Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Card 2008

No matter where you are,
No matter where you’re roving,
Find yourself a friendly bar
And share my Cheer and Loathing.

Join me in a Yuletide drink
As I raise my glass to you.
I’ll toss one back, give you a wink,
And then you hoist a few!

Have a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Beer!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ring in the New Year!

I didn't tell my friend, N-, this story when she lost the stone from her wedding ring (at least I think I didn't because I'm sure she's sick of hearing about my grandparents), but here's a good story.

My grandparents got married in '32 when my grandmother was fresh out of nurses training. They were young, it was in the depression, and my grandmother's wedding ring was a narrow silver band ... probably cheap because of the times.

Of course, as she got older, her fingers got skinnier. And more claw-like, although that is not germane to the story. One day when she was in her 70s, her wedding ring came up missing!

She had been doing laundry, yet it was not among the towels in the linen closet, nor was it in the cellar by the washer and dryer.

I was heartbroken at the very thought, but Grandma, stoic that she was, didn't seem all that concerned. Grandpa, with a personality much like mine -- jackass on the outside, sentimental on the inside -- went and bought her a brand new GOLD ring, similar to the first, but a little smaller so it wouln't slip off.

And what did my stoic, pragmatic, non-sentimental, septuagenarian Grandma do? She got down on hand and arthritic knee and crawled the length of the clothesline searching through the grass until she found her original ring!

She wore them both for the rest of her life, but she wore the cheap, silver depression-era ring closest to her heart. So the new one would keep the old one from falling off.

Or so she said.

... O.K. I can tell I'm on the buildup to my "moment." I last saw her on or around Christmas after her stroke 15 years ago. And she died on New Year's day. Every year on New Year's, I have to lock the doors, pull the shades and have my "moment." It's not pretty.

I am glad to have the family who are still with me, and I miss terribly the ones who have gone on. What passes for my heart goes out to all those who lose a dear one over the holidays.

And that, Santa, is why I hate Christmas. That and your damned songs.

[See? Grandpa was such a character, you never hear about Grandma.]