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Here is a sample of my most recent blog at [Link Removed]

As we ready for our big trip back east for the holidays, I am feeling a bit off-kilter, perhaps a bit tilted.  It’s that adrenalin rush as you race through the mall, trying to be polite when someone takes your parking spot, waving a hello and a smile at the driver who flipped you off for no good reason and reminding yourself that you love everyone.  After all, it’s Christmas, people!

By December 19, I had two gifts purchased and decided that, after my daughter came home from work, I was going to hand over her son and take off like a woman on fire, running for the nearest puddle, i.e., the mall, to quench the insatiable Christmas fever/hysteria.  Two days later, I had 8 gifts purchased and my husband and I were doing push ups, readying ourselves for the triathlon that lay ahead, which included high bars, jumps and several emotional nose dives as we sped off to the mall to allegedly finish our Christmas shopping.

As it turned out, we finished in second place.  We came close, so close, to getting our shopping done, but the woman ahead of me in Penney’s took First, stating that she had already finished her shopping a month ago and was just getting underwear, for crying out  loud.  I mean, who in their right mind goes shopping for underwear during the insanity of holiday shopping?  Wear your husband’s for awhile if you have to.  And the woman behind me had just begun her shopping (Third Place, i.e., Loser.  Snort).  

Anyway, it was dinnertime, we were hungry and I have had a lingering virus since Thanksgiving that has been clinging to me like that nightmarish date I had almost 30 years ago when I finally peeled him off of me, called a cab, and, when he came running out of the club after me, I told the driver there was a $20 tip in it for him if he ran him over.  Apparently, the driver didn’t realize that I was only kidding.  I mean, who would have thought I was serious and even if I was, who would act? Luckily, no one was hurt and I never heard from the clinger again.    

Getting back to the present, as I said, I was hungry.  Making dinner was the last thing on my mind.  In fact, as we strode through the parking lot in search of our car, I was about ready to throw myself in front of one of those maniacs vying for a parking spot when Druck suggested we eat out.  

“What did you say?” I asked, snapping to.  “I said, let’s eat out.”  “Thank you, Jesus,” I sighed.  “My name’s not Jesus.”  “Well, thank you anyway.”

We drove down the road a ways and I spotted a place.  “Let’s go there,” I said, motioning to what looked like a cute little diner, but, as we got closer and I sat back, eyes closed, Druck drove right past it.  “What’d you do that for?” I glared at him, my stomach rumbling, my body aching and my voice all but gone.  Druck exhaled patiently and said, “There are two ambulances in the parking lot.  One on either side of the building.  We‘re not eating there.”  “We‘re NEVER eating there,” I said emphatically, as I leaned back again and watched for the next eatery.  

We finally decided on a Coney Island, something that is popular in the midwest. Coneys are small diners, usually with standard menus at each.  They have a variety of Greek food such as gyros, Greek salads, tabouli and various other Mediterranean dishes.  In addition, they always have chili dogs, hamburgers and fries.  And they are very affordable.

We went in and took our seat and a waitress resembling the bimbo played by Cher on the Sonny and Cher show (do you remember her - the dangling earrings with the little ball on the ends, wild glasses and the gum chewing?) approached our table.  “Can I get you something to drink?”  she asked through thick lenses.  I ordered a hot tea and, as Druck opened his mouth to request a Diet Pepsi, she scampered off.  “Did you want something to drink, dear?” I asked, smiling.  “I guess not,” he said sheepishly.  She returned and stood at our table long enough for him to order his Pepsi and scampered off again.  We ordered our dinners quickly as she stood, one leg severely extended to the side in an almost dramatic display of her impending departure.  Our food arrived quickly, as did the check, and we each enjoyed a Greek salad, conversation, laughter, and then headed for home to assess the financial damage and to count gifts.  We still have this policy of matching, gift for gift, what we give our children.  As for Liam, well, he’s gonna make out like a bandit tomorrow morning.

Like all Christmases, this Christmas is a time I spend reflecting on the year.  A time I choose to think about all of the positive things in our lives rather than the sometimes almost insurmountable challenges.   I am grateful for my beliefs and for embracing the reason for Christmas that so many people forget about.  I thank God for His blessings and for the people He has brought into my life. This year has been one of the greatest years of all, welcoming little Liam into our lives - a child who has changed so many lives for the better.  His smile is more brilliant than the morning sun and his laughter is contagious.  I am astounded by the people who have come alongside of us and who have offered assistance for Liam. Babysitters, friends, single moms, prayer partners, women and men alike, rallying around a small child named Liam who came from Alaska with his mother on a moment’s notice, and who has touched so many lives in such a short period of time.  

To quote the words of a very wise man, “God Bless Us, Everyone!”

Copyright 2008 liamsgrandma

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