something to go. Caveat: All they had were cold drinks.

Like I care? I got an iced latte. Maybe I do go there too often. Pfft! No way! I’ll be back there on Monday. A Merry Christmas and a big ol’ “thank you”to all the caffeine elves at Rothrock!

B) On my way home, I passed on of the roadside crosses they put up when someone was in an accident at that spot. Swooping down in front of me was a red-tailed hawk. I couldn’t tell if it was a juvenile or a female. It landed on the cross and sat looking around. Too much symbolism. I don’t want to think about that too deeply.

C) Driving through a neighborhood near me, there are 12 families who put up the “12 Days of Christmas” decorations. There’s a sign in the yard of one family and another just like it further up the street. In the dark, driving along, I haven’t been able to read the sign. Today I went past, stopped at the curb and read the sign.

apolitical

Well done, neighbor. Well done indeed.

‘Tis the Season

Yes, this is a stressful time of year. Yes, it is hectic and yes, many people are on edge. But does that mean civility has to be a casualty?

I swear, if one more person bitches at me today, I’m going to lose it and go global on his/her ass!

I went to the grocery store this morning. Yeah, yeah, my first mistake. I stopped at the in-store cafe for a latte. Unfortunately, the person in front of the line was writing a check for a cup of coffee. Ok, I understand the desperate need for caffeine, but a check?

I’m not sure what the discussion was about, but whatever. The line behind be was getting longer by the minute. However, I wanted my caffeine, too, so there was nothing to do but wait. And it’s Christmas Eve, so it’s all good, right?

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