Today I will be an elf. I’ll call myself “Nana Elf.” Santa will be riding the fire truck to visit homes where parents have asked the fire department’s help in bringing Santa to visit their children and hear their wishes. As Santa’s own elves are very busy this month at the North Pole, I’ll be joining him as a ‘helper elf’ and visiting the children with him on the truck, going house to house, following a carefully planned schedule. From 3:30 to 7:30, when all the streets begin to light their Christmas lights, we’ll be driving through the neighborhoods bringing smiles, candy canes and presents to the lucky boys and girls whose parents’ wishes for a visit from Santa will come true. This will be my first time as a ‘helper elf,’ and I am so looking forward to it. Rick is concerned that all that hopping up and down in and out of the fire truck will tire me out or prove to be harder than I can do, but I’ve assured him that my joy in seeing all of the children and their smiles and delight with Santa’s visits will energize me to complete the evening’s tour in true elf style.
Monday the doctor visits will begin again, with a trip into the city in a promised blustery storm. I know that Rick will get us there safely, and our Abby will carry us well. The following Monday we’ll return to see another doctor in the city. And then we’ll travel to Maine to see our grandchildren and daughter to bring presents to them later in the week.
We are so fortunate to have Abby, a vehicle we can depend on to take us to these visits. She is the one luxury in our lives … safe, dependable travel. Though I’d planned to work through her final payment date, and though the early ‘Medically-required” retirement interrupted that plan, we’ve carefully budgeted our lowered income and prioritized keeping her in the family. Chevy has never let us down. Of course, we could get a bumper sticker that we’ve often seen on smaller cars – one that says “My other vehicle is a fire engine” – but that would seem to undeservedly belittle our Abby. So we ride instead with a proud “State of Massachusetts Retiree” sticker, and a “Phi Kappa Phi” sticker, and a Firefighter’s horizontal red line on black sticker, which would alert other firefighters that we’re family in case we’re ever lost or stuck somewhere. And we also ride with our magnets on the back that say “Wooden Toy and Gift – Buy them all; we can make more,” and our new one, reading “Quilters’ Quarters – Fabrics, Notions and Lessons.” Each of these gives a glimpse into our lives in our happily ever retirement. And each invite conversations along our way.
Wishing all of you happy Christmas memories-in-the-making! And please remember to Shop Local!