If we’re to believe what we see and hear in the media, everybody is shopping today. Stores opened ridiculously early and in some cases, they opened last night, so shoppers didn’t even have time to digest their turkey and pumpkin pie. I know people who were almost as excited about shopping today as that crazy woman on the Target TV commercials they’ve been airing approximately every five minutes. But I’m not going anywhere near a store today. I hate shopping and I hate crowds. Plus there’s a rumor the sun might make an appearance on the Oregon Coast. After this last week of wild storms, I don’t want to get stuck in a store and miss it.
Instead I’m doing some writing and cleaning up the layers of stuff dumped all over the house. I might dig out the Christmas music, and I might start the Christmas cards. Or I might just go hang out at the dog park.
This year’s Christmas cards present a dilemma. Not everyone on my list knows that my husband Fred died in April, seven months and two days ago. I hate to break the news in a Christmas card, but I know I’m going to get lots of cards addressed to “Fred and Sue” this year, and I need to explain why my cards are signed by only “Sue.” What a downer. This is actually my third Christmas without Fred because he was living in a nursing home, so it’s not as hard as you might think, but it’s odd not being able to buy gifts for him or sign my cards with both our names. He loved Christmas so much. I know he’d be bugging me today to go get a Christmas tree. But things change and we adapt.
The other big news this year was the publication of my book, Shoes Full of Sand, in July. I like to think it honors the memories Fred and I shared of our early years in Oregon. Don’t want to fight the crowds this Christmas? Buy books. Some of my favorite bookstores are closing at the end of the year because they’re not selling enough books anymore. If you love books, support your local bookseller. Remember, books are easy to wrap and easy to mail, and they last forever.
Two weeks ago today, I had my second cataract surgery, so I’m typing this without glasses. My closeup vision is amazing. I see a lot of things I never noticed before. I’m still going to need glasses for distance vision, and I can’t order them for a few more weeks because my vision has not stabilized yet. It’s frustrating and exciting at the same time.
That’s the Black Friday news from South Beach. Happy holidays to everybody.