Christmas played out like this

I hope Santa was good to my six regular readers. I forgot to ask him to extend their subscriptions to the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, but he probably did that anyway. I’m always grateful when he helps me with their subscriptions because I count on them to read the newspaper from cover to cover and be honest in their assessment. And they do tell me what they think!

I got a Christmas Day e-mail from one who said that she always enjoys my “Letter to Santa” column, but this year she thought the little boy who asked for duct tape wrote a far better letter than I. See what I mean? They cut right to the issue at hand and soon I know precisely how the cow ate the cabbage. I appreciate all six of them.

I have heard that quite a few people were sick on Christmas Day and during the weekend leading up to it. At our house the Youngest Daughter and the New Guy were miserable in an upper-respiratory way. They tried to put on their game faces and enjoy themselves, but eventually gave it up and headed home. I sent Kleenex and orange juice. Sometimes there is not much a mother can do except let nature take its course.

The young man in the Marion County Record office who saves my neck every week by putting together a decent paper for our community had stomach flu the day he was supposed to be with his family for their celebration. Now he is back at work and hasn’t yet had Christmas. Bummer! But thanks, Adam, for hanging in there and helping me out one more time!

I put together a good-sized group of old photographs of The Mister’s ancestors and mine in their younger years. I was going to have copies made to give to the Daughters as part of their Christmas gifts. Back in the old days when I did this, I just handed them off to my pal Janet Post who is quite a photography guru, and she handed them back a few days later, exactly as I wanted them.

Now I find that it is a do-it-yourself project and “all you have to do is go to Walmart.” My shopping excursions into that world of commerce never turn out the way I expect them to. However, several people said “oh, it is really easy to make prints on their machines” so I decided I would try it and off I went with photos in hand. Of course, I waited until Dec. 24 and I was one of about 30 people milling around half a dozen machines — all of us with shopping carts, getting in one another’s way, like a game of musical chairs with attitude. I finally snagged a machine, wedged my cart in next to me, and looked at the screen.

There wasn’t one icon or acronym on the screen that looked like anything I had ever seen before. Nothing resembled a photo, nothing said “Slide photo here,” followed by an arrow or a slot. I sat with my packet of pictures in my hands and looked again. I was in over my head. Two or three people circling behind me established a pattern of slowing down and clearing their throats as they passed behind my chair. Vultures! I sat there a bit longer, and then decided that maybe I should just go. And that is what I did. I let them battle it out for my chair and screen. Happy holidays!

On Christmas day I explained to the Daughters that I had good intentions. They understood. They even said “all we have to do is go to Walmart” during the dead calm of February and they will show me how to work that particular technology. So they will eventually get a great picture of my mom as a high school junior on the 1932 Jonesboro, Ark., girls’ basketball team as well as photos of their great-grandmother and her sisters as teenagers. And I will perhaps conquer another issue of the millennium. After all, I am kind of handy with my debit card these days. Who knows what other horizons I can master?

And that is pretty much what I gleaned during the 2012 Christmas holidays. Oh wait, I did find out one other thing. Apparently, there are — once again — some kind and generous Secret Santas at work in Peabody. I have it on good authority that several families and groups have benefited from local people with big hearts.

We all thank you, hope your New Year is the best, and appreciate the fact that you have chosen to live in our community!

— SUSAN MARSHALL

 

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