Quiet Comfort

These days before Christmas are among my favorites because…

…I am off work on vacation, I have completed the shopping and preparations necessary for the holiday, done all the holiday baking and giving away (most of) the baked goodies I prepared, and have selected and made significant end-of-year financial donations to trusted charities that do good works right here where I live (except I also made significant donations to assist in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after the devastating losses caused by hurricanes.)

I brought my truck in for what I thought would have been routine service, only to have my mechanic call to explain some significant problems he encountered. I’ll probably have an unexpected repair bill close to US$1,000. Yikes! But it is what it is, and I am comforted in that I have an “emergency fund” that can take care of this without causing undue strain. (Though that means to rebuild the emergency fund, my “boot fund” goes on hiatus for a while.)

Whilst at home yesterday admiring our little twinkle tree and listening to the piano play Christmas tunes, I held my Spouse’s hand and relaxed in his arms.

Ah… peace, comfort, tranquility.

Phone rang: ’twas a friend from Perth Australia who I worked with for three months on providing disaster relief following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 26 Dec 2004. My friend always calls on the solstice to ask me how I like “living down there on the bottom of the world” whilst he was gently floating on a raft on the ocean on a sunny warm day — the longest of the year. I always enjoy his entertaining humour — and plan to return the favour on 20 June!

Loud horn of a fire truck: the fire department where I am a life member drove to our house with Santa on the back! He waved, and the guys stopped right in front of the house to wish me and The Spouse a great Christmas. That was very nice of them to do — come over just to wish us well and spread holiday cheer around the neighborhood.

An hour later, clamor on the lawn: seven senior pals dropped by to wish us well and to sing Christmas carols for us. What great joy! I sang along while The Spouse made faces, but inside, I know he enjoys it as well. Later as we were relaxing again, he said, “you live a wonderful life,” and I agreed. No man is a failure who has friends.

Today, Friday, will find me visiting with a sister who I love — just the two of us for our usual pre-Christmas lunch. Then likely my truck will be ready. Pay the bill, return home and take the spouse on a few errands.

Then pack and be ready to drive to Pittsburgh to try to bring cheer to the most lonely woman on the planet. I will sing, cook, and sing some more — even if it kills me (or The Spouse kills me for my off-key croaking!)

Life is short: take comfort in a wonderful life — of love, peace, and comfort.