Monday, December 19, 2011

A Present of Time

My desk calendar is both a friend and an enemy. There’s still a comforting cushion of pages remaining before the date of Bob’s departure, but it grows thinner every day.

We distract ourselves with household chores to avoid dwelling on December 26. I’m busy with preparations for Christmas dinner, such as looking through unlabeled boxes for my never-before-used wedding china. After his brief visit to Portland to bid his father farewell, Bob’s in a flurry of household projects. He’s determined to have everything in perfect order so that I’ll have nothing to worry about for “The Duration.” I think he’s secretly hoping he’ll come home to a world unchanged from the one he left. Well, I’ll try my best.

I take heart from an editorial that appeared in the newspaper this week. It read as follows:

“Heads up, Seattle, smile! Sure, there’s a war, and those blacked-out windows are depressing. What of it? Broken morale in other countries makes the wheels go round in Hitler’s war machine. Long faces on Seattle streets are just what the Japs and Axis want. Snap out of it. It’s Christmas time. We have others to think of besides ourselves. And remember this: There’ll always be a Christmas. Win with good cheer! Win with hard work! We are Americans! Let’s do it the American way! He who laughs, lasts!”

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