Monday, December 19, 2011

Enjoy Now

Photo: While the Cleveland's holiday trips weren't quite as adventurous as the Griswold's, we ran a close second...


Well, Gary and I are on the road as I write this. I left LuLu, and Hildegard, the sweatmaker, Belle, the ball and Rusty, the sidekick in their places at home. I hope they get all rested up, because after Christmas I fear I will need them more than ever. Peanut butter balls, sugar cookies, pecan pie, egg nog (lots of egg nog), and other holiday goodies will definitely take their toll on my waistline and thighs. But oh, how sweet the partaking will be.

We’re on our way to Memphis where my parents live. I don’t care how old you get, there’s nothing like going ‘home’ for the holidays. I guess I’ll always be my mama and daddy’s girl. And, yes, I know how fortunate I am at age sixty to still have my parents with me.

As we travel these roads that I know by heart, memories roll in front of my eyes of Christmases past on this same stretch of highway. Picture Gary and I and our three sons in a Nissan station wagon, the size of small raft. The little boys are in their seat belts in the back and trying their best not to touch each other. On their laps are assorted action figures from Darth Vader to GI Joe. All kinds of sound effects are drowning out the Christmas music their dad is trying to listen to on the tape deck. Yes, I said, ‘tape deck’. Remember those? As we travel down the road, we know it’s just a matter of time until chaos breaks out. After all, Darth Vader isn’t known for his peacekeeping skills. And, then it happens…. “He touched me!” He’s on my side of the car!” “He stole my guy!” “Cut it out!” Mooommm!”

Ah, yes, family holiday travel. I remember it well. There was not a nook or cranny in the car that did not have something stuffed into it… besides the three boys with wrapped presents under their feet and over their heads, there was always Otis, the poodle, trying to nap atop the rubble. Crumbs from some snack were everywhere, as were assorted kicked off shoes and smelly socks. Our holiday trips were sixteen hours long, but felt more like three/four days. But you know what? I wouldn’t have traded them for the world. It is one of those memories I keep safe and close as if it is spun gold and beyond any earthly value.

Today, our back seat is pretty orderly. Oh, there are still scattered Christmas presents and a sleeping dog-- this time he’s a white fluffy kind of dog named Murphy. He has the whole back seat to call his own. He knows not what a fortunate pampered pooch he is.

Cherish whatever you’re experiencing now. Whether it be a back seat full of little boys fussing, or a noisy cluttered house full of holiday sounds and aromas, or adult children going ‘home’ to love up on and honor their aging parents. It all goes by way too quickly. Enjoy now. Squeeze every drop of joy out of it… and give thanks for such a precious gift.

Merry Christmas, dear ones…


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