As I drove home tonight from last minute errands, to dive into my jammies and under a quilt, I remembered Christmas Eve 2000. Such a particular Christmas Eve when I drove to Iowa with two cats in the tow.
I'd put off the trip a couple days because of sciatic nerve issues, a cold--and well, the drive was 768 miles one way. I just wasn't feelin' that jolly.
*****The night before Dad called me. I burrowed under a pile of used tissues and pain like electric shocks up my leg every centimeter I moved. While Dad suggested maybe I shouldn't come. Since I didn't feel good, cold, weather, blah, blah, blah.
*****I told Dad: "It's Christmas!" And he just sighed: 'Well, you're gonna do what you wanna do anyway." As much discomfort I was in, I knew then I HAD to get up and go. I just HAD to.
*****On Dec 24th, I got a late start: 8 AM. When I did this all day drive, I usually tried to leave by 4 or 5 AM. I filled up the gas tank, paid for my treats and told the cashier I was headed to Iowa. The cashier looked at me like I lost my mind. I think my two cats looked at me that way too. The cashier wished me a Merry Christmas and to be careful.
*****About 9:30 PM, I pulled into Dad's drive way in Iowa and honked the horn. Thru the picture window, I saw Dad get up from his chair. I knew he watched that picture window, chewed on a King Edward cigar, waited all those hours for me. I'm sure that Christmas Eve was the one day Dad pulled himself away from his beloved westerns. I got out of the car and realized a wooden plank was more flexible than I was. The windchill factor had been on the negative side of zero for hours.
*****I grabbed my two cats--of course--and made it into the house. The rest of my stuff could be brought in later. Sure, it would be frozen, but oh well! After I grabbed the two scared cats in my bedroom so they could calm down, I fell into Dad's arms so I could calm down. I was back in the one place I always felt safe. Dad muttered I shouldn't have done all that driving in the cold. I told Dad I couldn't miss Christmas.
*****And 2000 was the last Christmas we spent together. So now 12 years later-no sniffles, body aches still, but that's more to do with age and got cats. No matter how much something changes, it all stays the same. And I smile.
*******I'll be home for Christmas--if only in my dreams.