The Hudson House has had a hard time getting in a Holiday spirit this year. Well, the Hudson Momma has anyway. For several reasons I suppose. For starters, I watched Charlie Brown's Christmas and decided he was exactly right. Everything is so commercial these days. But aside from being so deep intellectually, with Charles M. Shultz as my guide, there have been other reasons. The Hudson Storm ranks #1. For those of you who don't know, a Hudson Storm is composed of three main parts: Jack = Thunder, Ty = Lightning and Hank = Hail (either spelling of the word will do). These boys can wreck a house like a tornado. All I need after a rainy day with these three indoors is a tv camera and a reporter questioning me while I answer in a super southern drawl, "Well, yawl, it sounded like a train was a comin'. Then, next thinged that happened was that well, it done got trashed! Our whole mobile home is GONE, except thank goodness my Dale collection stayed safe." The interview is only completed by my daily uniform... old sweats, one of Bert's tattered t-shirts and greasy hair that hasn't been washed for several days, thrown up into a pony tail.
Leaving my mid-winter's afternoon day dream.... back to reality...
The very first night after decorating our Christmas tree, it was attacked by our Storm. We have the old fashioned kind of lights on our tree, the ones that have the large bulbs that could also fit into a night light, and I thought to myself, I wonder if this type will be okay. Surely. While I am decorating in another room, I hear Jack yelp, Bert laugh, Lucy try to and provide comfort, then Bert scold, "I bet you won't do that again, will you?" Jack had unscrewed one of the bulbs and stuck his finger in the open socket. The very next morning, Ty was attempting to electrocute himself as well. So, I say, "Ty, remember what happened to Jack? Don't mess with those bulbs!" Ty turns to Jack and says, "What happened? How did you get hurt?" Jack says, "Like this..." then repeats his most unfortunate act once again. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What is wrong with boys? Seriously, for those of you in the medical field, I want to know. What is wrong with their brains?
We only decorated our tree with about 1/3 of the decorations we usually use. And, they were the "sturdy" third. We are now down to about three all together. The collection of broken ones on the kitchen counter is larger than the collection of ones on the tree. There was the deer dressed in camo holding a riffle (the gun is now missing)... The headless angel... The Peanuts characters that no longer sing nor dance.... oh, me... And like I said these were the "sturdy" chosen few.
All other decorations have been pulled down, fought over, re-arranged, etc. Fun stuff, let me tell you.
This weekend, when I was supposed to be finishing up my Christmas shopping, Bert was admitted to the hospital. We went to the ER because he lost vision, his heart was racing, he lost all color in his face, had tingling only on his left side, and was short of breath. I'm thinking, he's having a heart attack or stroke or something, so I called our best friend, and pediatrician, and described all his symptoms. (After he was checked out by our local paramedics.) She instructed me to go straight to the ER: do not pass go, do not collect $200. Lisa (my used-to-be best friend and still pediatrician) then rushed to my house to watch the kids, along with her own three kids, while Bert and I went on to the hospital. After six + hours in the ER (A whole nother post in itself, BTW) the doctor decided to admit Bert so he could be monitored over night, and so they could run 84,000 more tests. Here's where Lisa became my "used-to-be best friend," really I should say, it's when I became hers. Lisa kept all my kids over night, fed them, bathed them, got up with them during the night, all while taking care of her own. I have to give a huge shout out to her husband, Chris, who also helped in this process. I cannot imagine what I would have done with out their help. They are true best friends.
Back to Bert, because if he's reading this he's thinking, "I'm the one who was stuck in the hospital..." Men. So anyway, a million needle pokes later, we learned that Bert had an "episode" that's not life threatening and may never happen again. Whew, I hope not. I'm not a big fan of drama... well, at least not the kind of drama I'm not producing myself.
Can you see why I'm not exactly feeling the whole Christmas thing this year?
The following picture is from the day we went to see Santa. It was my bright idea to go right after church, while the kids were dressed up, and see the big jolly guy before we ate lunch. Bert and I argued, "The line's going to be way too long, plus the kids are hungry." "You mean YOU'RE hungry! Just hush and drive to the mall!" Well, Bert was right. Uggh. The line was at least 10 families deep. The Mom at the front was acting as if this was Olan Mills Glamour Studio and kept having the college aged "elf" re-take lil' Anna Nicole and John Parker's picture over and over again. Her kids were like 8 & 11 years old. They didn't even believe in Santa and the shot's not even that cute at their ages. Gag. So, after prepping the kids to meet Santa for 45 minutes (mainly to kill time) it was finally our turn. Lucy runs right up to him and plops down on his lap. She immediately begins her mile long list of all things Barbie. As we try to pose Hank, Ty & Jack, I turn to find Jack crying and telling Bert over and over in a whisper, which was growing to a full-blown squeal, "I don't wanna sit up there! I don't wanna see him!" I kept waiting for him to yell, "You're not the real Santa... You're sitting on a throne of LIES." (From the movie Elf.) You can see what happened next.... He did end up in the picture, but refused to smile. Ty suddenly found something interesting in his pocket, no telling what, and Hank just stared back at the camera. I swear I think Lucy hears voices in her head each time a camera flashes saying, "The camera loves YOU!" The child loves to have her picture made. But wait, everyone is looking at the camera except.... SANTA!!! WHAT??? And get this, not one single, "HO-HO-HO!" Not even a, "What can I get you for Christmas" or "Have you been good this year?" Okay, so he didn't have to ask Jack because he had already answered that question with his behavior. But the guy was a total scam. Maybe he was just having an off day. Perhaps Mrs. Claus had just called and informed him that she was leaving him for his head elf, Ernie, and they wear heading for the South Pole. Who knows, the point is, for $16 I need more than a 5X7 and a bad memory.
So now, with two days until Christmas, and very little shopping "in the bag" (pun intended) I am not exactly out to spread Christmas cheer.
I do need to remind myself of what Christmas is really about... JESUS. "For unto you, a Child is born..." Thank-you GOD, for that most wonderful and perfect gift that can never be out done.
The Hudson Storm has now invaded our office, so the ramblings of Scrooge must end.
Merry Christmas to All... and to ALL a Goodnight!