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CAROL PERKINS: Ready for a New Year

'This entire season caught me unprepared. I wasn't ready for it when it came upon me,' Carol Perkins writes. But it was still quite eventful, with traditional reunion in Sulphur Well, a hurried trip to Nashville, Christmas with the family, the loss of a treasured item of jewelry there, and a realization that now the last of the fruitcake is gone, there's no need to turn on the outside lights - time to get ready for the new year.
Next Earlier Carol Perkins: Carol Perkins: Working with Santa Claus Posted Sunday, December 15, 2013

By Carol Perkins

By now you have probably opened all your gifts, taken back the ones that didn't fit or you didn't want/need, and overstuffed the garbage can with boxes and wrappings. By now, you are probably sick of the tree, don't turn on your outside lights, and have eaten the last of the fruitcake. By now, you are ready for a new year.

Each year my friends and I have a Christmas gathering at the Lighthouse in Sulphur Well. The week before Christmas we had not made any plans. Finally, one of the ladies booked a table at the restaurant and we started calling each other to get the ball rolling. We couldn't let a year go by without meeting, no matter how hectic life was. Out of the 15 of us who usually gather, eleven were able to come. That was wonderful considering two live in Louisville, one in Campbellsville, and the other in Greensburg. All had made plans by the time we put this together.

We met at 4:30 to avoid the crowd. By eight o'clock we knew we were keeping them from closing, so we filed out with lots of hugs and well wishes and "Let's plan a trip this summer." This was the first time in many, many years we had not gone on a girl trip. Time caught us off guard.

Just for fun we each told what changes had occurred in our lives since last year. For some it was becoming a grandparent or a great-grandparent! For others it was going on Medicare and looking forward to the benefits. Several had retired, had solved major problems hanging over their heads since last year, and some wrecked a vehicle twice (not me!) without her husband knowing. We applauded each other and laughed at the fender bender. A couple actually said nothing had changed since last year. In their cases, that was a good thing. We took pictures around the tree and tried to look thinner than we were last year. Having so many friends is a blessing.

This entire season caught me unprepared. I wasn't ready for it when it came upon me. As a matter of fact, I had bought only two gifts until the weekend before Christmas and I had done that online. So my friend Judy and I made a weekend trip to Nashville for two purposes: one to spend time with my grandson and the other to finish shopping.

While we were at the Green Hills Mall, I walked into a salon to have my hair fixed. I like that luxury when I am not in a hurry. I took off my earrings, a gift from Guy several years ago, because I didn't want the hairbrush hanging in them. As you can probably guess by now, I left them on the station. Thirty minutes or so later I remembered and went back to get them. Immediately, I put them back on.

Not long after that Judy and I met at the door near where we parked and I was telling her about losing my only good pair of earrings when I felt my left ear and found nothing. It was gone. I had been too many places to go back to look for it so I said to myself, "It's only an earring." That wasn't the truth. It was a sentimental gift that I wore daily. I never lose junk jewelry; just the good stuff. (I lost the diamond in my engagement ring a few years ago and have no idea where.)

My Christmas actually began Friday when my children and grandchildren arrived. We celebrated as if it was still December 25th and we ate, laughed, and were happy to be together. Guy and I will have out 47th year anniversary on the 31st and begin another new year. (I'll hint for a new pair of earrings!)

Life catches us off guard, but we manage to rise to whatever occasion is ahead of us. Christmas ends and we move to a new year with the anticipation of a happy and prosperous time. After all, that is what keeps us moving forward time and time gain. Happy New Year! - CAROL PERKINS

This story was posted on 2013-12-26 03:22:07
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