Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Letters

I am busy addressing Christmas cards.  I put a wreath on my door and hung garlands of holly under my front windows, trying to get in a holiday mood, but it sure is tough when you are old.   Like everyone my age, I am always going to doctors, who invariably tell me, “You are amazing for a woman who is 84 years old with bad kidneys.” 

I carry on.  I’m stuck in dialysis every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  But I am getting a lot of reading done during the three and a half hours while my blood circulates through the machine. 

This year I re-wrote the story of the trip I made to Europe with David, when he was 13 years old.  My grandson, Doug Schumann, is helping me with the technical problems of getting it ready for publication.  We hope to get it out in the spring.

I can’t travel.  But I had some fabulous trips in the past.  For years I tried to be away at Christmas, although I seem to have brought record-breaking cold wherever I went.  It snowed in New Orleans!  Frost killed the orange trees in the garden of the monastery where I stayed for Christmas in Rome.  I even needed my heavy coat on the Costa Del Sol. 

Now it is a big deal when a grandson comes and drives me to Fort Worth to see the latest exhibit at the Kimball Museum.  My family comes to see me.  My daughter Martha, who lives in the Chicago area, had one week off between changing jobs and spent five days with me.  She now does corporate taxes for an  accounting firm in Chicago’s Loop and has a private office with a window!  She and David have big jobs and have a hard time getting away to come see me.  David brought his 14-year-old son Adam from California for Thanksgiving. 

Martha’s son Richard brings his cello to play for me when he comes for Christmas.  He’ll be here to take me to the airport to meet Karl, who is also coming for Christmas.  Karl lives in Arkansas.  This will be the first time I have seen him in ten years.

I see pictures of Paris and London on television and wish I could see the green hills of England and the churches of Venice again.  It depresses me even more to realize I will never again see New Mexico and Illinois – and especially my dear friends who live there.  Sally, my friend for 70 years (since high school) died July 4.  Emma, my college roommate, moved to Austin (but Martha promises to take me to see her in April).
I treasure all my friends.  That’s why it is important for me to hear from them during this holiday season.  I will write a few letters each day, hoping to get all the cards in the mail before Richard arrives on the 19th.   And hope the postman will bring me good news from each of them.

I hope you are well and healthy and finding joy in all the little things of daily life – and keeping warm through cold, bleak January.  Spring will come!