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My Christmas gift of “Florida Citrus,” from my “Florida Uncle,” arrived today.

It’s always welcome and appreciated, but it’s always way too much fruit, so I share it with my neighbors.

I guess that’s re-gifting but it makes me feel good and the neighbors get to hear about my 90-year-old uncle, who still plays 2 rounds of golf a week, and maybe meeting over fruit, makes for good neighbors.

And, it’s easy to do ~  I just pick out one grapefruit, one orange, and one tangerine, and make a few trips to a few houses.  This year, I met the new neighbors, who moved in just this month.  We’ll be sharing a fence, so I’m hoping that sharing fruit, will make me look good.  You never know when you’ll need a brownie-point or two.  Maybe they’ll remember that re-gifted red grapefruit when I accidentally run into their mailbox some rainy night.

But, then I rang  Linda’s doorbell and watched her come to the door.

Linda, Drew, and their one-year-old baby girl, Kay Lynn, live a few houses down from me.  We’ve chatted, (only in passing), about babies and dogs and jobs and lawns and cars, for the last two years or so.

Now, Linda is bald or almost so.   Back-lit by the bright, white twinkling lights of their Christmas tree, I see a halo of strawberry-blonde fuzz covering her flushed scalp, as she gets closer to the door.

Oh, God – I didn’t know.  It must be cancer.  Didn’t I see her walking BookerTee recently?  But it’s cold out, so she must have been wearing a hat. 

Oh, God – what do I say?  She’s only around 30.   And I’m standing there with freakin’ fruit in a freakin’ gift bag fussed over with red and green tissue paper attractively peaked while peeping over the top of a bright and shiny holiday gift bag, like I learned to do watching a TV craft show last week. 

OH, CRAP !

Linda opens the door,  I stay at the threshold, we say our Hi’s, and I ask, “How’ya doing?”

Why did I say that – I don’t know she has cancer. 

She says she’s doing really well:  she’s half-way through her first round of chemo and handling it.

I tell her she looks good.  I don’t ask anything else.  Handing her the gift bag, I ramble on about my uncle in Florida, the winter fruit crop, and we discuss the benefits of Ruby Red’s.

Crap – Crap – Crap!

We wish each other Happy Holidays and I almost sprint home.

I’ll stop by before New Years.  I’ll make myself do it – I will !

Now, I want to relive Thanksgiving.  Do you?

Yours ’till ~ and God laughed, Kate

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