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Merry Christmas.

December 23, 2009 - Michael Palmer
This Christmas will be interesting at our house. My plans to do my traditional last minute gift buying were dashed by a well pump that died Tuesday morning, December 22, 2009. Taking with it all of the gifts left on my list and most of the funds for Christmas dinner.

It is also the first Christmas since the death of my mother. As a close family this will be a difficult time for us, complicated by what some would term an early return to a relationship by my father, who has a girlfriend. A live-in girlfriend that is a very nice person, who is now aware of what has transpired and is more than likely even more uncomfortable with the upcoming holiday than the rest of us.

As my daughter often quips, Awkward!

That would be bad enough for everyone involved, but fueling the fire for a potential meltdown are two extenuating circumstances; First there will be a displacement of the traditional Christmas Day celebration by the visiting of the girlfriends family on the 25th and our get together being postponed until the following day.

I am not sure how my sisters feel about this, but it really doesn’t bother me.

Second is the real problem; one of my twin sisters is mentally handicapped but has been quite clear and quite verbal in her protest of the new lady in Dad’s house. She is a relentless whiner and rarely changes her subject matter when she gets on a roll. When the strange family members show up for Christmas there will be hell raised. Just today she arrived home from her caregivers and began the tirade. She is very adamant about her dislike of the situation and is still not over the loss of her mother, so I plan to take her on Christmas morning and prevent one Christmas disaster.

Then add on the phone call I received this morning from my sister that this will be the last Christmas for her family in their home. They will lose it to foreclosure on January 1, and will be evicted soon thereafter. We have personally committed $7,000 to the save the house effort and my other sister and parents have done their best to give as much as they could, but it seems we will lose this battle.

My wife did finally get to transfer to a closer store for her job, but the move will cost us $800 a month in salary. So our ability to help anyone financially has evaporated. Like I needed any more stress in my life, then there is my work situation. Like all of the other jobs in our current chaotic economy, the newspaper business is changing and the position of photographer has gone the way of the Iceman, elevator operator and keypunch technicians.

One highlight I am clinging to is that my new granddaughter and her mommy are coming home for Christmas. I am taking the day off and heading down tomorrow morning to pick them up. Oh well, I am going to try and focus on that positive of watching the wonder in the eyes of a baby as they open Christmas gifts and try and forget about the rest.

I know that there are many who will be hungry and homeless this Christmas. So many more will have no presents under the tree and no food for their tables. So to all of those less fortunate and to you the reader of this blog....Here’s hoping that you have a blessed and Merry Christmas.


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