For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.
Sometimes things just don’t come together the way they should, or they way you want them to. Martha was finding that out this Christmas season, and she wasn’t a bit happy about it. All her plans for making this the best Christmas ever just seemed to be getting blocked, mocked, and socked right in the nose.
Even the weather wasn’t cooperating. Bleak didn’t even come close to describing it. A white Christmas? Hah! More like a wet one, and just cold enough to turn the miserable sleety stuff to ice when it hit the roads. There was every chance she would be spending Christmas day, only three hours away, completely alone.
How miserable was that?
Nine o’clock on Christmas Eve and she wasn’t able to get out for the Christmas Eve service at church. She was terrified of driving in this weather, and wasn’t going to risk a slipslide accident that would put the crowning touch on her misery. Well, she didn’t mind being alone, and if everyone made it, tomorrow was going to be hectic.
Martha wandered into the kitchen, thinking about making a cup of the Christmas tea she enjoyed. While it brewed, she found her favorite Christmas mug. It had a cracked handle, but it was still usable. It sported a sentimental Thomas Kinkade scene with windows that lit up when hot liquid was poured into it. Martha knew it was kitschy, but she loved it. Studying the scene, she thought of Christmases long ago from her childhood. It really had seemed like the scene on her mug. Going to her grandparents’ farm for the big day was a joy that would never fade in her memory. Aunts, uncles, cousins. Food. Oh my, the food! No one ate like that these days, at least not in her family. No one worked on a farm any more. Most of them had desk jobs, and many in her generation were retired. They just didn’t need so many calories.
What she’d loved the most was the laughter and camaraderie as the family joked, caught up, reminisced. The kids would have the run of the big old farmhouse, and even though the upstairs rooms were cold, they’d play up there for hours.
Sipping carefully at her tea, Martha wandered into the study where her bookcase dominated the space. She kept her movies there, and she loved her Christmas movie collection. She and John had always watched It’s a Wonderful Life together on Christmas Eve, but she couldn’t quite bring herself to do that this year, nor for the last three years since he had died.
She pulled out White Christmas instead, knowing the antics of Danny Kaye would cheer her up. Back in the living room, she put the DVD in the player, set her mug carefully on a coaster, and curled up in her favorite chair with an afghan wrapped around her. She let herself get lost in the movie, loving the music and the unfolding of the sentiment around the reunion of the soldiers who had experienced war together. Of course, the love story was her favorite part. Pretty innocent by today’s standards, the characters kissed chastely and kept all their clothes on!
When the musical finale was over, she sighed and sat for a long time, thinking back through the years. Her life had been good, and she regretted nothing. She wished more of her children were nearby, but at least there were some grandchildren she saw fairly often. They would be here tomorrow, almost for sure, having the least distance to drive.
Restless, Martha got up, put the movie away, found the book she’d been reading, and decided to put one of her Christmas CD’s in the player. It was getting near midnight now, and she was loving the quietness and peace of her house. The food for tomorrow was ready. The tree was up, gifts all wrapped, nothing left to do. It was a very good feeling. And if she ended up having Christmas alone, well, that would be all right, too.
The violins she loved began to swell with her favorite Christmas song, Gloria. With a full heart, she settled in to read until sleep took her away.
Well, that didn’t last long. The pings are NOT back 😦