December 2020 and Now
Last year we did our cozy Christmas at home for 2. There was a pandemic.
We understood and we planned for Christmas 2021.
These are 5 of our stockings, in the house now. Baby Charlie has a brand new stocking. Scott and Chali are... were bringing theirs. We've been planning this Texas Christmas for a long time.
It's December 22. I've been up for an hour. Heidi, Jamie and the baby were supposed to fly in, this evening. But all has changed.
We spent all of yesterday going back and forth on the phone with all the kids. Weighing the risks of traveling with a 10 month old with Omicron. We spoke with doctor relatives and I spoke with my most trusted nurse practitioner friend, who used to work with Dr. Fauci. Decisions are hard.
By 6 pm, after a day of phone calls and texts and few tears, the decision was made. The kids were going to cancel flights and not take the risk.
I left the house to get the mail and I could barely stand walking back to the house and seeing the lights, that the kids won't see.
I've been ridiculously manic for months, knowing our grand baby would be in our home. I found the old Christmas train in the attic and put it on the porch.
Charlie's really too young for the old Advent calendar, but I pulled it out of the box anyway.
And maybe she would have been creeped out by Rudolph in his little chair, but he was waiting for her.
I wanted to sit Charlie in the small green chair, that used to be at my grandmother's. Heidi posed with her great-grandmother's bears, when she was a baby.
All day yesterday, I vacuumed and prepped, in case we got some huge reassurance that all was good to travel.
I put fresh soaps and toothpaste in bathrooms and I set up the wrapping station for all the gifts the kids have shipped here. I smiled/cringed when I spotted things, like the silly ceramic tree that Scott loves and the basket of homemade ornaments that the kids made long ago. These are things i rarely drag out. And I pouted to look at the old "youth bed" that Charlie is too young for. But her "pack and play" for sleeping, will be going in that room.
Plans to Drive
By 9 pm, the decision was made, for Don and me to hop in the car and drive to Portland, tomorrow. We might make it by Christmas. Scott and Chali will drive up from Sacramento. Is this crazy?
Upstairs I gathered all their boxes. My own closet holds 7 shopping bags of wrapped gifts. Will this even fit in the car?
Sitting in the Dark
As I sit here in the dark, I feel embarrassed by all my manic prep, for this Christmas. All these doodads and silliness that I put out. It somehow makes me feel better to just snap photos and take the images along in my head.
I care less about the decorations, than I do about the stuff that was going to happen around those decorations. Tiki night was a plan. Reading Christmas books... drinking coffees and drinks from fun glasses and meals on Christmas plates that don't match.
And what about all that food that's stuffed into the fridge? We had planned so many fun cooking activities. Gingerbread houses, cookies... filet mignon. And the aprons? I bought those ugly Christmas aprons on Ebay!
And what about the old wagon that I got out of the garage and cleaned up, so we could take Charlie on wagon walks to see the neighborhood lights. And ping pong! I had new lights to put up for our festive night-time-drive-way-ping-pong time!
We can't take the piano, but I guess we could take some bells and hats.
We have no clue how long we'll stay in Portland, but I'm sure I won't be up for carols by the time we get back.
On the bookshelves near the piano, I'm sad to see these photos of our joined families. Chali's family! We were all together on Christmas in Thailand 4 years ago. Scott and Chali had their Thai wedding.
The photo with Jamie's family makes me sad. They were coming to our home after Christmas, to celebrate. Jamie's sister and Dad haven't even seen Charlie yet. This pandemic is making me so angry.
It's time to get moving. I haven't started packing clothes. Weather will be cold. Am I ready for this? As I've been sitting here, I've heard a couple clunks near the Christmas tree.
The drooping-dry tree branches are letting ornaments fall. I've just piled up some breakables. We'll let the rest tumble down while we're gone.
I feel better. I needed to pout and rant and now I'm ready to shower and pack.
We are a flexible family. This is our gang (with Chali's mom) on Christmas 2017. We made Christmas a whole different celebration that year. This year we'll have Charlie. It will be different in the most wonderful way. We might celebrate a day late, but we'll all be together. Onward!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!