A friend asked me a couple of days ago if I had my Christmas shopping done yet. I replied “I certainly have, now tomorrow I will shop for my wife” 🙂
But it’s that time of the year again. The time to rejoice and be happy. Ann and I do not plan on making any long Christmas trips. Actually, we never have that I can remember. We never go back to Michigan at Christmas. (Are you nuts?? There’s three feet of snow on the ground!!!) I guess the only time that I think we traveled near Christmas was back in 1961 when I was assigned to Goodfellow Air Force Base here in San Angelo. I had just returned from overseas in Turkey and after a few days at home in Michigan, I had to report here on December 22.
We arrived the previous day on the 21st to look for a place to live. We couldn’t find a place to our liking, so this realtor that had been showing us around, took us to this brand new three bedroom little “match-box” house. With some “creative financing” she (the realtor) got us into it for 100.00 down and the first payment of 58.00 wouldn’t be due until the following March of 1962. So that was a great Christmas present for ourselves.
But the story doesn’t end there. We had no furniture, just the empty brand new house. Our furniture was on a slow ship and wouldn’t arrive from Turkey until Februuary 1962. So we purhased a roll-a-way bed, a small kitchen table, a portable b-w television and an apartment sized refrigerator.
The contractors were putting finishing touches on the house as we were moving in. One of them was hooking up the air-conditioning system, and him and I got to talking about the fishing in the area. He left, then later that evening there was a knock on the door. This air-conditioning installer stood there with his wife and announced that they were taking us out for dinner. That was such a nice gesture, as we knew no other soul. We became great friends and they invited us to eat Christmas dinner with them three days later. Such is the friendliness of the people of west Texas.
Ann and I are childless. Not of our choosing, but that’s the way things happen. We have no relatives living near us, but that’s just fine with us, too. We are quite happy with just the two of us. What we do enjoy is giving to others when we can. I guess that comes from having no children to give to. Maybe we feel we are somehow paying back for all the good things that have happened to us.
We have had some happy Christmases. I remember that before I was shipped overseas, I was assigned to Ardmore AFB, Oklahome. We met a couple that loved to play Scrabble. We played with them several times a week. On Christmas Eve of 1958, they asked us over to….. drum roll, please….. yes, to play Scrabble. They had three children. We played Scrabble, had a few spirits, then after the kids went to bed, we spent all night assembling toys for under the tree. What fun that was, when exhausted as we were, to see the kids get out of bed and come to see and open all the presents. We then spent Christmas catching up on our sleep.
So anyway, we feel no need to make long trips on Christmas. We mostly stay home by ourselves. But occasionally someone wants to invite us to their house. This Christmas, Jodie Wolslager and her husband Jay, Ann’s former employer, have invited us over there for lunch. They are fine people and very generous.
So to all all of our relatives in Michigan, our numerous Texas friends, and our very dear friends up in Knoxville, Tennessee, Ann and I wish you all a very happy, merry Christmas and a very Happy New year.
Oh, yes, and happy birding!!