Sunday, December 14, 2008


What you see in these three photos is the same thing you see in my face - aging! I had to laugh when I looked at these three trees all in a row. The top photo taken in 1975 was of our first Christmas tree after we were married. We still had children in school, although some of them were out on their own already. I was 40, and for the most part my face unlined, my calcium level high and my energy lively. The presents under the tree were waiting for "THE BIG DAY" when we gathered together and had the grand opening. I tried to make the day as good for our kids as my mom and dad made mine.

The second photo was taken several years ago. The tree has shrunk considerably, as did our living quarters. Even to use this tree in our living room, we had to muscle the occasional chair into my office, where it would stay amid the empty boxes of decorations until after Christmas. I still had the energy to decorate the house, do lots of baking, and although the kids now were all celebrating their own family Christmases in their own house, we still made cookies for the local fireman, went down to the local Christmas parade, and did a little socializing with our friends for the holiday season.

The last photo was taken this year. You can see the chair has NOT been moved. Jerry and I might have been able to drag or push it into the office again, but then we might have been forced to sit down and push it there with our feet, as our energy flags quite often now. The tree is miniscule, big enough for 35 tiny lights and maybe 15 tiny ornaments that came with the tree when we bought it decorated at Michaels Craft store. It is a poor excuse for a tree, but at least we haven't given up entirely on Christmas decorating. We did as much as our bodies would allow us to do; when we got tired, we said, 'That's enough" and the remaining decorations got shoved back under the bed.

This is what aging is like between 40 and 73. Oh, and my calcium level isn't so high anymore and I've certainly added some more laugh lines (as well as other unnamed lines) to my face. In fact, I can't she how it is possible that I got so old looking so fast.

I have always loved Christmas and I still love it, although I can't celebrate it like I used to. But Santa still knows where we hang our stockings and I'm sure he'll arrive again this year. I still have a healthy handsome man at my side, we still are in our right minds and still have a little money in the bank, which is more than a lot of people have this year.

Jerry and I are grateful for all our children and grandchildren. They are good to us -- and for us! We now sit at family gatherings like benevolent buddhas, smiling while the young, healthy ones cook and clean and chat and chase after the little ones. Our wants now are as small as our Christmas tree. A hot cup of coffee to start the day, electricity to keep the house warm and the tree lights on, and a tiny present or two in our stocking from Santa.

What more could old folks want?

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