Monday, May 21, 2007

There's No Place Like Heaven for the Holidays!

Well hello again, or, as the locals say, "well hey there y'all!" Jerry, Jenda, and I have all got a cold. North Carolina has the craziest weather. I have never lived anyplace where you can experience spring, summer, fall, and winter in the same day! The state motto is "Esse Quam Vederi" (To Be Rather Than to Seem) but it is actually Latin for "Don't Like the Weather? Give it an Hour!" My own personal motto is now "Stupidus Relocatus from Floridus!"

So here we are, just having celebrated Christmas. Holidays here are so different from South Florida. Take Halloween, for instance. In my old neighborhood, all of the kids got dressed up, or should I say down since it was still 95 degrees with 80% humidity. All of the neighbors participated (some of the freaky ones dressed up, too!) and handed out tons of candy. For really cute toddler types like Jenda, all she had to do was smile and say "Trip oo tree" and she just racked up! After canvasing the neighborhood, we would take Jenda home and explain earnestly that some unscrupulous people wanted to hurt little kids and would actually stick bad things in the candy, like solicitations for home security systems and low cost no obligation term life insurance questionnaires, so that was why Mommy and Daddy had to eat all of the best tasting but most potentially dangerous candy! She was 18 months old and docile, so we had it made.

Fast forward to NC and things have changed. We were getting ready to close on the house this year at Halloween, so Jerry wanted to come trick or treating in the neighborhood where the house is, and I wanted to go to the Town of Kernersville Festival, where they close off all the streets and let the kids trick or treat downtown. Jerry and I went back and forth over this.

"I think we should get her used to the neighborhood, let her see the lay of the land!"

She's two for God's sake. It's Halloween, not a reconnaissance mission. And we have a thirty year mortgage. We're not going anywhere anytime soon. Let's go to the little rah-rah downtown.

"Well, we can try to fit in both." Then, looking in the local Kernersville paper, "The Tuesday News", so called because they put it out once a week....really! There's NO news here. "Here is something...a 'safe and fun-filled family alternative to Halloween'..."

Okay, I'll bite.

"One of the churches (60 in the 15 square miles that make up Kernersville, no shit!) is sponsoring 'A Trip Through Tribulation and Rapture...a safe and family oriented alternative to Halloween'..."

Blank stare, because even for someone like me, that's a pretty sick joke and I can't wait for the punchline. (Folks, it's May, I'm still waiting.)

Are you %@^#!*& kidding me? You're a horrible person and God left your sorry ass behind is supposed to be fun and not scary? That right there is enough to guarantee that all of these little small town kiddies wind up on drugs, or in therapy, or taking drugs with the therapist! That's effing sick!!!

"I just brought it up as a suggestion."

Let me make a suggestion. I suggest that you put that thought right out of your head, because if you take Jenda anywhere NEAR that $#!^, lemme tell you how fast YOU are going to see Jesus, 'kay?

So we went trick or treating in the neighborhood....Jenda marched bravely to each NC, they reach into their candy baskets and give little trick or treaters EXACTLY ONE PIECE of candy.....

Says Jenda.."I want more candy", to which the natives reply, "ain't she cute, bless her heart!" and then don't hand out anymore candy.....

So we go downtown. Local businesses are handing out goodies. Several of the local churches are manning booths downtown.

"IF YOU DIE TONIGHT, WILL YOU GO TO HEAVEN?" I must just look like pure hell, because several of them latch on to me to try to convert me. They are either too stupid to realize that I am beyond saving, or they are just gluttons for punishment.

Yes, I say, I will certainly go to Heaven. Right after I celebrate the equinox and sacrifice small animals on the altar of equal rights for all and the hope of women and blacks in the White House.

That pretty much stopped them cold. Jerry of course spent the evening keeping Jenda a safe distance away in case the thunderbolt ricocheted off of me and hit her by mistake.

Then, fast forward to Christmas. A happy, magical time. I counted down the days of the season not with an Advent calendar but by counting the daily visits from the other religious types determined to save my soul. (I SWEAR!!! They are like cats and old people.....they will NOT give up!) Since we were still getting settled, we really did not go all out with decorations....we had stockings, a fake tree that has seen better days....(back in the 90's), and plastic unbreakable ornaments that Jenda plucked off the tree and left for us in surprising places....(like the downstairs toilet.) Anyway, we didn't need to go crazy with lights. Jenda talked us into getting a plastic yard Santa, but that was it. Besides, we had the house down the street. Lemme tellya....

This is a relatively small two-story house where on any given day, there are three to four pickup trucks and two cars crammed in the driveway. I do know that the Manson Family is locked up, the Jonestown people are really no longer an issue, so I just can't IMAGINE who the hell all is living there, but I identify two of them as Cletus and Pootus. I have wonderful Christmas memories of sitting out on my front porch with a glass of Merlot (red, not white, in honor of the season!) watching these two yahoos get lickkered up to hang Christmas lights. Aah, yes...the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. The sight of Cletus falling from the second story when trying to loop lights from the house to the little dogwood tree ten feet from the house. The sound of him falling THUD! to the ground..."Hey...I'm all right (pronounced ah-ite!)....get me another beer, Pootus!" and the smell of burning hair and blown transformers as their winter wonderland went horribly wrong!

When they finally finished, it would seem that they achieved their goal of having their house be visible from outer space. Our house was the black hole....I can hear the folks on MIR...
("Crackle, buzz...look down to your left at Chez Pootus, a veritable winter your right...whatthe...well, I guess that's a fabled 'Black Hole'...")

The good news was that the Cletus/Pootus display saved me a huge electric bill, because I could literally keep my lights off and read and crochet by the light pouring in my windows from their house. I just sipped my Merlot and used their power.

Tell me I don't know how to celebrate the holidays!

Bless your hearts and love to you all!!

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