Sunday, December 28, 2014
#196. or, Merry Christmas.....Shitter's Full
Back in the day, and now I'm old I can say that because I've somehow blown past that imaginary line faster than an Olympic sprinter burning through steroids like they're froot loops, Christmas was easy.
I mean, as a kid, the biggest thing I had to worry about was studying the TV Guide to make sure I didn't miss any Christmas specials. And if I was good at anything, it was TV Guide. I could have taught a course. Except, interactive, picture in the corner, scrolling screen guides have made that obsolete, so I'm glad I didn't put all my eggs into that basket.
Anyway, for some reason, Christmas is a whole lot harder now. Every year, when I park my combine and bring the cows home, I foolishly think that November and December are going to be a breeze. But they never are. They seem to fly by faster than I go through a roll of single ply toilet paper, and before I know it, Christmas is crashing down on me and I haven't even got my holiday lighting up yet.
Don't get me wrong, I do love Christmas. It just seemed easier to find the spirit when I was younger. From the time I was a kid, through newly married years, and onto when my own children were growing up, that magic spark was always there. I struggle finding it now, and so, it's also the reason that I found myself racing to clear the snow from our grain bin cabin by the dugout, on the 23rd of December. Even though it's never happened before, someone might want to go out there and do something rustic over Christmas, rather than play with shiny new electronics.
Because I can't do everything from a tractor seat, I had to get out to chisel some ice away from the outhouse door. After breaking in, I lifted the seat to give it a check, because that's what you do, and I discovered that some burrowing rodent had completely filled in the pit. And an outhouse without a pit is basically just a cold empty closet with a seat. It left me feeling somewhat dejected.
As I got back to plowing snow, it occurred to me, the unusable outhouse was a metaphor for my fizzling Christmas spirit. Just a hollow empty shell without the ability to contain any substance. The shitter with the filled in hole was proof the universe was conspiring against me to suck the Christmas spirit out of my bones.
Except, Christmas still came.
Over the next couple days our house was blessed with family and guests that made me remember what the holidays are all about. It didn't really matter that the outhouse wasn't usable, we have indoor plumbing for Christ's sake! It didn't matter that the lights burned out on the ass half of one of my yard reindeer, causing it to look like some genetic conglomeration, half human/half deer mutant. I was inside happily drinking eggnog paralyzers with my family.
Regardless of the things I couldn't control, Christmas still came, and I had a wonderful time.
Today, sitting here thinking about it, maybe I got the metaphor all wrong. Maybe, just maybe, by filling in that outhouse hole the universe was telling me to stop dealing with the shit, and just enjoy what I have? Funny how things work out.
Of course, when it thaws out this spring, I'm still going to have to dig that shitter out. Perhaps I'll get The Boy to do it
.............just so he doesn't forget the true meaning of Christmas.