Christmas Letters, You either love them or hate them. I only get one long missive each Christmas. The letter writer is a friend from over twenty years ago and she and her sister were like family to me. I have mostly enjoyed her letters. My mother enjoyed the letters too although she only knew them through what I have said.
But one year it was too much. It wasn't really the letter's intent. It was more my longing for things I have missed in life.
The production workers in the Kentucky candle factory where so many died in the spate of tornadoes this past weekend made $8 an hour. I've been that worker. I remember making 70 cents an hour at the Tastee Freeze. I felt most fortunate to occasionally pull a second shift and raking in that cash. 70 cents times 8 hours extra. There was no overtime. I worked seven days a week. That job paid for my first year of college. I had the luxury of banking all of my money which I doubt many in the candle factory had. I wasn't exactly that worker in retrospect.
Living through a tornado, woo doggie, I can't even imagine. I live in the land of tornadoes. I remember walking my dogs, the weather was pleasant between rain storms, my cell phone rang. It was the owners of the property across the road from me. They were asking about a tornado. I said, there was no tornado. I came back into my house and turned on the news. About four miles from me as the crow flies, there had been horrific damage from a tornado. The bank I used was totally demolished. Only the vault remained on it's concrete base.
On another occasion, there was a teacher who was sheltering in her bath tub. The twister totally demolished her double wide home. It tossed her into the back yard. She sustained a broken ankle. It's obvious she did not return. It is now an empty lot in the country.
The funniest twister story was the inebriated man who was hurled from his home into his backyard unhurt and unfazed due to his drunken state. I don't imagine he found it that funny the next day. That is why I sleep in a bra. I'm prepared to come barreling out of my house come hell or high water.
My Christmas letter is very simple.
I am still here. Most of the people I love are still here.
I still have hopes and dreams.
The house is a mess.
My dog BoDuke has arthritis like me. It's hard to keep a dynamo down. But I am insisting he use his little stairs and no longer take a flying jump to give one of the cats or dogs what for. I remind myself to stand up straight
I've started a new flower bed.
Maybe, I will make it to Bouchercon in Minneapolis this September.
My field of Goldenrod are grayish white puffs of flowers. They are still beautiful in the sunlight.
Life is lot of luck no matter how well you plan.
I am still here.
I wish you the best this Christmas.
With love, Ann