CHRISTMAS MORNING, 2009-WAITING FOR THE KIDS TO AWAKE!

    Seriously, there have been some years on Christmas morning when they don’t roll out of their rooms until well after 9:00am!  It is 7:30 right now as I sit here. I love Christmas morning because before the chaos starts, I sit and look at the beautiful tree and decorations and reflect on Christmas’ past. Like most families I’m sure, my family, the Oberts, and Karen’s family, the Roys, have great traditions for this holiday. I so enjoy the merging of traditions over the years. This has made a start for my kids, Katy and Michael, to carry forth these traditions as they age and add their own new families. Karen and I, however, are not in a hurry for the new family part yet! They still need to finish college and get started on their prospective careers before getting involved with the complications that come with personal relationships! I believe an adult’s parental obligations of total off-spring support continues until the kids are established in a career after completing college. Then it becomes all about love, moral support, and guidance. I shouldn’t go on like this about my kids but, Christmas is after all, for the kids!

    This is our family’s first Christmas without our mom. Ma, probably through osmosis from Pa, the “family king of Christmas”, loved this holiday season. Even as a widow on her own for the last 22 years of her life, she would jump in with both feet preparing and enjoying this season.  Starting a few years ago, I would head up to Alexandria on Thanksgiving weekend, sometimes with Karen and the kids and sometimes by myself, and help her with her Christmas trees and decorations. It was a lot of fun and she truly enjoyed her baby helping her! Two years ago, the mortality of my mom entered my thought processes. A simple event, but very important to me. As I was stringing the lights on her big living room tree, Ma got down on her hands and knees and crawled under the tree to connect the cords. No problem, right? Well, when she crawled back out from under the tree and tried to stand back up again, she had great difficulty. I chuckled as she was swearing about getting too old to even stand up from her position on the floor. She did get up, refusing a hand by me, but it hit me then. My Ma, the “Old Bat”, the rock of the family, the strong Norwegian gal was starting to take the road home to her parents, siblings, husband, and daughter. My brothers and sister and I always thought she was indestructible. After all, anyone that smoked heavily for 70 plus years and drank whiskey with the best of them for almost as long, never got sick! Truly amazing! Her last ten years were good and rewarding for her but, the sins of her vices did finally slow her down. She had quit smoking for good about 5 years before passing away but, still had a drink at cocktail hour almost up to the end. We brought her bottle of booze to the hospital and nursing home!

    Other wise, my family and extended family and Karen’s family and extended family are generally enjoying great health, that’s tough because at last count, I think Karen’s family has grown to be most of the population of Northwest Minnesota! A good Catholic bunch they are!

    Karen’s parent’s are still very active. Dad, Louis, still plays a lot of golf, and Mom, Pauline, still goes to work everyday for the same accounting firm, where she has been employed for over 50 years! Both of them make it to almost all the grand kids events, sports, music, drama, etc. I am blessed with the best in-laws anyone could ever ask for. They both come from huge families in Northwest Minnesota and have these terrific spellbinding stories of growing up. I love them so much.

    Well, it’s now almost 8:30 and not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse! That’s inside, outside, I just had to shoo a squirrel of the Cardinal platform feeder! The snow has really picked up in intensity in the last hour, yuck! Since it started Wednesday night, I’ve gotten about 12 inches on my official snow depth gauge, the deck railing outside my living room. The first round of this white s**t was about 8 inches. It must be Christmas because my neighbor’s son-in-law plowed my driveway out yesterday while Michael and I were out getting shorn for the holiday. I still spent over three hours with shovel and snow blower cleaning all the decks and patios! I really hate winter in Minnesota. I’d love to move to Miami but, Karen and the kids just ask me to send them post cards! LOL!

    I need to close now because that squirrel is getting persistent, so I need to deal with it! Thank you for taking the time to read these snippets about our family’s holiday, I really appreciate it. Please take time to reflect on what makes this season so important, your family and friends, your faith, and hanging on to the hope of PEACE ON EARTH, and the elimination of famine for the less fortunate.

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