It’s been years since I’ve touched this blog, so much has happened and changed. Remy, who I was pregnant with in one of my last posts, just turned 4 today, and Rory, our youngest, will be 2 in January. In the time since my last post I’ve continued working for the post office, lost my brother to cancer, our home to fire, and had to rebuild our entire life from the ground up. I’ve lost friends, gained enemies, battled health issues both physical and mental. Jericho and I both came close to losing our jobs this year (he due to a shift being eliminated, me due to an accident that totaled my vehicle). I have my annual Battle with Bronchitis going on right now, and have had only a single day off since Thanksgiving. I am tired, and sick, worn out, but at least the monkeys are wonderful.
Really, they are all doing well, especially for kids who a little over a year ago fled their burning home in the middle of the night and watched from the car window as it burned down with everything they owned. They are kind, and sweet, and as well behaved as you can expect of kids with this much chaos in their lives. They’ve adjusted to our new home, new town, and new school far better than I have, but kids are resilient like that. They’ve made new friends, charmed the teachers, and made us proud and exasperated, in turn and as needed.
While they adjust well, part of me still cringes every time I go to the grocery store, afraid I’ll run into someone I went to school with. Part of me still cries when I drive out of town after work, out of the place that had been our home for over three years. I still work in the town we lived in, transferring would mean giving up my seniority, and I’ve got a sweet little auxiliary route, when I get to carry only it, that gives me about 30 hours of work a week and would normally let me drop the kids off at school and be done in time to pick them up. Most of the time though, I’m finishing my route and then helping out somewhere else, or with something else, and Jericho has to get the kids.
But this is Christmas, and I work for the postal service, which means that I’m leaving some mornings before they wake, my husband having to get up and take them to school, and getting home some days after he has already left for work just to pay a sitter and fall right into the fray that is raising six children between ages 11 and almost 2. Today I worked nine hours and drove over 130 miles on just packages. Gas would be killing us except thankfully prices are low right now. Every day I cringe a little in guilt at what the carbon footprint required to preform my job does to the environment.
Here at the house we’ve got a few decorations on the porch, and a few on the shelves, mostly things the kids have already broken, plastic light up ornaments that flicker when the switch is flipped. We were supposed to put up the tree tonight, but I think we are all too tired and it’s gotten to late. Maybe on Wednesday, the next evening Rico has off. We have an artificial tree and a box of ornaments gifted to us by a stranger on Facebook I befriended after bemoaning the loss of many of our ornaments not to the fire, but to thieves who broke into our shed and looted through our few remaining possessions in the week afterward.
Probably the ultimate sin is that I really haven’t purchased a single gift. I’ve scavenged things here and there, mostly second hand, but I haven’t done any real shopping. Barely a week remains, and I’m sitting here without any idea where I’m going to find the time or energy to get things done.
So this is Christmas this year at the new Casa de Chaos. Hopefully it improves before the real date gets here. Here’s one of my thrift store finds to decorate the new place, a 50 cent framed cross stitch someone put a lot of time, love, and attention into making way back in the 70’s. Ignore the words on the white board behind it, Sully has to memorize them for school.