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  • December 30, 2022

    Home for the Holidays

    So Christmas came and Christmas went, but we stayed home, cuddled with our dog Henry, sprawled on the couch, slouched in chairs, laying together in bed, wrapped in blankets, and sick for the Holidays.

    Carmela had a sore throat, a raspy cough, headaches, and total lack of energy. I  was listless and fatigued, and even Henry was ailing – especially when he had to go out in the drizzle to pee or poop.

    We cancelled get-togethers with friends and family. Carmela had been scheduled for a new holiday do at the beauty parlor. We had been planning a special lunch with a dear friend and our niece and her husband. We had been looking forward to Christmas dinner at a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles with our sister-in-law Susan and her husband Jeff. Everything was cancelled.

    But, I’m not complaining. It was Christmas with just the three of us, locked inside, coughing, sniffling, and snuggling while the rain came down outside and other people gathered to celebrate the season. It was an intimate and caring time, and it brought its own Christmas joy.

    Our grand niece Everly Pearl had come to visit a few days before we had gotten sick, and she and Carmela had set up the creche in the corner with Mary and Joseph, the little shepherd boy, three wise men, their camels, a lamb, a donkey, and of course the baby Jesus. It took more than an hour as Everly placed the figures in their proper places, then moved them all to other places, and moved them once again. The baby Jesus was in his Mary’s arms, then moved to the manger, then back to his mother’s arms, while an angel looked on from above.

    Then Carmela and Evie decorated the rest of the house, hanging sparkling decorations and ornaments from knobs and hooks all over the living room and kitchen. Later, after Evie had gone home with her mother and brother, her sweet, bossy, little girl presence remained behind along with her handiwork.

    And so, we count our blessings. We weren’t stranded in the snow in upstate New York or sleeping on the floor of an airport terminal halfway to somewhere with no way there or back. We weren’t stuck in a frozen place ravaged by war and hatred.

    We were safe in our home, we had a warm place to sleep, we had food to eat, and most of all, we had each other.

    – George Lee Cunningham

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