Terri Kaiser

I’m not ready! I’m not ready for cold, for winter jackets, hats, mittens, warming up the car, shoveling.

What am I ready for?

I am ready to go Christmas shopping. I want to walk into store after store with no mask, no bottle of hand sanitizer in the bottom of my purse, no trying to guess ‘should I say hello to this person behind the mask, or is it a complete stranger that has eyes similar to Cousin Effy?’ If I’m not sure who I’m staring at, I just smile knowing this other person cannot see my smile, but the crinkles at the corners of my eyes should communicate a welcoming hello, or maybe gas depending on the amount of effort I put into it. Oh well, I smile and hope for the best and get a crinkling of crowsfeet in response.

Yes, I am ready to jostle a cart in the aisle with the best of them, hoping to find just that right present for the grandkids and the granddogs. (Yes, I’m one of those weirdos that buys for the pets). I want to reach in front of someone for a coveted chotchke that so-and-so needs, with no worry as to what germs I am exposing myself to.

And when I’m ready for a break, I want to sit down in a coffee shop or a restaurant with my shopping partners to share a croissant sandwich, a mocha and a bit of gossip in a sea of others doing just the same. I want to see my waitress's pretty face as she offers me pie.

I want to plan Thanksgiving knowing that the whole family will be there, touching elbows around the table, passing the gravy and the dressing, seeing who beats who to the turkey legs, share a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, and dig into the pumpkin pie or the Dutch apple heaped with whipped cream.

At this time of the year, I want to be checking the newspaper for Christmas bazaars, craft sales, concerts and festivals to see what talents are displayed whether it be knitted items, handmade jewelry and wood items, cutesy tree decorations and lush wreaths. Not to mention the baked goods! I want to hear music from choirs standing shoulder to shoulder straining for just the right blending of notes to make my heart soar. And then there are the church basement dinners where we stand in lines salivating as we inch nearer and nearer to the vats of steaming soups, or spaghetti, or pork and dumplings, and plates of desserts. Then, to sit at long tables and make new friends or renew old ones with not one barrier between us.

I am ready for these things, but I know it’s more than likely not happening, as we have to put most of it on the shelf for this year. I refuse to think it may go much beyond this year (please, let me have my fantasy). Whether we like it or not, we are being offered a challenge to celebrate our traditions in different ways, to think outside the box, in order to, as my grandma would say, ‘keep our chins up.’ I admit this social isolation and these disease preventing precautions are getting to me.

SO, I am ready to rise to the challenge to meet this holiday season with a different attitude, because anything less would be to admit defeat to all the negativity. Nope, not happening. But let’s talk again in January, shall we?

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