They’re calling for sun on Christmas Day.
Sunshine and temperatures in the low 40s. I picked a dress for morning services, because it’s not often I can wear one in December.
It’s been mild all month. I realized that yesterday, looking at the calendar and realizing it was three days until Christmas and what little snow we’ve had disappeared within hours.
I remember last winter, how the cold started with the turning of calendar pages, how our furnace rattled and blew all day long.
Three days before last Christmas I was standing in deep snow, watching flames leap from windows and water run down the street to freeze into a dangerous sheet of ice, standing just across the street from a tarp that hid the body of the man who died.
This year has been mild, and the news has been too. We’re light on local tragedy and the police officer laughs at me when I call him, ask if he’s sure they sent all the reports because I haven’t seen any and it makes me nervous, makes me wonder what I’ve been missing.
He says I’m not missing anything.
A fog hung eerily around the street lights this morning and mud squished around my boots when I cut through the grass between the road and the sidewalk. My neighbor put an inflatable Snoopy in his front yard, waiting for his daughter to come home from her mother’s.
He’s hidden her presents at our house, dropped by last night to retrieve a few for these days leading up to Christmas.
He grinned at the children here spending the night but when he realized they were our siblings, he stopped.
“But you’re just kids,” he said to us, wondering, and it made me laugh.
And today we’re wrapping up our stories but there isn’t much to say. My Christmas story ran yesterday and my nonprofit story runs today and the crimes were short today. Just a bit of retail theft at Walmart, kids trying to finish their Christmas shopping without paying, I guess.
We’ll finish packing and load our box of gifts wrapped in newspaper and brown paper bags and drive the hour north.
This year, there’s nothing I have to shake off, no one’s tragedy to put into words and then try to forget.
And this year, the sun will be shining.