Early Christmas gifts

After traveling to Los Angeles to see my brother and returning home yesterday, I have a number of early Christmas gifts to share. In no particular order.

One early gift was a negative Covid test today. I know, I know — perhaps not reliable and maybe I should test again tomorrow, but I’ll take that single pink stripe! Second gift was that our local drug stores’ shelves were well-stocked with the kits.

Another early gift was being bumped up to first class yesterday. Wahoo! A window seat no less. We’re talking Belgian waffles. We’re talking elbow room. I watched a movie and I watched the clouds.

With dismay, we’re watching my husband’s frequent flier miles diminish. For years we floated a balance of about a million miles (I kid you not). But naturally with COVID he hasn’t traveled in roughly two years. It looks like he’ll retire before there’s time to accrue more benefits.

Boo-hoo me, I guess, having to pay for airline tickets like the rest of the world. It’s not just the miles though. As a Global Premium customer you get speedy, white-glove check in (a glass-enclosed cubby at LAX, a dedicated lane at Logan, a private room in Denver). No waiting ever. And then because I don’t have TSA pre-check, one of the clerks walks me over to security and cuts to the top of the line. Again, I kid you not.

After security, one can enjoy the premium lounge which is less crowded than the general areas and also offers free food and coffee. This benefit was especially a gift this week since my brother watches a lot of CNN and all the coverage about omicron induced a mild panic about traveling. JEE-sus!

More early gifts: I got to watch my brother walk! He’s really working hard to become mobile again and it’s within reach. Also, twice he cracked such hilarious jokes I nearly wet myself. No, I will not share.

Got to see my older son and he seems so good. Without prompting, he offered to drive me to the airport at 5:30 in the morning. What a sweetheart!

Coming home is always a gift but yesterday it was amplified and I’m not sure why since the pall cast over Christmas by Covid is worse than last year.

I think I was moved by the comfort of the familiar. I struggled with my brother’s things — the can opener with a weird switch, the non-compliant bathtub drain, overheating hand-beaters, the lack of a secure stool in a tall person’s kitchen, FOUR TV remotes, none of which make sense to me. You get the idea.

K and I snuggled on the couch with Finn, clicked on a fire, ate Indian take out, and watched the finale of Shetland. It doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me.

23 thoughts on “Early Christmas gifts

  1. Joanne in maine

    My husband traveled every month for years back and forth to Europe and we always got bumped up to first at check in if i or the kids and I were along for the ride. The kids thought it was normal until they were on their own as adults, son now can afford to fly first on his own dime so he does. Life is such an adventure.

    1. deemallon Post author

      K’s travel was monthly for years too and to far away places like China and Korea. We’ve been bumped up a few times. Not a given, so it’s always special.

  2. Nancy

    Blessing to your brother and all of his hard work. Yes, the familiar means everything these days (to me). While I’ve not traveled anywhere, but to work and home…the total newness at work makes home feel all that much Better! The drive to learn the new there just has not kicked in. Will it ever? Mmmm…
    Your son IS a dear, becoming a good man on hjs life journey. Aren’t those moments just the best?!
    I doubt I will ever fly again, but your descriptions of one way to do so make it sound not so bad…hard to even imagine really. Glad you are home again, pink stripe safe and sound. My aunt sent me this…I couldn’t even read it all. Too stressful. Another ‘case’ in my work world. Winter will be long. I totally agree with time at home with a loved one…simple pleasures.
    Lastly, while they are all beautiful, I really like that last still life. Something about the wooden lizard frame piece…so history-story-filled. 🙂
    Merry Christmas Dee.

    1. deemallon Post author

      Merry Christmas to you too Nancy. Your world will open up again after you retire. I know it will. The thing about prizing the familiar definitely feels like a function of age. “My spot on the sofa with my heating pad,” etc.

  3. roxanne g reynolds @wordybird2002

    i’ve only managed to make it through episode 1 of this newest season of Shetland. every time i looked at poor Jimmy’s face, i nearly burst into tears. it’s absolutely my favorite series and i adore Douglas Henshall. it’s going to be a rough go.

  4. Tina

    No place like home .. but such wonderful news about your brother doing so well. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all good things in the coming year.

  5. Nancy

    Yes, the combo of age and covid times, for sure. I chuckled at the sofa comment. We too have our sides, the cushions formed to our back sides! lol

  6. Saskia

    merry christmas Dee!
    ‘every day is a gift’, a glib cliché, however reading your post it rings true
    due to covid we are not celebrating grandiose style with brother’s and sister’s family all together (over 20 persons) first time without our parents….
    just the six of us at home: the boys and their girl-friends (we are allowed 4 guests for xmas) together with the 2 dogs it’s going to be small & sweet
    wishing you well xXx

  7. Liz A

    Happy Second Day of Christmas (hummed to the song which I always imagine being sung by the Muppets … ha!) …

    and yes, there’s no place like home … love seeing your stair reflected in the mantel mirror … and grinned at you and K clicking on the fire … even though we no longer have a fireplace, I can honestly say it wasn’t missed as yesterday’s temps in the 80s would have made a fire unbearable here

    last is best … such good news that your brother is progressing, although I can’t imagine being anything but rabidly impatient if/when I ever find myself in a similar situation

    1. deemallon Post author

      do you know that ‘mantel’ was one of the words I consistently misspelled in my manuscript? It absolutely figures that you know how to spell it!

    1. deemallon Post author

      I probably took two dozen pictures of the clouds. It will never NOT amaze me to be motoring along at hundreds of miles an hour at 35,000 feet.


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