Hurrying and Scurrying Toward Christmas

Dec 18, 2019 | 0 comments

Nyel often says that Patience is not my middle name, the clear implication being that I’m a very impatient person.  I can’t argue with that.  No matter the goal, once it’s in mind I’m all for getting on with it.  Right now.  So it is that Christmastime holds many challenges.

Take wrapping presents, for instance.  Although I love intricate and beautiful gift presentations, my inclination is to find a Christmas bag and tissue paper, plop  the gift inside, and affix a tag — easy peasy.  I force myself to do otherwise, but it’s difficult.

Yesterday, I was trying to carefully use said tissue paper to line a box.  Getting it just right took the patience of Job and gave my mind ample time to wander.  Which is probably part of my problem.  If I could stay focused on the the chore of the moment, I’m sure my success rate would improve.  In any case, my long-time friend Nancy Stone came to mind.

When we were teens in San Rafael, California, Nancy got a job at Albert’s, the local department store on the main drag.  I can’t remember if she worked there only during the holidays or throughout the year, as well.  But I do have a clear memory of buying something — maybe a scarf — for my mom at Albert’s and taking it to Nancy to wrap.  She was slammed and I told her not to worry, I’d come back later…  I remember standing there and watching her for a few minutes while she creased and folded holiday papers and tied gorgeous ribbons effortlessly — or so it seemed!

I shared that almost-70-year-0ld memory with Nan by email and this was her reply this morning:
Dear Old Friend: Thank you for taking me on a walk down Memory Lane! I do remember being in the wrapping booth AND, running the elevator! Can you imagine what OSHA would have done with that? I was trying to remember how much I earned per hour, but alas, memory does not always surface. It might have been $1.35 an hour. I was able to get the job because my mother worked in the advertising department and knew the owners of the store. I felt grateful to have had a job and money to spend (on cashmere sweaters?) and felt that the only thing I missed was attending the Friday night football games. I can still crease and fold tissue paper and tie gorgeous ribbons into bows!

Nan and Nyel, 2012

In this case, anyway, I’m glad Patience is not my middle name.  If I were choosing, I’d rather have “Friendship” tucked in there somewhere!  Merry Christmas, Nan… and all of you with whom I share special memories of this Hurry Scurry Season!


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