I’m up early. This cold has me still feeling kind of run down so I hit the bed at 8:30 last night. Of course, that meant I was doomed to wake up around 4:00 a.m. There’s not a lot you can do at 4:00 a.m. without waking the entire household.
DH and I have to decide what we’re doing for Christmas. We really have to make a decision. I can’t believe it was only a year ago that we were gearing up for a Christmas cruise to Mexico with the twins and my sister and then heading to New Orleans to spend Christmas day with my brother and his family. Of course, we got fogged in and spent Christmas Day on the boat, arriving in port at 7:00 p.m. and arriving at little brother’s at 10:00 p.m.
We’ve thought about staying home but it seems so strange. Oldest DS will be somewhere in the Florida Keys. He’s working on a shrimp boat and will either be in Key West or Key Largo. Youngest DS doesn’t know what he’s going to be doing and doesn’t know if he’ll have his kids or not. The twins don’t want to make the trip to Florida but they’re not particularly excited about having Christmas here either. They just want prepaid charge cards so they can clean up on the after Christmas goodies. I guess they could spend Christmas with their mother. They seemed to enjoy Thanksgiving with her but I feel strange not being with them for the holiday. Even though they’ll be 19 in a few weeks.
Whatever…I need to make a decision.
DS got a call from the caseworker last Monday to go for a drug/alcohol test and, just like last time, DIL was there when he arrived. They both get off work at the same time and he was furious that the caseworker had done it again. The place closes at 6:00 and they both get off work at 5:00. He had to hide across the street and watch for her to come out of the building while furiously dialing the caseworker’s number without getting an answer. She finally came out at 5:52 and he had to wait for her to leave the parking lot and race in to get signed in before 6:00. He finally reached the caseworker the next day and told him that was two times in a row that he’d ordered them both to report for testing at the same time in violation of the protective order. The caseworker said he can’t keep track of all that and if DS wanted to avoid a problem, he should take off work early so they don’t get there at the same time. What???
I called DIL on Thursday to set up visitation for this weekend and got a disconnect recording on her phone. DS called the caseworker Thursday and Friday and left messages but he didn’t return his calls. I tried to call Thursday, Friday and Saturday but the phone is still disconnected. So…he didn’t get to see the kids this weekend and I still don’t have a phone number to arrange for visits. I’m sure the caseworker doesn’t think it’s a big deal but DS is upset that he didn’t get to spend any time with the boys this week. What a wonderful system.
I worked the craft fair from 7:30 to 1:00 yesterday. Didn’t have to do a lot. Just sit there and sell the stuff one of the parents had donated. Pet stuff. The parent said they placed a bid on a lot of stuff at an auction and took what they wanted then donated the rest to us. It was a bunch of strange, cutesey, doggie stuff. Hats with holes for their ears, fabric leashes and collars for Halloween, Christmas and other holidays. Placemats shaped like bones to place under food and water dishes. Picture frames and luggage tags for all different breeds of dogs. Christmas ornaments shaped like bones made of terra cotta and brass. Doggie outfits including a tutu and a leopard skin coat with matching hat. Photo albums with different dog breeds on the cover.
I spent the time using Sharpies to draw candy canes and holly on the ornaments and wrote the dog’s name in calligraphy for those who purchased one. A lot of work for a $2.00 ornament. I left at 1:00 when the other volunteer showed up and we’d brought in a total of $26.00. (and…I bought breakfast for the two ROTC cadets who were supposed to help me because I got tired of hearing them hint about being hungry and not having any money) Next year, maybe I’ll just write them a check for $30.00 and stay home.
Aha! DH is up and the Sunday paper is here. Let’s get this day moving!
9:00 a.m. update - We’ve made the decision and I feel good about it. We’re staying here for Christmas. I think DGD, Holly, was the deciding factor. She came over yesterday afternoon and stayed until midnight when DIL#1 got off work. She brought presents. Carefully wrapped with lots of paper and tons of tape. All bought with her own money and chosen by her. She insisted that we all open them because she wanted to be here when we opened them and didn’t know if she’d be back over before we left for Florida. She got me a ring. A cheap little adjustable ring with a heart and a pink stone. She gave DH a bag of peanuts. She gave her brothers a U of L sticker and a candy bar. She left presents for Jake and Scout.
After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that the fact that it seems so disjointed this year is all the more reason to try to pull it together. My family is fractured. We’re all in a strange place and it seems like everything is falling apart. All the more reason to try to get everyone together as much as I can. There will be food. There will be decorations. There will be presents. There will be family. The twins may get some charge cards but there will also be presents and lots of gifts under the tree. And we will be here to see Holly and give her presents.
That means, for the first time in five years, I will need to scrub the house, go shopping, put up decorations and fix dinner. It’s funny how it got away from us. About six years ago, we celebrated Christmas and then left for Florida the next day. Then, for a couple of years, we celebrated a few days early and left for Florida. Then we left presents for everyone and took off for the entire time with the boys. That’s been going on for a couple of years now. I have to admit it felt pretty strange last year. Sitting on a cruise ship Christmas day drinking frozen dacquiri’s and listening to kettle drums.
Now I’ve got to try to pull my family together the best I can. I’ll invite DIL#1 and Holly over and the boys will be here. I’ll invite youngest DS over and do the best I can to see that Jake and Scout can be here. I’ll invite oldest DS although he’ll probably be on a shrimp boat somewhere and I’ll invite my mom and my siblings. Don’t know how it will all turn out but I’m going to give it my best shot.
And now, I have to get a move on. I’ve got LOTS to do. Cleaning, baking, cleaning, decorating, cleaning, shopping and gift wrapping. Did I mention cleaning? I’m going to start by with making some phone calls to the family.