Friday, December 25, 2015

Xmas cactus

At the moment the summer weather in Sydney, Australia is 69F while the winter weather here in Panama City is 71F. In Ann Arbor, 37F 96%. 57F in San Diego. 50F in Columbus, Ohio. 67F in WashingtonDC. 50F in Harrisburg, 74F at WaltDisneyWorld, 46F in Yokohama, to name a few places I've lived and loved. What now? Probably a tomato sandwich.

What comes to mind on Christmas morning? Always first is walking around in the backyard, barefooted, short pants, no shirt, loving my new Gene Autry cap pistol that I showed an exact picture of here recently. What year did we get those, Walt? Mine was plain, probably because my parents knew I’d want it unmarred, Walt’s had a “W” carved into the salmon-colored handle. I'm thinking of that winter when we had a sudden 25 inch snowfall in Washington, DC and couldn't get out. I remember standing at the bottom of the steps as a child, with Gina and Walt, waiting for the signal from mama, to burst into the living room to see what Santa had left. 

One thing I remember, have I blogged this? My mother was a perfect seamstress. One Christmas morning we came into the living room to find Santa Claus’ hat lying on the fireplace hearth. Our father’s pistol may have been lying there beside it, seems to me it was. The father says,“I almost got him.” Horrified, a believer, I clouded up toward tears, when mama confessed it was a prank, she’d made the Santa hat. If not a sermon, at least there’s probably a morale, or at least a lesson, but I’m not going there. How old was I that morning? Probably six, maybe seven.

What else? At our house on Wakefield Chapel Road, Annandale, Virginia, ringing jingle bells outside Malinda and Jody’s bedroom window as Linda got them ready for bed, and hearing their excited screams, it’s a wonder they went to sleep at all that night. That would have been 1966, our first Christmas back from three years in Japan. 

A child later, Christmas 1973, Tass climbing into the little doll crib Santa had left her and shrieking, “Mom, lookit Her!!!” From the moment she was born, Tassy was the “Her” and “She” in our house, and she knew it. So did her daddy. 

Christmas 1969, USS Tripoli (LPH-10) somewhere in the western Pacific, off Vietnam. Seems to me we went alongside USS Iwo Jima that Christmas morning to highline a CH-53 rotor blade and other parts critically needed by their Marine helicopter squadron. I’m not sure, ships’ logs would show. What I do remember is the loneliness.

Pretty quiet here this morning too.

Keep the Xpistos in Xmas cactus.

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