Well, almost here. Christmas and I have a complicated relationship, as I spent my formative years in an odd religion – not a cult! Of course it wasn’t a cult!!! Well, okay, it was kind of a cult. Anyhow, whatever it was, it was odd and we didn’t keep Christmas, so as an agnostic adult it has never meant much to me other than a time to buy myself presents and enjoy all the colorful lights. Because I really really love the colorful lights! Even the ones that looked like a bunch of police cars up ahead on the dark road I was driving down tonight, which was very alarming until I finally got close enough to see they were actually festive blinking holiday lights in serious-incident-police-car-blue flashing away on someone’s lawn.
Of course my husband Baker B’s family did keep Christmas, so for a long time we did Christmas with them and Thanksgiving with my family, since Thanksgiving was the lovely, fun, food-oriented holiday that we were allowed in our weird cult-not-cult. Then at some point during the late 1990s-early 2000s the Weird Religion (0kay, it was the Worldwide Church of God, although apparently it turned into Grace Communion at some point and I did not realize that. It’s been awhile) decided Christmas was okay! So suddenly my family was doing Christmas too, because DUH Christmas is fun and we’d all missed getting to have festive decorations and Christmas trees and presents. So it got more complicated, but we still kept doing Christmas with Baker B’s people and Thanksgiving with mine. And throwing in presents when we could work a visit in. In recent years, though, it’s turned weird and sparse because, well, everyone is DEAD. Okay, not everyone, but Baker B’s dad, Mr. Christmas Lover, died … 17 YEARS ago??? OMG how is that possible??? And his sister died maybe ten years ago, and all his nieces have grown up and everyone has kind of dispersed who used to gather at his parents’ house.
Meanwhile my mom died 8 1/2 years ago after a long bout with Altzheimers and my dad is almost 90… and Baker B’s mom is nearly NINTY SEVEN AND STILL LIVES ALONE AND IT IS KILLING US ALL BECAUSE SHE WILL NOT FACE REALITY… omg sorry, that’s our OTHER huge massive worry, because every time the phone rings we’re pretty positive it’s a MIL Crisis!!!
Well, this is devolving into all sorts of tangents, so let’s just get to the point. Which is that between the dwindling and the evolving and the changing and the fact that Christmas has never been a big deal for me and has always been a point of contention for neurotic Baker B, we have developed our own little tradition for the last five or six or seven years (…. okay, trying to figure out via Flickr how long we’ve actually been doing this, but Flickr is not as user-friendly as it used to be and I can’t figure out how to get to “ Collections” any more, in which I had all my Charleston albums grouped together. And I could have easily spotted which year we first went in December. I do not have the patience to go page by page hunting. SO, let’s say at some point past December 2009, which is where I gave up in exasperation.)
But YES, we started going to Charleston at Christmas. Because what is the best thing EVER at Christmas, when it’s cold and nasty and dark and depressing here in the NC mountains? THE BEACH!!!! And the HISTORIC DOWNTOWN!!!! And the at least temperate weather and the beer and shrimp and exercise as we walk miles all over town!!! Avoiding families and draaaaama and boredom and sugary food and lack of alcohol and all that sort of thing for a few lovely days!!!
This is all leading up to OMG I think it’s actually safe to say we’re almost headed to Charleston!!! Last year we didn’t go because Baker B’s mom had an awful bout of severe confusion and illness and wound up in the hospital for a few days and after Baker B dealt with all that for a week before his brother, who lives in Baltimore and is, shockingly, 78 years old himself so is pretty much at the age someone should be looking after HIM (yes, Baker B was quite the surprise late-life baby) arrived… we ended up just staying up here and recuperating. But this year it is looking promising. His mom DID have some weird issues a week ago, and Baker B did spend several days with her already, but she’s better and his brother and sister-in-law arrived tonight so I think we’re actually free. We’re going to Morganton tomorrow and spend the night with them, and his mom, then… on to Charleston Sunday!!! Yippie!!!
SO, pictures will be forthcoming. So will my England entries at some point, but I couldn’t copy/paste from Prosebox and have the pictures show up, although it worked in a test, so that’s going to have to wait till I can figure out how to do it.