It’s Just A Day

Many years ago, when I was employed as a Nurse, I often worked on holidays. It was expected. Someone always had to. It didn’t matter if you had family or guests coming from out of town or big plans or . . .whatever. When it was your turn to work, you worked.

At Christmas, we would just pick another day and celebrate the holiday as if it were the same – same food, same decorations, same presents, same gatherings, same everything, just different day.

“It’s just a day,” I would say to my family and friends. In our memory it doesn’t make any difference whether we celebrate on a Wednesday or a Friday. The important things can all be there no matter what day we choose for the holiday.

A few years ago Gramps and I actually observed Christmas at home together one day and then took Christmas to Phoenix to celebrate with five of our grandchildren four days later. Both were real honest-to-goodness Christmases because we made them so. They had all the necessary parts plus all the extras, as every Christmas should.

Neither were celebrated on Christmas day but both are remembered as the best Christmases ever, in their own way, as every Christmas should.

I remember one Christmas when I was little, maybe about eight years old. Our Christmas day was nice, but pretty lean as far as gifts went. Magically, three days later we had a second Christmas. My parents told me and my two brothers that Santa had forgotten some gifts originally and had returned to bring them to us.

We three were thrilled! And when we told our friends in school about Santa making a second trip to our house, we were heroes! It was mystical and so exciting for a kid.

Again – not on Christmas day. I was almost an adult before I realized that my parents didn’t have the means to provide a Christmas for us until the after Christmas sales. How loving of them to take a difficulty and make it so wonderful for us. My brothers and I still talk about the year we had two Christmases.

And now, these many years later, it seems we are looking for another day to revel in our Christmas spirit. Why? Because our grandson is working on Christmas, for double pay.

He is very excited about earning so much money in one day and it’s just a day, right?

We are therefore celebrating Christmas on December 23rd with our daughter, son-in-law, grandson and two friends. The house is decorated. Gifts are wrapped. The menu is planned. There will be a fire in the fireplace. Candles will be lit. Laughter will be heard. Stories will be shared. The Story will be read.

The day will be perfect and so will our memories.

Granny Gets A Tattoo

I picked a tattoo salon I liked very much. It was clean, a bit funky and run by women.

I met the tattoo artist named Mallory. She was young, very sweet and interested in my ideas for a tattoo.

I made an appointment, paid my deposit and waited the next two months.

The designated Friday finally came. I was so excited! I prepared for my session by eating a good meal, drinking plenty of water and taking Tylenol.

My daughter picked me up and off we went to meet Mallory. She was waiting for us as we arrived, smiling and eager to hear what we had in mind.

As my daughter was getting a tattoo with me, we discussed our ideas with Mallory. She made several drawings until we both agreed they were what we wanted. Mallory is a true artist and worked hard to fine tune the drawings. I wanted a thread spool with a needle and a thimble next to it. A thread from my spool would go to my daughter’s arm and make a cross stitch heart for her.

We talked about size, color, shading and placement. No detail was too small or unimportant. Mallory gave us her full attention and was eager to see that we got the designs we hoped for, which we did.

Next came the shaving of my arm and application of the design stencil. This was really going to happen!

Mallory began tattooing slowly but with confidence and mastery. I would not say it was painful – more like a bug bite. It was sort of annoying after awhile but certainly I would not say it hurt.

The spool with needle and thimble emerged in beautiful detail and color on my arm within mere minutes. I was amazed! I was pleased! I was thrilled!

Who wouldn’t be with Mallory at the helm?!

Next my daughter had her tattoo done in record time. In a total of two hours from start to finish we both got the best tattoos from the best artist ever.

The best questions I’ve been asked:

Have you lost your mind?

Will it be permanent?

How much did it hurt?

When is your next one planned?

I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience to share with my daughter. I love both our tattoos and I appreciate Mallory beyond measure.

Here’s a photo of my tat- and no, I don’t have any plans for another.

12 Things I Know For Sure

  1. Every day is a precious gift, no matter how crazy or mixed up it is. Life is wonderful but life is messy.
  2. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. That includes you.
  3. You have everything you need for your own journey. Take care of yourself.
  4. If it’s someone else’s problem, they probably have their own answer.
  5. Everyone is a mess, less than perfect and scared on the inside. Don’t compare your inside to anyone’s outside.
  6. Chocolate is not actually a food.
  7. Real success only comes after dedicated repeated work.
  8. Success can be as damaging as it is amazing. Be prepared. See #3 and #5.
  9. Families are precious and hard. It’s all about compromise and forgiveness.
  10. Words are powerful. Use them with care. They can’t be taken back or forgotten once spoken.
  11. Love is the strongest emotional bond. It can withstand all kinds of hardship and starvation. Nurture it, express it, speak it. It makes everything worth the effort.
  12. We don’t live forever. Be aware of your legacy, the memories you are leaving behind. Be a good example. See #1.