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.
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This is why more farmers need to write. Totally original. Loved it!ReplyDelete
Thank you dbs!Delete
You never know where you're going to find your inspiration.
Fun post. I'm glad to hear you had a great Christmas. I didn't even know you had an outhouse.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much! There was a few years that we didn't, but it just seemed right to have one on the farm.
Ha ha, awesome post, Ken! I get the whole 'not as excited' feeling about Christmas, because I'm there, too. But you are right, it's just a matter of perspective. And I feel exponentially better about my Christmas now, knowing that I don't have a shitter to dig out come spring ;)ReplyDelete
I wouldn't want you to feel left out. I'm sure The Boy wouldn't mind sharing shovel duty with you this spring. After all, it is better to give than it is to receive! :)
Eggnog paralyzers seem to be making the rounds this year!ReplyDelete
I've been pleading to have our outhouse knocked down because I don't EVER want to have to deal with your issue. Better to build a gazebo over top of it, I feel. :)
They were really quite tasty! Perhaps too much so! :)Delete
The outhouse gazebo? Maybe you could incorporate it somehow?
We haven't had snow here for a few years, but I'll take your word for it that it's still a thing up north...ReplyDelete
A late Merry Christmas to you. Definitely stop dealing with the shit for a few days, huh?
Oh, it's still a thing! Probably too much of a thing, even!
Thanks, And you as well. I get the feeling you have quite the hectic schedule.
Or it could be a metaphor for the calibre of presents you got?ReplyDelete
Or....it might be foreshadowing about all of that roast beast that I've consumed over the holidays?
Or a reflection on your uncle's stories!Delete
I have been there too, and was there this year as well - looking for Christmas in the frantic, flashy, Made in China mess. It also seems so full, schedule-wise, that we're sprinting from one thing to another like a bunch of eggnog-sloshing runners in an ugly Christmas sweater race.
But it came and I too, looked around and cherished the faces I am blessed to have in my life.
I count you in that bunch! Thanks friend!
Hello, my Friend!Delete
I'd be foolish to think that it's not a much more thing as an adult, but it's the struggles now that my kids are bigger. I took a bus load of 4th graders to a Christmas play in the city in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and honestly, I believe that's where the magic hides.
I'm at an in between time that we don't have any of those kids around our house, and as much as it's going to make me feel old, grandchildren are my hope to rekindle my spark. Unfortunately, none of those are anywhere on the horizon. That also might be a good thing, the notion sometimes scares me as well. :)
Glad to be counted! Likewise! :)
I don't really get excited for Christmas either, but I'm glad to hear yours wasn't completely full of shit. Mine was only full of shitty weather, not literal shit, so I'll count my blessings. Have a good New Year and all that!ReplyDelete
You can't do anything about the weather.Delete
Thanks guys, and I hope you have a great New Year as well.
Well said, on all levels. No matter what we do, or don't do, Christmas comes. We have to remember the important things...and the important ones.ReplyDelete
Bill has been gone since right after (U.S.) Thanksgiving. December was a very long month for both of us. He will be home in time for New Year's Eve. We are thankful for that, and each other.
Wishing you and your family all the best in 2015.
Hi McGuffy Ann,Delete
I have never been away, or without family over the holidays. I can't imagine how difficult that would be.
I hope you have a wonderful reunion with Bill, and a very happy New Year! :)
It doesn't snow at my place and is usually warm all the year round.ReplyDelete
Family and friends get together and celebrate festivals. that's the true spirit.
I've never had a Christmas without snow my entire life. However, it's a notion that is beginning to look rather attractive, the older I get.Delete
Very true about family and friends! Thanks for visiting! :)
I always get depressed and emotional around Christmas. It's become a tradition. But like you, the blessings of family and friends always pulls me back. That's the way it should be.ReplyDelete
And now that I've read this, I think I understand why my grandfather never let me drive his tractor.
I always come out the back side of the holidays wishing that I could have done more. In reality though, it's pretty much a miracle I get as much done as I do. Which of course, still leaves a bit of time to get some visiting in. Hopefully it's an acceptable balance?Delete
You can drive my tractor if you want. :)
I used to get so much more excited about Christmas too, but now I think that excitement is spread evenly through out the year, so it doesn't seem so climatic anymore. You know what? I prefer it that way.ReplyDelete
That's the trick, isn't it? To spread the joy all through the year. Then to also have the good sense to realize that you have.Delete
Ah the joys of an outhouse! I do like your later interpretation of the universe's lesson on that one though. And heck, what's the point of having children, if you can't p̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ teach them valuable lessons about life? I'm glad to hear you found happiness at Christmas despite the acts of nature and electrical failures.ReplyDelete
I would be far less productive if I couldn't spend as much time teaching valuable life lessons! I also wonder why my children aren't so much more brilliant by now? Poor teacher perhaps? :)Delete
Christmas used to be easier. Now, even though I love it, it's become difficult. I relate with this…even though we don't have a shitter quite like that one. ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping. There's just always so much to do. I try not to get bogged down in that, but it still seems to happen.