Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Flowers

As I write this, it is just past noon on Christmas Day. It's pretty quiet here in the People's Republic of Hillcrest. It's pretty quiet here in my little house. While all is calm, all is not bright. It is a cold and rainy day this Christmas. It feels like New Orleans in February. It is not that cold in Fahrenheit terms but the damp wind cuts to the bone. You can never get warm during winter in New Orleans. I guess that's why there are so many bars.

It has been a good Christmas. Yesterday, I took communion from the Methodists and was blessed by the Catholics, thereby getting all of the bases covered. Last night I had a nice dinner with KM and PM. PM is not one of your wilder and crazier guys. But he was feeling festive last night. Before we left for the restaurant, he proclaimed, " Hell, it's Christmas Eve. I'm gonna have me a drink in the car. I ain't driving."

Who says we don't know how to have fun?

I had presents to open this morning. They were books. All in all, I have been given 4 books this year. I guess people don't think I am sufficiently well read. I have also gotten about 2 gallons of various brands of whiskey. I've got so much high dollar booze in the house that the cheapest stuff I could find to put in the pecan pies was Weller's which is a pretty high-falutin' garnishment for pecan pie. These are good days.

J gave me a watch. Mine died about 6 months ago and I just never got around to getting one. I guess she got tired of me pulling out my cell phone in order to tell time. It's pretty fancy, with about as many functions as my digital camera. She may come to regret her choice of gifts as I have reacquired my nervous habit of shooting my cuff to look at my watch every few seconds. This, I would think is at least as annoying a being around someone who is constantly pulling a cell phone from the holster. Anyway, I am grateful for my watch for no other reason than it is proof that there is at least one good-looking woman in town who will still give me the time of day.

OK. So that was a lot of work for a cheap laugh. You ought to know by now that David Sedaris I am not.

I ran up to Conway earlier this morning to take flowers to my mother. She was lying in bed when I got there. The lady from Elder Independence said her hip was hurting her. Last week it was her shoulder. These are new complaints. Bob examined her and said it was most likely from sleeping too hard in one spot. We got her a heating pad and gave her some Tylenol. Jesus, if it's not one thing it is ten. A buddy's wife gave me some granola. Mom likes granola so I took it to her. Allen approved of this disposition of his wife's handiwork and assured me there' was more where that came from.

It's hard to buy stuff for a person who is confined to a room. She has all the stuff she will ever need. The social worker at the nursing home she will be moving to urged us to resist the temptation to bring all of her things. So the last couple of Christmases I have taken her flowers. Back at the house she always kept a garden. She can't remember my name fully a third of the time. And yet, she can name most of the flowers in the arrangement.

Today was no different. She examined the flowers with an interest and focus that she usually can't summon forth on a good day even. That is good to see. It means that there is some wattage still going on in there.

And now I am home where it is nice and quiet. The Lakers will be on in a few minutes so I can look forward to watching Kobe shoot the ball 35 times in the spirit of sharing and cooperation. It seems to have quit raining. Maybe I'll go out for a run. Maybe I will take a nap. The options available to me are numerous and overwhelming.

The ribs for tonight's dinner are out smoking away on the big Hudson grill. I'm about ready to put the apple wood out there. The air around the house really smells great. When Steve lived next door he would practically beam himself over a la Star Trek whenever I did ribs out on the deck.

I know. I've written that before. I don't care. It is Christmas and it is a happy memory.

Just like Mother summoning forth the name of a flower on Christmas morning. A happy, happy memory.

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