Advent 3 – The Cadillac in the Driveway

The largest trunk in the known universe . . .

The light was dwindling as the late December day ended. Above, the first stars welcomed the beginnings of another long winter night. Oh, how cold it seemed in the California suburb where I then lived. (For it would be years in the future when living in a Wisconsin zip code that I understood the huge difference between a coolish night and teeth-chattering cooooold.)

Still, I shivered and waited outside.

My grandparents’ 1952 Cadillac had just arrived. It was black like the night, with a backseat as big as a sofa. Its engine purred like an eager lion and the headlights could illuminate the world. The four-door luxury sedan had journeyed across the center of the state to arrive at my house.

As I watched my grandfather cautiously back the Cadillac up to our open garage door, I never once questioned why he hadn’t merely turned left into the driveway to easily park the car in front of the house. Continue reading →

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Advent 2 – Through a Window

Prepare.

Wait

And then, wait some more.

Was the plane on time? We weren’t sure.

How bad were the roads between the airport near San Francisco and the sprawling ranch in the center of the Central Valley of California? We weren’t sure.

Back then, still a child that could count my years with the fingers of two hands, I remember waiting. For that Christmas, many on my mother’s side of the family were gathering at my grandparents’ magical ranch. The relatives from the distant land of Tennessee would be arriving for the celebrations. Or would they?

Communication by telephone was sketchy. Continue reading →

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Advent 1 – Pendletons in the Closet

My father’s shirts have hung in my closet since the summer of 2012.

He had died in February of that year.

Several months after Dad’s death, Mom began the steps to sell her home of over forty years. There was contact with a real estate agent. The inevitable garage sale. My sisters and I helped and there came a time when Mom invited us to take any of the things we might want. She was downsizing, soon to move to a retirement facility. There wouldn’t be enough room for many of the “things” my parents had accumulated in their nearly seven decades of marriage. In truth, my Depression-era parents had always been frugal and weren’t encumbered by piles of stuff. Don’t-buy-it-if-you-can’t-afford-it could have been a motto displayed on a shingle underneath their street address. Continue reading →

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