by Kari Diane Pike
This year has proven to be particularly difficult. Honestly, between health challenges and the recent loss of family members and close friends, I couldn't find it in me to drag out the tree and the boxes and the strings of lights. My husband knew it was bad when, after wandering a bookstore for nearly an hour with the intent of purchasing Christmas gifts, I turned to him and motioned toward the door.
"Get me out of here."
"But you didn't buy anything. Where else you would like to go?" Doug put one arm around my shoulders and pushed the exit door open with the other. A cool breeze swirled through the door and I shivered. The ache in my heart and the fatigue of a long day made it difficult to walk let alone think and make decisions. All I wanted was my bed.
"Can we just go to church Sunday, sing a few Christmas hymns and listen to a couple of talks and go home and go to bed? Can we just call off all the celebrations this year? I can't do it."
So home we went. A little chocolate and good night's rest helped restore my mood for a day or two. When I realized I had 9 days until Christmas and I hadn't even started shopping yet, I kind of freaked out.
Then Tuesday happened.
There's nothing like a little "could have been deadly" accident to bring the important things back into perspective. Doug and Amy were driving north from Gilbert to Prescott Valley on I-17. Just before the Pinnacle Peak road exit on the north end of Phoenix, the semi in front of them changed lanes, revealing a hand truck in the road. With no time to react, they hit the hand truck and lost part of the front bumper along with a parking light and damage to cowling around the tire and some sensors. But no one got hurt!!! And the car was driveable.
The highway patrolman asked if they saw what they hit, because all he could find was a couple of wheels. The hand truck had disintegrated. We have insurance and they will cover a rental car while repairs are made. The mechanics couldn't believe everyone walked away uninjured. We are blessed beyond measure.
Tomorrow the grandchildren are spending the day here decorating cookies and having fun. We will go caroling and play games Saturday evening. Sunday we will change up our traditional Christmas Eve trip to the zoo and act out a family version of the nativity. Family members will perform musical/reading numbers and we will enjoy lots of food and laughter. There might even be a few gifts exchanged...(assuming I can get off the computer and go shopping!)
It's going to be a magnificent Christmas.
I hope your holidays are full of love and joy. Merry Christmas to all and a very happy New Year.