"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas faq: Whadja get?

How was everyone's Christmas? That is, everyone who celebrates Christmas. Not to offend, you know.

Mine was pretty good, except that I had the Cold of a Thousand Faces. For three days, it was a Sore Throat, one that hurt so badly I barely got any sleep. On Christmas Eve, it became a Stuffy Head, which meant I didn't feel like having my traditional glass of wine for dinner or glass of sherry while I stuffed stockings. On Christmas Day, I was treated to Runny Nose, inconvenient as hell when you're wandering around to different houses to exchange gifts. Boxing Day was for Sinus Headache - I felt like someone was boxing my brains out.

And now, I'm sniffly but better, all thanks to the good Drs. Motrin, Sudafed, Halls, Afrin, and Excedrin. Better living through chemistry, I always say.

As for gifts, I was apparently good this year. No gold stars, but there was no coal in my stocking - oh, wait, I stuffed that. I got a nice gift card to a day spa, some iTunes cards, a few t-shirts and scarves. It was all pleasant. But I received one present that made me laugh, cry, and count my blessings.

Let me explain.

A few years ago, Dale got me horseback riding lessons for my birthday. One set of four lessons. I took them, but wanted more, so I took more. I took more, but I wanted to ride more, so I leased my trainer's champion trail horse. That led to going to horse shows, which ultimately led to my buying Frostie, breeding her, raising Snoopy, etc. As you can tell, the whole thing went from a little costly to a lotta costly pretty quick. Dale didn't say Stop, but he is the most laconic man in the universe, given to waiting until the last minute before he says, "So, did you think that was a good idea?" or something like that.

So I didn't really know what he thought about it all. He rarely accompanied me to the horse shows, or went to the ranch.

And then, for Christmas, I got this:

It's my trainer's horse, Copper Kist, the belt buckle I won, and all my ribbons. He went to the ranch, got them all to help him take the photos, put it all together, and had it framed. In other words, he spent a lot of time and effort, recording a memory for me. He may not have said it, but he was proud of what I had done.

THIS Christmas, I got a large, flat package from Dale and Marcus. I opened it and found:

Dale acted fairly nonchalant, but Marcus was beaming. Father and son had collaborated on a collage of my debut novel, complete with reviews from Amazon (five stars!) and the front and back cover of my book.

Wait... the front and back cover?

I tried to be tactful. I told them how wonderful it was, how much I loved it. But sooner or later I had to ask, "Did you cut up one of my books?"

"We bought it first," Dale replied, as if that made it perfectly reasonable.

I really adore these guys, and I love what they've done, and I love that they're so proud of me, even if a small portion of my brain wants to scream, "You tore up a perfectly good book! You could have scanned the covers! Agh!"

Luckily, it's Christmas and I can just feed that portion of my brain some more fudge to placate it.

How about you? Whadja get?


dino martin peters said...

Hey Miss Gayle Carline....scannin' the covers woulda not be as personal...what a great gift to get from your fam....

Liz Kreger said...

What a wonderful gift, Gayle. Congrats on having two wonderful men in your life.

I told hubby to scale back this Christmas. We're not hurtin', but there really wasn't much of anything I needed. So gift-wise, it was perfume (my favorite) and a sweat-suit. LOL.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those are great stories and awesome gifts, Gayle. I'm guessing somebody likes you a lot.

our gift was a Roku digital video player that lets us watch Netflix movies on demand on our television. Dear husband and I like electronic toys way too much.

Proud Member of ALA!

I support fair and equitable library access to ebooks and so should you.