Do you ever suddenly get reminded of something you haven't thought about in years? And marvel at the fact that some little memory nugget has been tucked away in your brain, nestled in amongst the useless baseball statistics, obscure historical tidbits and the neverending lists of minutiae that inhabit the wrinkles of your brain, has somehow managed to furrow its way back to the forefront of your thoughts?
Damnly hell! I seem to love the sound of my own voice.
Anyway, I was at work, and I saw a guy named Zack. Now, I've known Zack for more than 20 years. Which may not seem like much to some of my readers, but is way more than half of my 28 years.
I saw Zack today, and we started talking about being ready for Christmas. And I said something to Zack about how there just aren't enough hours in the day....
And I thought of it. That little memory snippet that I haven't thought of in years. Several years.
Zack's mother, Lela, used to (and still does) volunteer with the youth group at the church I grew up with. She'd do a little bit of everything. Lead children's choir. Take the Youth on trips. She usually ended up driving anytime the Youth went Christmas carolling.
This on top of teaching for a living, and raising three kids each of whom had various and different interests...you always could say of Zack and his brother and sister--they were party to just about everything that could have ever gone on in my small town. One or more of them usually had their thumb in something, be it soccer or baseball or 4-H or church groups or community choir or any number of the little things kids do to be involved.
And that's not to characterize them as busy-bodies at all. They weren't doing these things because they had
to do any of them (except maybe the church stuff). Zack's parents were big believers that if a kid wanted to participate in something, you let him participate.
Anyway, Zack's mom was leading us on some Youth group outing. That same day, she'd worked, Christmas shopped, taken one of the kids to basketball practice and done all the other little chores that you have to do to get by in this workaday world of ours.
This, specifically, is the memory that got dredged up when I saw Zack:
We were scheduled to leave the church to sing Christmas Carols at seven, and Lela hadn't shown up. We waited five or ten minutes, and the minister had decided to get us in the van and take us himself, because a lot of those we were singing to that night were the church's elderly and shut-ins, who often went to bed very early in the evening.
As we were getting ready to leave, Lela pulls into the parking lot.
I remember her getting out, coming to the window of the church van and saying "Sorry. There just aren't enough hours in the day this time of year."
Not enough hours in the day?!?!??!!!?!
Now, I don't know how old I am in this memory. Probably 11, but maybe as young as 10 or as old as 12. Either way, I was young enough at the time that for the younger me, Christmas just couldn't get here fast enough. So, her statement was in diametric opposition to everything I held near and dear to my heart. I think at that point, I'd probably had the countdown down to the minute, just how far away we were from 7 AM Christmas morning...that being the earliest we could get up to see what Santa had brought....
That was the memory that popped up. Just a little snippet of conversation, a little turn of events.
I haven't thought about that little thing in a while. It's funny the little things I have in that memory. I was sitting in the seat directly behind the driver's seat in the church van, sitting on the bench with Chris and Larissa. I remember that I was wearing a maroon wool coat (which I hated at the time, but I remember that it was probably the warmest yet least cumbersome I've ever worn). That night, we stopped at Zack's grandmother's house while carolling, and she fed us gingerbread cookies.
Anyway. I saw Zack the other night, and we were talking, saying a lot the same thing that his mother'd said that night, sixteen or seventeen years ago.
I don't know where that point is, where you cross the line from where Christmas can't get here fast enough, to the point where Christmas will be here way too quickly....
But I think that's part of the place where you gotta admit to yourself "Shit! I'm a little bit of a grownup now..."
A little too much, maybe.
I dunno. This Christmas has shot up on me. The whole season started well enough...I got the bulk of my shopping done early, and I was intent on just relaxing when I wasn't working.
But I ended up running. Always going. Which goes against my nature, and leaves me out of sorts, to be honest.
My point, in all this mawdlin' crap I've been writing this morning, is that Christmas is a couple of days away.
I'm going to do my damnedest to sit back and enjoy the next couple of days.
I advise you guys to do the same.
I may blog a little, since I'm off the rest of today, and part of tomorrow.
But I may not. May just sit back and watch a Christmas movie or two. Haven't sat to watch March of the Wooden Soldiers, yet. Haven't really devoted a good bit of time to Christmas Vacation or Elf, yet. May do that today.
Anyway. Go out and enjoy the day.
And if I don't see you, have a Merry Christmas.....