Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Jeremy Crow Christmas Countdown 2008: #5


Well I’ve procrastinated this long enough, but it’s been a bit rough around here for the last month. When I started the Christmas countdown revisited this month I thought the worst had passed and was looking forward to just doing my usual yearly Christmas kludge and was even looking forward to not spewing my usual Christmas misery. Let’s face it though, Christmas misery really is a specialty of mine and there was a part of me that was thinking God probably was a bit upset that I wasn’t going to rant about what I personally hate about Christmas. It actually went like this …

I took Thanksgiving week off from work, and it was going to be my first actual vacation for 2 years! I had invited my father to come up from Florida and we were going to spend some time together with the kids, and then I was going to pack the kids up and send them off to their “other” family for the holiday. It’s a lot easier that way because Thanksgiving is the BIG holiday in that family and the best opportunity for them to see absolutely everybody, as that family uses the Grange Hall for their feast and about 400 of them get together. Of course as usual the week leading up to it was fraught with MY family being pissy about it {since the other family does nothing at all for the kids they seem to think that the kids should be here for ALL holidays} and took it out on me. It’s the norm, because I have only gone through this every year for the last 6, but there were other issues blooming. Greektradgedius Inyiddish fell very ill the weekend before, and refused to see a doctor.

During my wonderful vacation I was trying to take care of her as she had been bed ridden for a week, and it got to the point where I wasn’t getting any sleep at all. My father was actually a real gem in all of this as he tried to help out, but I was rather embarrassed by it all. I mean it was his vacation, and he was put to work babysitting us all the whole time he was here. Of course the fact that I was exhausted and moody would have gotten under anyone’s skin, but he was a real trooper about it all. By Wednesday my aunt took my grandmother to the hospital, where she ended up staying until Sunday night, and the Thanksgiving dinner that we had here, went on without her. Throughout all of this I was becoming financially strapped having to pick up a lot of the household slack, but the mark of a good father is that they bare these crosses, and get over it when they can.

When I finally had my head on straight from all of that I started my Christmas countdown revisited and worked a lot of overtime so that I could catch up on bills and hopefully get enough socked away for Christmas itself. This was when the unthinkable happened. I say that it is the unthinkable, because in the 38 years that I have been alive the power had never gone out in this house for more than 2 hours. It’s the advantage of living with one of the state’s largest power transformers right behind your house, but the unthinkable happened and the power went out for 4 days. I thought I was poor before, but I was destitute just making it through all of that. All the supplies you have to buy are nothing compared to all the things {like a refrigerator full of food} that you have to replace after it’s all over. Even when it was over there were rolling grey outs for another few days, and we would lose power for about 3 or 4 hours at a time. At least during the grey outs it was 50 degrees out instead of 10 like it was during the entire blackout.

It was discouraging to say the least and even when it was over I didn’t much feel like writing. I didn’t feel like much of anything, because I finally started thinking that Jack from “The Shining” was a real saint because it took him months to decide to kill his family. Of course they had power and weren’t all in a 20 foot radius around the one fireplace in the house. Lazius Boycrazius of course is living large because McDonald’s never lost its power through the whole thing and most of the employees couldn’t make it in, so she was there for 12 plus hours a day making money hand over fist. I on the other hand couldn’t work because my plant didn’t have power, just like my house. It was really hard to look at the bright side of it all. Family was safe, we got through it all, power is back on and as I type this we just braved the worst snow storm I ever remember {they gave up on plowing and shut everything down} without so much as a flinch. Being poor makes me grouchy and all, but I did get an offer on a magazine length version of one of my novels that will make the start of next year look pretty damn good. Oh just to get there of course.

With that said I haven’t spent a single minute thinking up what I am going to do this year for the actual Christmas countdown, and I am starting this on a bit of a bummer, but who knows? Some of my best stuff has spilled out of me by accident and maybe we’ll get lucky this year? I did get a note from my Cyber Mom and Dad telling me that they got me a present again this year and it should have been here today. It isn’t because the post office closed down {and that should tell you something} but just the thought really pushed me hard to get something started for the Countdown, and this is it. The humor of it all should be in watching me try to get all my Christmas shopping done on a 20 dollar budget and a 5 day window, but at least I won’t be doing the Fed Ex thing this year. Far less ulcers ;8o)