Yes, you can see right through our Christmas Tree. We think the Grinch sabotaged it. It was tightly wrapped when we bought it (in support of a charity) so we didn't know how skew it was (or how unbushy). The needles dropped like raindrops on the floor with each bauble I put on it. A friend suggested we should replace it, thinking it would likely be bare by Christmas. But I'd invested too much time in it and, besides, I don't have the heart to chuck it out.
If this is the biggest problem we're facing this Christmas, then we are very, very fortunate. We recently celebrated emigrating to Canada 50 years ago. We are so lucky to live in this wonderful country.
We have a lot to be thankful for.
I hope you do too. And I hope that you and your family, including the animals in your lives, enjoy a healthy and happy Christmas.
Here's a short story I wrote in a ten-minute on-the-spot challenge during an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting. I hope you enjoy it.
I think the prompt was a man holding a young person's hand.
It's hard to believe that the man beside me, with his clammy, shaky hand clasping mine, is my father. Having lived ten years without him, I don't know how to relate to him. He left to go to a war I knew nothing about and never will understand - and was imprisoned.
We don't speak. I don't think either of us knows what to say after all these years.
I wouldn't have recognized him. I was only two years old when he left us. I have no memory to call upon except the scent of his aftershave. Perhaps my memory has betrayed me because he doesn't smell the same to me.
But my senses have been battered by the bouncing of my body and soul from one foster home to another. My mother disappeared. I blame myself. I should have been a more caring and loving child. I wasn't much better in the foster homes. But finally, an older couple living on a farm embraced me and forgave me and gave me the courage to discover myself - as I fed the horses, cleaned the barns, swept the yard, and chased the geese.
I think that's what my father needs. He needs to heal too. I'm taking him to meet my foster parents and I'm scheming and dreaming that they'll be able to help him heal and we'll be a family as we should be. I know it won't be easy and it's not going to end like the fairy tales I read, but that's my dream.
Vicky Earle Copyright 2023