’Tis the 23rd day before Christmas and all through the Oxford Exchange ...

***

It’s also the 10th day after Black Friday and I’m feeling pretty good. Insofar as I know, the blonde has not made the 10-minute drive from Saks to the Oxford Exchange...

Or so I thought.

Some guys came by to put together the Christmas tree at Smith Manor. There was also a seat in the sun room that needed returning to the blonde’s truck (OK, minivan, but the government says it’s a truck) and she asked...

“Guys, if you’d be so kind...”

And to me:

“Sweetheart, if you’d be so kind, I have a few packages in the van that needs taking out for the seat to go back in.”

No alarm bells sounded, but they should have.

Lifting the tail door I’m looking at enough packages that would require a second trip from the North Pole by Santa Claus just to get past Circleville, Ohio.

I stood in wonderment ... and my mind flashed back three, maybe four years, when I ran into two ladies at McDonald’s in Lenlock.

It was 7 a.m. on “Black Friday” and their minivan had packages to the roof. My first thought was about how much money their husbands no longer had, the second was about they’d “got out there” and did their thing early.

I congratulated them on the completion of mission accomplished ... and got:

“Oh, we’re not through yet. We’re going home to unload. We’re coming back.”

You can’t make up things like that and when I got to my old white man’s car (’03 Taurus), I said a prayer for two men I didn’t know and would never meet.

Wednesday, the 10th day after Black Friday, I made 67 trips from the blonde’s minivan, got a cup of coffee (black) and went out to my barn and threw a pity party for a man I know well ... me. I also had a few evil thoughts about the Eastern Bypass, which is like a 10-mile drive from our driveway to T.J. Maxx.

Wednesday, the 10th night after Black Friday, I’m still on coffee (black), but the glowing lights in the corner of the living room have loosened my banjo strings just a wee bit.

The tree’s not yet decorated, but the blonde is in peaceful slumber down the hall and she has a daughter-in-law by the name of Susie who will be by this week to help put a Christmas gown on the Smith Christmas Tree. One nice thing there is I’m blessed with a daughter-in-law who loves her mother-in-law. The love is mutual and I’m very thankful for that.

And while I sit and enjoy I also wallow in memories of past Christmas trees.

This is our third one and a line from a poem by Joyce Kilmer keeps running through my mind ...

“Poems are made by fools like me,

“but only God can make a tree.”

Which is when a line from old buddy Clyde Bolton jumps in ...

“Just think what God could have done if he’d had any money.”

I’m not sure just what that has to do with what, but it takes up space and with a deadline coming down the mountain, well ...

Whatever, I’m feeling like peace on earth, good will to all ... or something like that ... until I remember all those packages I’d hauled in from the blonde’s truck.

Then I recalled that on the way down the hall to peaceful slumber, she had said:

“Oh, those are just empty boxes. I’m not going to wrap this year.”

It is there, right there, I get hit with a left hook (she really is a lefty). “Stuff” has yet to be bought to fill those boxes ...

(To be continued.)

----

George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: gsmith731@gmail.com.

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