Time....

..... once upon a time, I absolutely loved Christmas.... in fact, the days that ran between Halloween & January 2nd were always my most favorite of the entire year....

.... Halloween, parties, candy, and costumes... knowing that Thanksgiving was lurking just around the corner with turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie.... and then the school holiday - two weeks off for Christmas and New Year..... deer season opening, morning hunts, sniping squirrels with the .22 magnum, Grandpa helping me cook and clean them, Dad congratulating me as he ate them......... and then Christmas with its decorations, presents, feasts, and surprises....

.... I was a child back then.....

.... and then I left home at 17 and went off to join the Corps.... that was in May of 1990..... but by the time Christmas rolled around I had enough leave built up that I managed to bum a ride from NTTC Corry Station in Pensacola up to Tennessee to be with The Family... I mentioned my driver on that trip here once, long ago, if you are the inquisitive type and wish to delve....

.... every year from 1991 to 1999 found me absent from Christmas in Tennessee... I was overseas during all of that time and always managed to visit the folks when the weather was warmer..... thus missing The Holidays....

.... in late 2000 I quit my job in Scotland and moved back to Tennessee to help my Mother take care of my dying Father... I remember making a mental note of the fact that it was the first Christmas that I had been with my Mom and Dad in what seemed like forever..... my Dad's family even attempted to keep all of their bickering at bay for a few hours and have a Generational Family Christmas with each other....

.... in truth, it really was quite a monumental effort..... every single one of my Grandpa's children, their children, and their children all together under the same roof at Christmas..... it worked, mostly..... looking back now, it is a miracle that no one got killed...... but they all knew that it was my first Christmas home in a long time.... and likely the last Christmas for my Dad..... so they behaved themselves and tried to get along "for him"..... lots of photographs were taken of The Event.... and it hasn't happened again.... .

.... he died the following May, and Christmas has not been the same since....

.... This year has been watched by my Mother, Brother, and I like a shark circling a whale carcass..... you just KNOW that something is going to take a bite out of you, you just don't know exactly when....... good god, just waiting and waiting for Christmas to arrive...... the sense of foreboding is so damn thick that you'd need an industrial Saw's-All to release even one tiny shred of the pressure - but yet, here it is....... Christmas is here....

.... The Missus put the tree up two days ago out of sheer boredom..... I sat on the couch and watched that poseur "Bear Grylls" do shit in the Cairngorms that I have done myself a hundred times and had a GREAT time doing so... "Man vs.. Wild" is such bullshit..... but I digress...... anyone wanting to see what survival is really about, just be quiet and watch Les Stroud......

.... anyway, I spent the better part of today beginning my Christmas shopping in Knoxville in the rain, gloom, grey, and traffic...... yes, I know that it is the 20th of December, but I can't help it....... next year we'll probably be shopping on the 21st..... it is what it is.... and as it is slated right now?.... my Christmas cards will begin flowing forth from The Compound around (or very near) Christmas Eve......

.... all in all, I'm just not in the mood...... not in the mood, at all.......

.... as a matter of fact, there was a family pow-wow after Thanksgiving where everyone agreed to limit their expenditures for Christmas to (and hopefully less than) 150 bucks per person...... hey, I'm hip...... and I am downtown with that....... but fast forward a month, and my Mother asks for a used computer that someone is selling - price? 150 bucks..... I agreed and paid.... and she said, "nothing else"..... so, that is exactly what she is getting....

.... as for me?...... I have no idea what I am getting, but all I want for Christmas is Time...... time with those that I love...... there is NEVER enough time.... and time is the most precious gift that you can give....... Time..... I want it..... I need it....... and I searched every damn place in The Mall today and never found it in stock.....

..... The Missus is getting socks and underwear....... that might seem odd, but it isn't..... hey, she needs them....... like the Rolling Stones said back in the day, right?..... "You get what you need!"........ besides, we all buy what we need or WANT throughout the year, so what is Christmas without the gifts?.... especially since The Family is not the same?.......

..... Mom has her computer..... and my Brother is getting a lump of coal and a bottle of bourbon On Principle....... his girlfriend will get a sweater.... and her children will each get a twenty-dollar toy from Wal-Mart that either buzzes, bounces, spins, sings, or has lots of flashing lights.....

.... in short?.... Bah!..... HUMBUG!....... I want to be a child again....... and I want more fucking time......

by Eric on December 20, 2008 | Bullshit (11) | TrackBack (0) | Thinking
Bullshit So Far

"Time" must be one of those home-made gifts. It is certainly not buy-able.

Bullshitted by Lou on December 20, 2008 08:58 PM

I relate to this post on so many levels its scary. I am debating my 'fuck the Suffragettes' post that could be the sister to this post. I was just wondering how many people I would offend. I think I'll post it anyway.

Bullshitted by Bou on December 20, 2008 09:23 PM

I left my folks in 1960 for the USAF and didn't get back for the holidays again until 1977 and then only a three times before my parents died. Yeah, I would like to go back but it is not to be.

The Holidays are time for family..and now days it is just sweetthing and I but I reckon each other is all the family we need.

Bullshitted by GUYK on December 20, 2008 09:43 PM

It's odd to say that a Bah Humbug post was beautiful, but this was. I think it has all just been so overblown. The time spent making it all perfect should be spent making memories.

Bullshitted by Sissy on December 20, 2008 11:22 PM

time, time
said old king tut
is something i aint
got anything but

- archy

Brilliant post, Eric.

Time is the one thing that we all want...and we all eventually run out of...and when it's gone, there's no getting any more, no matter how much money you have. Which is why the time we spend with those we love is so precious.

Bullshitted by Elisson on December 21, 2008 01:47 AM

This touches and reminds me on so many levels.
Christmas of '74 was the first one at home since '69.........missed the others because of a little side trip to SEA and Germany. It was a bitter sweet Christmas since Mom and Dad had divorced that year. My last picture of him has him holding his grand daughter while my wife stands beside him, pregnant with the grandson he'd never see, as he died less than 2 months later, while I was stationed on the other side of the country.
We can wish for all the time in the world, but should instead enjoy every minute of the days we do have, as they'll never return to us except in memory.

Bullshitted by kdzu on December 21, 2008 09:06 AM

... and I want more fucking time......

Amen, Eric. Amen...

Bullshitted by Richmond on December 21, 2008 10:53 AM

*sigh*
Perhaps I'll see if I can find a cheap airline ticket from here to Ohio.

Bullshitted by Jean on December 21, 2008 11:08 AM

Buy that ticket, make that trip, make that time.

A lovely post, Eric.

Bullshitted by Joan of Argghh! on December 21, 2008 01:15 PM

I wish I knew what to say. But I'm definitely there with you, brother. Who knew when we were kids that all these peeps, who seemed to be permanent fixtures in our lives, someday wouldn't be there? It's a notion I fully wish I could reject but...what choice do I, we, have? I love you, though...I hope, for the sake of the here and now, it helps a teensy bit. :-)

Bullshitted by Erica on December 21, 2008 07:01 PM

What Erica said. As you know, I am there with ya. Searching for time, looking for it under every cover. Often also searching for a time machine, one I can turn back and right some wrongs and problems. I lost the Christmas spirit somewhere along the way. I do, however, wish you a very Merry Christmas. And send my hugs along to help ;)

Bullshitted by oddybobo on December 21, 2008 08:55 PM