So you may be wondering... Well, sit back and I'll tell you a story... A true, it happened today story about part of my adventure in finding my Christmas...
First, I wasn't looking for it. It kind of knocked me up-side the head all day...
Tiny background for anyone who is reading about our journey for the very first time:
We are empty nesters, with no other pets than our gliders. So they are like our children that will never grow up. Our first glider's name was Fiona. We got her on an impulse at a county fair in Odessa, TX 6 years, 3 months and 2.5 weeks ago.
Something about your very first glider. They crawl under your skin right there where your heart is, and get stuck there.... She was sweet, bossy, a cuddler and a bra baby. When she was still a Joey, she adopted MY favorite pull over hoodie as her own... Skip to today. Fiona has been on my mind a lot lately. She passed away on May 28th of this year. It's a bitter story, but this story is about today...
This morning I got up early to prepare our Christmas meal and we invited my Mom and Step Dad. I was preparing glazed ham, candied yams, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, corn casserole, and rolls. Enough food for 12-16 people.
It's a strange year with the pandemic, all of our families are tucked in their home, each celebrating there. But I wanted to celebrate in my own way which is cooking a festive meal...
I woke up this morning, walked into the living room where Stewie and Gracie were in their separate cages, running in their wheel almost in time with each other. The minute Stewie saw me, he jumped out of his wheel and began running around, jumping to the door and either begging for a treat or he wants out. I gave him a snack and started getting dinner prepared and ready to cook. While in the kitchen mentally making my schedule, I start thinking, I should take Stewie to the bedroom here in a little while so he can find "his spot" to sleep for the day. I figured it's Christmas, and I should let him have a special place to sleep. He's been kinda grounded since we're trying to get him and Gracie together.
Once hubby woke up, I scooped Stewie who had gave up on getting to sleep in our bed. He was so excited!!! I dropped him off on our made bed and checked on him every 10 minutes or so, keeping an ear focused on any shenanigans he might try to get in to.
When I'd walk in to the room, he would greet me. He was as close to the door as he could get, keeping on our bed. By the last time I walked in to the room, giving up he didn't want to be there, I just stood there and watched him... I asked " What's wrong Stewie? Do you want to go back to your cage? You don't want to sleep in here? At that point, he jumped on me. I turned to take him back to his cage, and he jumped off me, and ran across the bed, climbed up onto the spindle that had Fiona's hoodie hanging there. I set it up so he could choose sleep there if he wanted. Sometimes I'll take it down and wear it and spend time with him like I did with the girls when they chose to sleep in it.
Stewie climbed into the hood and peeked out. I said, " Oh, Ok, you're gonna sleep in your hoodie?" So I turned to leave. Before I had taken one step, I heard him jump run across the bed towards me. He stopped and just looked at me. Then once he had my attention, he turned back and ran and climbed into the hoodie again. Poked his head out and just looked at me.
So I just watched him. I looked real hard at my once favorite hoodie. It's 6 years older, getting a bit ragged with it's missing sleeves, holes here and there, I should really toss it...
But it was Fiona's favorite thing for me to wear. She spent hours in that hood, in the middle of my back, spending time with me while I did my daily things around the house. I would sit and watch TV sometimes, lift the hood around to my left shoulder where she would re-arrange herself and sometimes take naps in my recliner.
When we got Stewie, it became his favorite hoodie too. He and Fiona spent a lot of time away from Dot and with me. Stewie would watch Fiona get excited as I would pull the hoodie over my head. Sometimes she would jump on me while I was putting it on, as I was working over my head and pulling it down, she would climb in and out of the arm holes jumping, climbing in anticipation of finally getting settled in the hood. Stewie usually watched from a safe distance on the bed. Once he realized she was staying put, he would jump on me and climb in the hood with her. In the seven months since she's been gone, I could pull on the hoodie, and he would climb aboard.
Back to this morning... So as Stewie was trying to move the hoodie, I decided, hum, maybe he wants the hoodie... So as I was was taking it down, he jumped to me, all giddy and excited running from shoulder to shoulder
, Up and down my back. I was having deja vu... So for kicks I gave it a try... As I was pulling the hoodie over my head, he started climbing through the arm holes just like a little girl I knew did... I was elated, and sad at the same time. He finally settled down in the hood after a little bit. And then I realized, I have a huge dinner to pull off today... Well, so what... My boy wants to spend time with me and that's the most important thing. It's Christmas and he can do what he wants.
So i did some prepping, had hubby put the ham in the oven (we have a double oven. If you counted, I have too many casseroles to cook at one time).
One of the biggest "no-nos" is cooking while having your glider on you... So safety first...
Stewie has settled in for the day, on my back in the hood. That's never safe. A sudden noise, a smell could send his flying out and in to danger... So I carefully take the hoodie off over my head, turn it wrong side out, and turning and pulling it back over my head, wearing it backwards. This way he's in the front and secure inside the hood, and I can feel him, he can be next to my heart... Like this:https://photos.app.goo.gl/d7S9cKqbHQAYUFdJ6
And this is where he stayed all day. I didn't boil water, or fry anything, and hubby took care to take things in and out of the oven for me. Stewie never moved a muscle all day...
Dinner was on time, we watched Grinch with Jim Carrey, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but in the pic, I have pajamas on. Grinch pajamas... My Mom got them for me. My parents tolerated Stewie and his hoodie, we made calls and did video chat with family. They left shortly before the end of the movie. Everyone was tired and satisfyingly full.
I cleaned up the kitchen, and the credits were rolling on the movie. I went and put my comfy new Grinch jammies on and when it got back to the main menu, I scrolled it down to the Faith Hill video "Where are you Christmas".
As I watched it, this pandemic fell away from my mind. I began to count my blessings. We're happy and healthy too. At that moment, my heart swelled and I let Christmas settle in right next to Stewie. It's been years since I have been at peace like this.
I had to share this too. And I have to credit Jessica Lipari for this. I saw this yesterday, and it made me sad, but then Stewie gave me his gift of time today and it made it all better...https://photos.app.goo.gl/K6aJnAYAYg6B8mbE6
I hope anyone reading this may be able to find their own Christmas, or at least some of their own peace from this strange world right now.
So, Grace had her own fun today too. While Stewie and I were somewhere else doing our own thing, hubby turned her loose and watched her play between her cage and Stewie's. She decided to snack on what he left over from dinner and sleep in his cage, in his pouch all day. Didn't wake up once... So, it's their dinnertime, and I moved her back into her cage, Stewie's pouch and all. Then we put her pouch back in Stewie's cage... He's getting restless, so I'd better go, so he can get his surprise from Grace... The food and fresh water is set...
I hope you liked my story, y'all be safe out there.