Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Malling

Tomorrow's the day. Tomorrow we'll throw some ratchet straps in the pickup, gather up our loaves of apple bread and make the pilgrimage west to Lincoln. Its the day we visit two of our best customers, express our appreciation, exchange Christmas wishes and maybe some shop talk. Pick up our Christmas tree. Eat a bite of lunch.
And then....then we go Christmas shopping. Correction. I hope to finish up my shopping for this year after taxing the likes of FedEx and UPS for many of the gifts for our extensive family and frequenting Target, Penney, and the bookstore for others. But tomorrow is the day Blake does his Christmas shopping.
This has been standard operating procedure for more than a few years. We used to shop after poinsettia deliveries. More than once we did our shopping on the 22nd or the 23rd, Blake waiting with a book and a coffee while I shuttled shopping bags back and forth like a squirrel piling his hoard. One night we delivered plants to Beatrice, then drove north to Lincoln to catch the stores that closed late. The radio was playing a cowboy poet/singer and the night was as calm and bright as the Christmas carol.
When the OakView Mall in Omaha first opened, we'd top off our shopping with a trip to the book store and a toasty warm mocha for the ride home. We STILL top off shopping with the mocha and a sigh.
I am sorry my loving husband finds me so difficult to shop for. I know he agonizes over this, but through the years, he has done quite well in the gifting category. Some have been necessary, like the washing machine that hid under the straw in the shed for a month. Some have made life and work more pleasant, like the xm radio that migrates from town to greenhouse and back each year during planting season. Some luxurious like the black leather coat from last year. Some have been lovingly personal, like the 1860s map of Nebraska territory I enjoy every day.
But I know every one has been like pulling teeth.
So, tomorrow there will be a guy in a chore coat at the South Pointe Mall in Lincoln. Maybe he'll call in his daughter for reinforcements; maybe he'll go it alone. He's a brave lonely guy and I can see him in my mind's eye tromping through the doors of places like Bath and Body Works and Pier 1, companies he might buy stock in, but not products of. In return, I'll drive home so he can read and recover.
And shopping will be over for another year. Once again, my husband will have given me a gift that makes me smile; the fact he was willing to take a "malling" for me.

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