Around us, the Christmas lights twinkled. It took two weeks, but they’re up. The dog wound his way between us, cat like, asking to be scratched, looking hopefully at his stocking. Although he checks his stocking daily, he’s learned in his 14½ years that it isn’t Christmas until we gather. He was clearly wondering: did this make it a holiday?
And it did, in a way. Odd, to me, that the times I remember most fondly through the years often have to do with bad weather, because it forced us to stop and come together, united against the elements. One of my favorites was the time the thunderstorm took out our power. My middle school- and grade school-aged children were torn from their lights and electronics, and we all gathered in the dark and comforted the dog and laughed even louder than the thunder.
We were lucky, of course. Lucky that the roof was okay, that the ice hadn’t knocked out power, that we were warm and comfortable in our home. That our district announced its closing the night before. That we had another unexpected holiday, the best kind.