Ohio is super, super dreary. Low gray clouds and exhaust-y cars and puddles in the road where it needs repaired. These are the things that I couldn't stand when I lived here but that have become so enchanting now that I don't. There are, like, houses, just in fields. Not exclusively in neat little straight neighborhoods everywhere. Also, the houses have siding. Siding isn't a thing, in Phoenix. Phoenicians love stucco.
I brought my red flannel pajamas and you can't convince me out of them. If you don't have red flannel pajamas at Christmas time, you really aren't being the best you can be, and I'm kind of judging you. It's not too late to ask Santa. Here. Just, you know, button your shirt please. And don't...don't sit like that. You know what, just don't click on that link actually.
My parents... really you won't find any like them anywhere else. They'll tell you you did a good job with equal enthusiasm whether you run a marathon or, you know, finish your big helping of mashed potatoes before eating dessert. They have so much love in them that it comes out of their pores and gets all over everything. Tonight we ate out at the Hartville Kitchen (our Amish food tradition for Dad's birthday) and they were really making a spectacle. Hugging everyone and talking about how wonderful we are and being smiley. It takes a lot of nerve to be that wonderful and not live in my basement.
Why don't things change when I leave? There I am in Phoenix being married and working full-time and paying my own car bills and making my own breakfast every day and Summit Mall has the nerve to be in the same place when I get back to Akron. Doesn't that feel weird? Doesn't Akron know that my life feels big and years away from here? Why is there still a gravel lot next to the Sunoco on Highway 18? I am so glad there is. I guess when I left, the world didn't swallow itself. Disappointing, but really lessens the pressure.
Tomorrow I get to see my very best friend that has ever lived, and meet her fiance. MEET her fiance. I CAN'T WAIT AND I MAY NOT SLEEP TONIGHT.
Then we're going to go to Christmas Eve mass with my new dress, and then we'll read from Luke, and then we'll play Rummy in Joey's room (if Aaron wins again he has to sleep in the basement this year) and then we'll get up and have Cinnamon rolls and presents and see the whole family...and it will be cloudy and hopefully snowy and we still have to make one last trip to Barnes and Noble. Do you know what it feels like to have all those sentences be true?!
It feels like the way it would feel if you lived in a world where all you could do was wait, and hope, that someone would save you from how awful you were, and then a little baby was born and you realized he was The Guy, and your waiting was over, and now you could live in expectation and joy and embarrassed gratitude for what a big thing He was doing. (Can you imagine having to wait for that?) We are lucky we don't, and that we just get to celebrate it. With hot chocolate and family and low-hanging Ohio clouds, like full bellies.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Be merry!