Dec 232015
 

Christmas hasn’t always been merry for our family. Be assured that it is merry most of the time. However, there were memorable exceptions throughout the years.

Post 12-23-15 #1

For many years, my mother’s extended family celebrated Christmas–the eve and the day–at my great aunt Katie’s home because she had the longest and widest dining room. We put three large tables together so the entire family—kids included—could sit at the dinner table together. The Christmas tree, with everyone’s presents beneath it, occupied her living room. Before I tell you about one particular Christmas nightmare at Aunt Katie’s, I need to fill you in on the stars of this misadventure: my second cousins, the fraternal twins M and B. Continue reading »

Jun 172015
 

We traveled west of the Mighty Mississippi last week for Macho Guy’s high school reunion. If you’re bracing yourself for a blow by blow description, you may relax. Not going there. No way. No how.

After the reunion ended, we stayed on for a family visit, mainly to help MG’s older sister in her quest to downsize from a three-bedroom split level to a one-floor condo. An additional quest involved persuading her to be more active in communicating with the rest of the family via email and on Facebook. She needed a device that was more user-friendly and more mobile than her old PC minitower so she would be more apt to use it. To that end, we [that is, I] helped her shop for and select an iPad.

Tech Envy Continue reading »

Dec 242014
 

Jolana Malkston 4Leading up to Christmas Eve, while others go crazy shopping for Christmas gifts until the stores close their doors, I go a little bananas binging on my favorite Christmas guilty pleasure: a marathon of Christmas movies. Be they classic or contemporary, nostalgic or nutty, heartwarming or heart stopping, or maybe all of the above, I try to watch all my favs to the point of exhaustion and major eyestrain.

 

12-24-14 A_lightsMC10

12-24-14 Movies 1 Continue reading »

Dec 172014
 

Jolana Malkston 4I hide things from myself. Well, not deliberately. I put them away in a safe place, and then the location of the safe place is so safe that it’s safe from me as well because its whereabouts are no longer known to me.

In the passage of time, I forget whatever it was that I put in the safe place that is so safe that it’s safe from me as well because its whereabouts are no longer known to me.

I’ve been told I’m a pack rat because I never throw anything out. I dispute that. I believe pack rats know exactly what they have and where they put it, and they keep their stuff because they like it and want it. I never throw anything out because I don’t remember where I put it and don’t remember having it in the first place. Not a pack rat.

Now that we have that settled, we can move on. Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

Jolana Malkston 4Once upon a time, a young couple went shopping for a Christmas tree. As the cliché goes, they barely had two nickels to rub together. He was serving in the US Army, which has never been famous for paying exorbitant salaries to enlisted men. She had two hefty student loans to repay. They spied a little artificial Christmas tree at the very end of an aisle that was stocked with much taller trees. The little tree was a display model, the last of its kind in stock, and the only artificial Christmas tree on sale. Its sale price didn’t break their budget.

They bought the little tree. They also bought two boxes of ornaments and a plastic star, also on sale, to decorate the little tree’s branches. They rushed home to their apartment, delighted with their bargains, and set about assembling the little tree. When they were done, she thought the little tree had a very merry look about it. Its curved up branches reminded her of smiles.

The ornaments they bought happened to be all one color—blue. The ornaments were not the traditional red and green Christmas colors, but the little tree wore them well—for three years—until the couple moved, became a tiny bit more affluent, and had a child. They bought a much bigger artificial Christmas tree. They left the little tree, alone and lonely, tucked in its box in the attic of their new home. They put the little tree’s blue plastic star atop the much bigger tree and hung the little tree’s blue ornaments on its branches. Continue reading »

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