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December Remembered

Adventurer B
December--the month that was. It's a love/hate month.  I love the warm feelings, the food, the connecting with friends and relatives, the religous significance. However, there's also the sense of frustration in wanting each gift to convey the love we feel; the expectations of wanting to create a "Martha Stewart experience" for our loved ones; and balancing work with play. Since I blogged about bidding for December, I will give you a brief synopsis.  My last trip in November, I sat on the jumpseat for three days with a Crew Member recovering from the flu.  She passed it on to me, and I in turn passed it to my friend and my sister!  This must be the way you get rid of it!  This necessitated a sick call - hated having to do it.  The highs--a two-day reunion party with Flight Attendant friends from the other bases at Brenda's.  She's the best party giver.  Babysitting my six- and eight-year-old grandchildren.  (This will be repeated in the "Lows".)  While standing in their school waiting to pick them up, I looked at the bright young faces and remembered my own children many years earlier.  My eyes teared.  I attended a party at the Belo Mansion given by a law firm that has to be the party to end all parties.  In additon to the standard great food, live music, and dance floor, they took pictures for key chains, purse mirrors,and gave souvenir pictures and custom spray painted bags. Artists drew sketches, and the hosts passed out tokens for Las Vegas type gaming and distributed cowboy hats, eye glasses, and bracelets with blinking lights!  No way to top THIS party.  My family Christmas was fragmented since each family wanted to celebrate in their own homes for their children.  I enjoyed being the guest instead of the host.  I flew two trips and enjoyed the  baking of every recipe I've ever enjoyed at Christmas.  I still have six packages of cream cheese, a huge bag of chocolate chips, and the good spirits of our Customers.  Friends--both widowed--married on the 23rd.  Their happiness added to The Season.  The lows always begin with the Christmas tree!  The tree is too big for me to handle by myself, and I have gone overboard on the number of ornaments I've collected.  There's a real temptation to merely hang a wreath on the front door so the neighbors won't know The Grinch lives here.  I made Tonia's Tia Maria cake from the Southwest Cookbook.  Somehow, I became confused and thought I was supposed to leave the cake in the pan to cool.  When I tried to remove the cake from the Nordic pan it would not budge.  I put it back in a hot oven thinking it would drop right out when it was warm.  No luck.  I hammered the pan with a mallot--it was still in the pan.  I tried sticking a thin knife and bamboo sticks along the side--nothing.  In desperation (I was leaving for a party), I sliced the cake while still in the pan.  This was not the presentation I was going after.  My lowest point was standing in a parking garage in Houston by my son's van that wouldn't start-- with twenty minutes to meet the grandchildren's school bus!  Yes, I noticed the light on, but I couldn't figure out how to turn it off and didn't think such a little light would run the battery down.  A nice young man in a big red truck stopped when I stepped out in front of it with my hand up.  He jumped the battery, and I was out of there.  The kids had only been at the neighbors a few minutes!  I found the dash button to turn the overhead light off.  The next morning, I couldn't find the car keys.  As I frantically looked for the keys, my eight-year-old grandson "found" them after hiding them in the playroom.  I'll have to wait until he's older to get even with him!  It's over, and I've resolved to start shopping earlier, see the grandchildren more often, buy a prelit Christmas tree, throw out all the sweets, and lose the Christmas weight.  Anybody out there make any resolutions?