Friday, December 25, 2015

Listening for Sleigh Bells

Definitely not Christmas Eve redux.

It's been decades, but I spent today at my parents' house with Christmas music playing in the background. To get there, I drove through squalls, the rumble of thunder, fog clouds and occasional weak sunshine. Try as the sun might, it didn't have a chance today.

Unlike every year since 1993, I did not go see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Byrd Theater. I'm assuming George Bailey still wants to live and Clarence got his wings.

I did, however, get to pull on my flowered rubber boots and slog through the muck and epic puddles of my parents' back 40 to reach the dock and plant myself on the Adirondack bench to enjoy the tropical air rolling off the Rappahannock River. In a short-sleeved dress. On Christmas Eve.

It was so wonderful siting down there in this weather that I went back an hour or so later for a repeat visit once it stopped raining again. My mother thought I was crazy for wading through the marsh once, much less twice, but, unlike me, she doesn't see the beauty in this crazy weather.

When I get home from the Christmas Eve festivities, I close the blinds but leave the windows open before heading out for a walk, much needed after missing my usual constitutional today.

There weren't a lot of people out and about at 11:00 on Christmas Eve, but there were a few. Two guys on a porch wished me merry Christmas. A guy on his cell phone argued with someone, while another guy was taking a leak next to the mini-mart. A woman sat on her porch in a tank top, taking in the night air.

Walking past a house with a good-sized yard, I was amazed to hear crickets chirping. I stopped to make sure my ears weren't playing tricks on me. Earlier today, my Mom had shown me an ant in her kitchen, marveling at a December ant. Apparently the entire wild kingdom thinks it's Spring or something.

Of course it's not, it's Christmas Eve, however you choose to celebrate it.

Just now a guy rides down the empty streets of Jackson Ward on his bike, meandering side to side, and I hear him coming from a block away singing in a fine voice, "You don't love me anymore. That's news to meeeee..."

I get to sleep with the windows open on Christmas Eve. That's news to me.

You see, I really do have a wonderful life.

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