A Very Carpenter Christmas

As I drove to Glouster, Ohio today, I was scanning the channels on the radio looking for some type of entertainment to come through the speakers of the Mammoth-mobile. I refuse to listen to ESPN when Colin-loves-Romo-Carroll-Saban-SEC-is-gold-everything-in-Ohio-sucks is on the air, and my favorite program (FnA Show on 95.5 The Game) was fading into a mix of some preacher from New-Lex and the right wing nut job show. Um, no. Scan please.

Normally, it is about this time of the year that I am tired of Christmas music. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays. The lights and gifts and festive atmospheres are all great pieces of the celebration of Christ's birth. But when Walmart puts out the Christmas trees before Halloween and half the radio stations in Columbus change their programming to 24/7 yuletide music before Thanksgiving, my bah humbug spirit tends to rear it's head as I watch the sanctity of the season become a Wall Street Marketing Scheme. But, because that can of worms is not what this blog is about, I will slowly put the lid back on and digress. Where was I? Oh yes..

So I was driving into the sticks and looking for music. And the song Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters came on the radio. And my scan stopped. I listened. I sang along. After all, I know every word. So do Angelia and Josh, I promise, because The Carpenters Christmas was my Mom's favorite CD. And she played it. All the time. Over and Over again. All December. Most of November. Sometimes in July and August. And she sang every word. And it never got old.

Hearing the song took me back in time. Seeing her in a Santa hat, having her there on Christmas morning with a camera attached to her face. Helping her put out the 72 totes of Christmas decorations. Seeing her face the first year our Dad let her have lights on the house. This time of year, this was her time. So in her element (I mean come on, she got to shop.......a lot) and she shared her joy and her spirit with everyone in her life. Its another one of the 2,745,973 reasons I am grateful to call her Mom. And I wish she was here.

As I sit alone in our front room this evening, I glance around the room. Many of the items from those 72 totes grace my home today. A nutcracker on the shelf by the window. A Walk in the Park musical skating rink on the coffee table. Another whole village downstairs on the mantle.  And photos of her with each of my boys in a frame over my left shoulder. Hmm, maybe she is here after all.

She will be gone 5 years in January. On one hand it feels like yesterday, on another feels more like a lifetime. 3 years ago I re-lived the month we had with her between the day we found out she was sick and the day we lost her in the posts of this blog. It was a difficult time, and sharing the experiences here and talking through them with friends helped me right the ship and head towards where I am today.

As Merry Christmas Darling went off and another carol came on, I left the station where I was. In some small way it made me feel closer to her in that moment. Just like when I see her quilt hanging on my wall. Or when I watch my boys wrestle and know she would be filming if she could. Or when I sit down and write this blog, which has been, is, and always will be inspired by and a tribute to the original writer in our family.

Day # 282 (again). Yes I know at times I sound like a Momma's boy. But I am ok with that, it's good to be me.


  1. You go ahead and be your Momma's boy, she was a wonderful Mom to you all. I for one will always remember her being such an inspiration to me from being able to take such beautiful pictures to her faith (MOST), she was a wonderful cousin and I love and miss her very much! Phyllis Blankenship


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