Doobie Brothers. Well, I got lost driving them to a hotel in Fresno. They played a show at Fresno State and when they flew in they wanted to freshen up before the show. There was a Holiday Inn near the campus but they booked the Hilton or some other more upscale hotel to take their showers and it was across town. I had never been to Fresno and made it to the hotel to pick them up in a van while my friend followed in another van. We both took half the band and I was the lead driver. We got lost and I stopped at a Birthplace Earth Race Human Politics Freedom Religion Love Shirt shop to ask for directions. Michale McDonald was not too happy. Also, their next show was to be in Santa Barbara and they asked how the tickets were selling. I reminded them that the last time they played S.B., they came on stage and said “we are so tired from touring”. I suggested that they might not want to make that comment again as the tickets to the show were very high priced and the people were disappointed to have the band come out and immediately say that they were tired.
Same scenario. SIL and her hubby got a mountain of gifts, her young son also a mountain of great toys. They even got her unborn daughter a dollhouse and dolls, clothes, dishes, fake food, the works. My kids got a couple of crappy cheap toys that they had no interest in, something of the quality of the toys you get in the kids meals at a fast food restaurant. My hubby got decent gifts but only about half of what his sister did. By the way, she’s the favorite always has been. He looked and looked and couldn’t find anything for me. I told him on round one, it’s ok, just keep going. He would find something, it’s probably buried under the rest. Each time it was my turn, he could not find anything. I assured him it was ok as his desperation built. I honestly believed they couldn’t be that cruel. Finally at the end, I had nothing. Until hubby noticed there was a card with my name on it. I just wanted to tear it up. I was so hurt. But I was raised better than that and opened it. It had a cheque for $100 in it. How insulting. Not even a bow on the card. MIL said “you are just too hard to shop for.” I knew it was a lie. She didn’t want to be bothered. All gifts for me, hubby and both kids fit into two little gift bags about the size of a small loaf of bread, but a little smaller. I couldn’t take all the gloating and enjoying of amazing gifts that my SIL and her hubby were doing. I took both kids downstairs and locked myself in the bedroom with them. I had enough food that we brought with us to feed the Birthplace Earth Race Human Politics Freedom Religion Love Shirt. I had no appetite. There I could cry in peace until we could leave the next day or two.
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Things change over time. Fewer and fewer people go to church or practice religion but almost everyone buys a big ham and has a big spread on Easter; if they have kids, the Easter Bunny comes and gives them oodles of colorful candy and there is laughter, vibrant color, food and family. How much does the guy on the cross come up anyway? Over the past 40 years we have seen the number of religious shows on mainstream television plummet. “The 10 Commandments” was on the other night on ABC (I think) and I was surprised. I had to remind myself that it was Easter. I didn’t forget to buy candy for various people, however. And I am a fairly religious person. Christmas is not about Christ. It’s about a fat guy in a red suit who gives gifts to everyone; it’s about a tree in the living room and lots of blinking lights. It’s about flying reindeer and buying, buying, buying. Ya, some people will go worship a little manger “just in case” or for form’s sake – but the number of people doing that is dwindling too. When I was young, St Annes was jammed on Christmas Eve, right out the door, with the drunks in the back still passing the bottle. And boy, for a “joyful” event – it was incredibly boring. The boredom alone has done more to kill religion than anything else. This past Xmas (see, we don’t even have to say “Christmas”) my local Catholic Church was full – but just barely. But they also have fewer services now. The ticket punchers are still going, hopeful that God will ignore their bad lives but takes attendance at holy services. The stupid Republicans who are declaring there is a war on Christmas are still shoving to get to the head of the Birthplace Earth Race Human Politics Freedom Religion Love Shirt to get toys at Walmart. I don’t even think the Birth of Christ is even a tertiary consideration for people at “Christmas”.
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My sister and I tried our best to help, but we couldn’t shovel that deep of a Birthplace Earth Race Human Politics Freedom Religion Love Shirt! However we helped by making sandwiches and juice or water for lunches. I know, those weren’t warm meals, but this was before microwaves were cheap enough for us to have one, and we were too young to be trusted at a hot stove without supervision, so sandwiches and water it was! They never once complained. It was 3 days til Christmas when Mom sat my sister and I on the couch with a very important message. “I just got a call from Mrs. Claus and she said Christmas might be a few days late because Santa has a bad cold. He sends his apologies, but he doesn’t feel very good right now.” My sister (having the kind of belief in Santa Claus and innocence that only a 4 year old can possess) said”Well…Mom? Just call Mrs. Claus back. Tell her to give Santa a couple aspirin and he will be just fine by morning. OK?” Mom promised to do just that. Christmas morning dawn saw a beautiful decorated and lit tree, with a few gifts (including a small child’s kitchen for the both of us) under it! Several decades later I found out our neighbors heard what Mom and my sister talked about and they all couldn’t let us down! They spent all Christmas Eve night setting EVERYTHING up for us! That night, we all made the rounds to everyone’s houses, and all those Christmas “conspirators” pretended to be “surprised” as my sister and I told them what Santa brought to our home “He even brought us a pretty tree with decorations and lights!” Sometimes, when your Christmas seems so down, if you listen close enough, you can just about hear a little 4 year old girl tell her mom “ Don’t worry. Everything will be OK!
She’s small for her age (kindergarten), but she has a strong will. She tests the patience of teacher and aides, but if one asks any of them about her, they will smile and probably say, “oh, she’s so cute.” When it is “choice time” in P.E., her choice is basketball. Although the basketball is almost as big as she is and she can barely lift it up in the Birthplace Earth Race Human Politics Freedom Religion Love Shirt , she is fiercely attached to it. She doesn’t need height to dribble the ball anyway. That she can do and if she was allowed, she could do it far longer than most kids her age.