Now Playing: So this is Christmas by John Lennon
Back home & very glad to be here! Not so glad about going back to work but into every life some rain must fall.
The whole viewing, service & burial for my grandmother went very smoothly, my cousin was there but low key- & she would not look me in the eye. The cleaning out of the apartment was also smooth, the uncles got along, there was none of that petty 'I want this, you can't have it' that you hear about when families have to divide up the material possessions, my uncles & my mother were more interested in divesting themselves of stuff not acquiring more (It was only the 4 of them & myself, no grand children or great grand children) They each took things for their kids & themselves but I seem to be the only person in the whole family (34 of us) who has an ancient couch, no chairs & no wherewithal to go out & buy one so I got all my grandmother's furniture by default, it's going to be in storage in NH until the summer but it's well worth it, the only problem is it is all pale blue & cream & my kids are heathens, as my mother pointed out I have about 6 months to get them to be more gentle & learn not to eat in the living room, I'll feel awful if I ruin my grandmother's furniture (she bought it in 1992 so it's not too old) I think I'll need to invest in slip covers!
Driving home was hell. plain & simple. There was no Christmas spirit in evidence on Interstate 81 on Wednesday that is for damn sure! You can see by my picture (or I can at least) that the stress & grief are really beginning to take it's toll on me- at this point driving I was just focused on getting us all home in one piece & then hoping to sleep as soon as possible after getting home. I was so glad to get back home to my area, where people coming towards you on the road, (back roads & main roads both) wave at you as you pass. I'm feeling much less stressed since we've been home even though work has been a pain- they told us our schedule is changing as of the 30th, we're going to be off Tuesday, Friday & Saturday, working the same hours as previously though, not too big of a deal for me, it may even be better! (Miss 16 thinks she'll like it better)
I'm focused much more on the practical than the emotional right now. I just need to get through grocery shopping, gingerbread house decorating, cookie making, gift wrapping & meal preparations & of course spending most of Christmas day at work. Not too big a deal, Christmas eve at Auntie J's is like a beginner Christmas & the kids are accustomed to opening stockings together with out me- I'm a lot happier if I get to sleep in- they're also assuring me that they'd rather wait for me to come home & eat a nice dinner & then open the gifts under the tree on Christmas evening- since I don't have to work Tuesday or Wednesday we can stay up late on Christmas & then sleep in. I do have the next 2 days off which is nice too.
Tommorow will be grocery shopping & I have decided that if I can't get it in Floyd I don't need it. There is no way I'm going near any walmart or mall tommorow at all. I hope to get out reasonably early & get back home by noon because I've got a lot of cookies to make & a gingerbread house to put together with mr 7 who is about to loose his mind because we have not made it yet!
We were leaving my Grandmother's apartment on Sunday afternoon after spending a draining afternoon going through boxes, packing things up for each family branch to keep & discussing where & how the furniture would go & get to me. Everyone but my mother & my kids had left & we were on our way out too & Miss 10 asked to borrow my cell phone to take a picture out the window of my grandmother's living room to 'remember the view' after she took the picture I was glad she had done so, it is a beautiful view of one of my favorite places in the world!
On the way home from work tonight I went over to Target to pick up 1 last minute gift for each of the kids, (there was still room on the credit card of the same name as the store - bad habit of mine at Christmas, if there's money left to be spent it has to be spent) I was amused at how stressed everyone seemed, especially those with small kids. I do get stressed though, just not often at Christmas time, I refuse to do anything I don't want to do when it comes to Christmas- if picking, writing & sending Christmas cards ever begins to feel like a chore, like something I 'have' to do I'll stop. The same with baking the cookies etc. I want to do them & I will, things like stringing popcorn & cranberries to hang on the tree are ok, It was a family tradition when I was growing up & some years we do it now but this year there was no way. Cranberries were ridiculously expensive & the time was short. So no Cranberries or popcorn. I went out of my way to be nice to everyone who met my eyes in Target & especially the people working there I've worked in stores at Christmas & I know what a hell it can be, I'm mostly just glad I'm not there with them!
I probably won't get back to this until after the holiday, I'm feeling a little drained & as I said I'm not letting myself really look too deep in the emotional sense, every once in awhile something will strike me like 'I should tell Phil about that next time we talk' & I do a sort of double take & remember Phil died last week (My grandmother & grandfather had all my cousins & I call them by their first names rather than 'grandma' or anything like that so I refer to her by her given name always)
This Last pic is one of miss 16 the day we arrived in Mass when we went to the beach to kill time while waiting for my mother to get her hair done. She likes it & so do I. The cape is mine but I don't have the flamboyance to wear it much so she borrowed it for the week- I notice I haven't gotten it back & I have a feeling I won't!
I hope everyone has a great holiday & either makes a bunch of awsome memories or has a lot of fun remembering other holiday memories from the past.