Christmas and Stuff

I’ve always lived 2 and a 1/2 hours from Massachusetts; even as a child. I was born there but my parents were living in Connecticut at the time of my birth. When I was growing up, there weren’t as many safety laws in place. When my adoption in Mass. was finalized, I was about 3 or 4 days old and I was delivered to my parents after a car ride to Connecticut and placed in my mother’s arms. I rode on my Uncle’s lap the whole way. No one enforced car seat laws then.

I saw a meme today that stated:

“Share this status if you rode in the back of a pickup truck as a kid and survived to tell about it.”

I don’t condone the behavior, it’s far too dangerous but I do remember doing so many times. One time in particular, the early 70s, I remember my friend and I sitting in the back near the wheel wells and singing our hearts out as we whizzed down the highway, the wind in our hair: “Put another nickel in… In the Nick-el-o-de-on! All I want is lovin’ you- and music! Music! Music!”

My mother passed away seven years ago this week. A few years ago the subject of adoption came up and my father told me that he’d often asked my mother if she wanted to “try to adopt again” and give me a sibling. When he told me my mother’s reply I was a little surprised. Apparently she said something to the effect of “I think one’s enough. We got lucky with Kimmy but… When you’re raising someone else’s child you just don’t know what you’re gonna’ get.”

So… I was like opening a box of chocolates. The two of them had all the love in the world for me, but I am sure I wasn’t what they bargained for!  But what really is? That’s what keeps life interesting. You know, I never understood why it was frowned upon to pinch the corner of a piece of chocolate in the box, to see whether you had a jelly, a cream, a nutty one or a nougat or caramel. But I get it now; I guess people that don’t want you to pinch chocolates just subscribe to the theory that you are supposed to get whatever chocolate you get and deal with it whether it’s what you really wanted or not.

It was like that when we adopted this dog Minnie two and a 1/2 years ago. A Bulldog/Beagle mix, she’s a dominant, annoying, lovable stubborn barrel shaped but lovable (did I say lovable?) animal. With a lot of PATIENT persistent training, her worst habits have ceased. We had to accept who she was first, what her limitations were, and then come up with creative solutions to show her that the people are the Alphas, not her. It’s fun to reward her with occasional stuffed animals that last about five minutes in her jaws.


Al and I sink many quarters into crane games, you know the ones? The machines in some fast food lobbies and in Department stores? The claw you have to center right over the top of the prize (a teddy bear in a hoodie, an alligator poorly sewn up in camouflage material, etc.) which you have to choose carefully because you have to try and go for one that’s loosely situated in the pile, and not too heavy. We often lose but when we win, we might give one to our grandchild, put it on display on a shelf or if it’s free of buttons and plastic eyes, we toss it to Minnie. Like I said, in about five minutes flat there’s an amazingly large “snow heap” of fluffy polyester fiberfill and an empty swath of material which she shakes in her jaws until all the fiberfill is gone.

But it’s never truly gone.

It doesn’t matter how many times this floor is swept, it’s hard to keep up with the white dog hair and polyester fluffballs! Just last night I was sitting here in MY blog writing spot. It’s MY spot of the couch, just like Sheldon Cooper (of Big Bang Theory) has his spot of couch and Archie had his armchair in All In The Family. Beside me is my “end table,” a blue plastic bin filled with books. I keep my pocketbook (yes I still call it a pocketbook not a purse) on it, as well as my cup of water or coffee, my chargers, etc. Against the wall beside me is my beloved old door, salvaged from a neighbor’s 200 year old house. I have it propped against the wall with an antique mirror affixed to it, also salvaged. The mirror is so heavy I could never hang it on these plaster walls.


Wow, you would think I never clean that mirror!

So anyway I was sitting here in my spot yesterday, with a beam of light coming through the window and hitting the floor just so. Al rose to turn on the overhead fan. I was in a semi-trance-like state not really watching the TV, when something caught my eye in my peripheral.

A perfect tumbleweed rolled right across the floor and straight through that sunbeam.

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The tumbleweed rolled right on by me like it owned the place. Like I told you, no matter how many times this floor is swept, those puffs of stuffing are everywhere! Christmas is in a few days and Minnie will be getting a new bed, some chew toys and yet more stuffed animals. Why do I indulge the beast?

Here’s a question for you… Do you remember mastering a two wheel bike? Do you remember the ceremony of removing the training wheels? Did you learn all on your own, or do you (like me) remember who it was that ran alongside your bike when you were learning to balance and then…they let go? Do you remember the person who let the bike go or did you master the task all on your own? I know, I know, that’s more than one question. I know where I was. I was visiting my cousins in the big grey house and I’d asked my father to bring along my two wheel bicycle, as the training wheels had been removed and I was sure I was close to riding it all by myself.

The house was surrounded by cornfield and cow pasture. It had a large yard and the grass was always dense and greener, thicker and more lush on the side of the lawn where the septic tank was. The poop fed it somehow. I was reading a book the other day and the main character made reference to

putting a seed under a dead man’s tongue and growing a tree

to hit home the point that even decay can lead way to growth. It was over the septic tank grass that my father stopped running, and I was pedaling fast on my own, grinning, “You let go! I’m going! I’m doing it!”

I’ve never lost that feeling of exhilaration. I’m impressed by dust, light, shine on a doorknob, reindeer made by 7 yr. old hands out of toilet paper tubes. Now I’m on the other side of the bike too, in many ways. I’ve let go of my kids in many ways. But there’s an invisible tether. The day may come when we’re not a Facebook post or a text away, but I know I’ll always be stuck in their heads.

Here are my pets saying hello because it’s Christmas and I was messing around with my Corel program:


One of my favorite past-times is looking up creepy decades old ‘Santa With Child’ photos. Like safety laws, times have truly changed. Some of the Santas in today’s malls actually have real beards, but that wasn’t always the case. Children of yesteryear sat on the laps of Santas with Santa masks, ridiculous fake beards, and some of these pictures are downright creepy, and funny too. Imagine my surprise when I came across a vintage Creepy Santa photo with a child that looks eerily like ME or even like my daughter. Here it is:


See the resemblance:

hyjk kerry

See the resemblance? Verrrrry weird!!!!!!!!!!

See Creepy Santas here:


                         Weird Vintage Photos:


P.S. It’s fun to look up old Easter Bunny With Children photos too!

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