Monday, December 28, 2015

The Square Peg – I Got Socks

The Square Peg – I Got Socks
© S. Bradley Stoner

Well, another Christmas come and gone. It was a special one for us. Our oldest came home for the holidays. And he brought a friend. No, he doesn’t have a new girlfriend… he has a new four footed friend. Her name is Montana on account of the fact that she was found in a rural area outside of town where people apparently go to dump pets they don’t want. Yep… she’s a rescue dog. She was just a puppy… maybe a couple of months old when oldest adopted her from the local shelter.

Now, y’all have heard me grumble about yappy dogs… they drive me nuts, especially when their owners leave them outside for hours on end and they never shut up. It’s enough to drive a person to distraction… or worse. So, I was a little concerned, because I knew Montana was not a big dog. Turns out, she wasn’t a little yappy one either. Small, yes, yappy no. She has the build of a Jack Russell terrier and the disposition of a Cocker Spaniel, but I’m not sure what mix she might be. She was a little shy at first, but I took care of that with a snicker doodle. Yep, I was her new bestest friend, unless it looked like her master was going somewhere without her. Then she abandoned me like last year’s calendar.

Since they arrived Christmas Eve, we did our traditional dinner… no, not turkey; that’s reserved for Christmas… subs. I don’t even remember when the tradition started, but it had to be the Christmas after the goose incident. We quit hosting family Christmas dinners after that and just hosted Christmas with snacks. It was more affordable (translation: I wasn’t allowed to go shopping for holiday dinners anymore). Turns out that worked well since most of my relatives wanted to be at home for most of that day. I did our traditional Christmas turkey on Christmas day. Did I mention how much I like turkey? I’m worse than that father on Christmas Story.

We waited until Christmas morning to open gifts. We used to open one gift on Christmas Eve until the boys grew up, but quit doing that when they moved out to be on their own. Of course, we had visions of gathering the clan every Christmas, but life kind of got in the way of that. So, when we do have the opportunity, it’s kind of special. In any case, we waited. We still manage to surprise the boys, but now instead of “Wows” and “Oh boys” we get, “Hey, I needed that. In fact I was planning on buying it.” It’s okay. It just shows how well we know them. I’m glad that hasn’t slipped away yet. That can wait until my memory is shot… then it won’t matter.

Now I know mentioned it before, but there’s not a whole lot you need at our age. Usually it’s something for the house or a new tool… and I don’t have any room left in my shop for a new tool. On the other hand, there might be things you want or even things you don’t know you want. For example I know my lovely likes scented candles and, while she usually buys them herself, I decided to step in this Christmas. Yep, got a big pine scented candle – hey, ‘tis the season, isn’t it – and a sugared pecan scented candle. Okay, she might have mentioned that one. It’s not sugar cookie, but it’s nice. I also know she likes those Dove soap gift packages and books, so I got her one each of those. Not very original, is it? But you have to understand, my lovely doesn’t wear jewelry except for her wedding and engagement rings. I found that out the first year we were married. She had mentioned she liked a pendant watch we saw. I thought. ‘Aha!’ I bought her this pretty little diamond studded gold watch pendant and my smug little self thought, ‘She’ll never take it off!’ I was so proud of myself. She still has it… packed away in the little leather bag it came in. She looks at it once in a while, though.

You might say, I learned a lesson that day. It’s called pay attention all of the time, not just as the holidays approach. You know what she likes? Scrimshaw, amber with little bugs in it, fossils, and oriental urns, plates and such. Oh, and reminders of our trips… but we usually get those when we’re there. She also has the second largest magnet collection in the world… at least that’s what I think… but they have to be from places one or both of us or our kids have visited. Oh, and I forgot… our annual Christmas ornament, but we usually get that before Christmas.

Me? I got socks. I didn’t know I needed them. That is, until I found out my sweetie was planning on turning my old socks into rags or chucking them in the garbage. Ever notice how when things just get downright comfortable, somebody decides they’re too holey, faded, or out of style. Sigh. I’m not complaining, mind you, I’ve kind of gotten used to it, and I must say my wardrobe does look better, both in condition and style, than it did when I was single. Besides, these are really nice socks… cushioned sole and everything! I like ‘em! Oh, I also got a new fishing rod and reel that’s perfect for pier fishing for smaller fish. That pretty well fills out my fishing gear. Almost forgot… I got one of those 5-Motor heated massaging seat cushions for my car to replace the one my lovely bought me three years ago that I wore out. If you don’t need a new car, get one of these, but be careful with it. Too much time on the massager can make you sleepy and, at my age, that’s not a good thing. Napping while at the wheel is unadvisable… not to mention dangerous and illegal.

Here’s hoping you got everything you wanted… or in some cases, deserved. Remember, there’s only 361 shopping days until next Christmas!