Bird and Tree

Storm clouds and corn fields. Nothing to do with anything written below. You’re welcome.

The bird and tree seasons doth approacheth. Football games and over-cooked deformed poultry corpses coming right up! I am skipping all that this year. The holidays to me mean constant work, piles of dishes to wash and endurance of relatives far beyond my capacities right now. I remember my mother and grandmothers and aunts all engaged in grim baking feats. In stirring pots of this or that with exhausted gray faces out of a Dickens novel on the Victorian poor. How I was expected to do the dishes but my brother was not. Hello, reality.

Oh sure, where’s my turkey/Christmas spirit? Hanging from a hook in some abbatoir, waiting to be skinned and cut into usable chunks for Facebook memes about the ‘woke’ left. That gleeful desperate maniacal fury-joy pouring into my carcass like a flood of rancid lumpy creamed corn.

I’ve noticed, maybe a few on here and elsewhere as well, that my liking of the end of the year holidays is, oh, a bit low. I used to love Christmas! It’s fun, bright, pretty and fun! You get presents! The lovely tree! And then family members left the earthly plane, the talk around me turned to conspiracy theories and hey, you’re not Stephen King yet, and conspiracy theories based off other conspiracy theories. I started to wonder who these strangers around me were pretending to be relatives. Had I just not noticed how…mmm. Had I just been ignoring some stuff and things? Well, yeah. It’s what ya do with kin. Until you can’t.

I already brushed against my aunt and her coterie of crazies. She’s the one that hosts the annual Christmas Eve bash that my grandmother used to host. It was and is a family gathering with food. You open presents. You get through awkward conversations with people you see once or twice a year. You drink, you hear the gossip, you drink and eat. There’s usually a family fistfight, either verbally or actually. A lot of beer and whiskey, smoldering something or other. It’s just chemistry. Friction plus gasoline, a word or two that unholy match…boom.

Now, Christmas Day, my family went over to my other grandparent’s house in Idaho, had a more formal sit down fancy-ier dinner and played games, with the football game on in the background. This was usually a gathering of both sets of grandparents, who liked each other very much. They enjoyed each other immensely. We usually had turkey. One year we had roast beef. It was pretty much the same menu, with the no-bake cheesecake, the marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes, the gravy. My mother made the best turkey gravy out of powdered Cream of Chicken soup. It was magic gravy, so good. And one set of grandparents, on my dad’s side, were Republicans, the other set were Democrats. [Southern ones…ahem]. Yet the talk remained light. And the women had to do all the work. I remember that, too. Cooking and then cleanup. My dad’s dad loved Christmas. He decorated when my grandmother’s arthritis got too much for her and he took care of her until he could not. And I truly miss him and the rest of my grandparents this time of year.

And my mother.

It seems they left a vacuum behind when they left this earth. And it got filled with garbage, debris, pools of urine and maliciousness. I need to stay away from the present-day pale imitations of by-gone ways and enjoy the last dregs of the year as best I can. I don’t wish to hate anyone. It’s as simple as that but I think it’s a bit late already. A lot late.

But anyway…! I meant to write something lighthearted and sweet, some little blurb and then push a book or story or even poem of mine. Instead I delved down into the family goop and splattered a bit on the public wall.

I hope whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year are lovely. That’s the best I can do right now without breaking down into sobs and bingeing Gilmore Girls, again, for the umpteenth gazillionth time.

I guess three ghosts are about to visit me so should make sure I have a nice haircut and an urchin at the ready to buy an organic, gently killed goose for a local saint. Yay!

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