The Weather Outside Is Frightful

Although it is rare, we do occasionally have snow in South Texas, but more often, we have ice storms to rival Hoth. Of course, when I say more often, that means I can remember about 15 ice storms, and three snow…well, let’s just say snow, because snow storm isn’t even remotely what we get down here.

However, that all generally occurs in February or March. The winds in March will blow your skin right off. I can’t remember the last time we had a really cold December day. I’ve worn shorts on Christmas day more often than winter clothes. So the wind blowing hard enough to rock my walls and whine down my chimney is freakin’ me out just a bit.

It would have to happen today. Aubrey managed to give away one of her shifts, so we’re going to lunch and then to do a bit of stocking stuffer shopping. Down here, all but two of our malls are open air. The one that we’re going to is more like seven shopping centers in one giant area. That means I am whipping out my thickest winter sweater, ear covers of some kind, gloves, and my Clarks boots. My ears are super sensitive to cold, so it doesn’t take a lot of wind to give me an earache.

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This morning, Amy was sitting on the floor by the daybed, whining because she was cold. Since my sheets need washing anyway, I allowed her up, as long as she stayed on the other side of Aubrey. Amy likes to stretch out her legs and her claws are sharp as a honey badger. Having them dig into my leg is not fun.

Amy was incredibly grateful, and she curled into a tiny ball in Aubrey’s lap…a 55 lb tiny ball…until she warmed up enough to warrant stretching out. She’s so funny because she starts out in a ball, then stretches out while lying on her stomach, and eventually she rolls over with her head hanging upside down off Aubrey’s lap and her legs in the air like a dead bug. The craziest thing is that she does a doggy version of purring. It’s a whistle-y whine that stays in rhythm with her breathing.

Sadly for Amy, Aubrey had to leave for a doctor’s appointment. Aub’s picking me up when she’s finished, and we’ll brave the winds for the sake of chocolate oranges, books, and a few things I need to make a couple pieces of jewelry. When we get back, we’ll be baking up cookies for Ron’s and Aubrey’s co-workers, making stew for dinner, and clearing the living room of the unnecessary Christmas storage bins. In other words, we’re getting into that Christmas swing!

It’s a special treat to get this day with her, as it was unexpected. I’m not used to her having a job, and I’ve always sort of taken our last minute Christmas shopping trips for granted. There are lots of oohs and aahs and scoping out things to go back for on the 26th. I thought I would have to do it alone, which I wasn’t looking forward to…it’s not as fun.

This year, I know I’m incredibly blessed to have her with me, in all meanings of the phrase. I’m one of those lucky moms that not only love my children, I actually like them. They are both amazing people. I would like them even if I weren’t their mom, which isn’t necessarily true for all parents. Both of them are wickedly funny and bitingly sarcastic. I have no idea where the sarcasm comes from.

Remember to appreciate your loved ones a little extra this year. Does it really matter if your mom drives you crazy and your dad hates your boyfriend? Put it aside for a few days. You can pick it up again after the holidays if you feel you must. For just a few days, think of how you’ll likely miss your mom telling you all the things you do wrong when she is gone. Focus on the ONE THING that makes each loved one special. Everyone has at least one thing. If they don’t, then make the effort to find it. It might be a surprising gift that you give yourself.

“It doesn’t show signs of stopping…”

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