December came. The new normal was becoming a routine sprinkled with more delays on the house project. The contractor got sick for a week from the flu. Since Lucky and Big C were the crew, they could not move forward without the contractor to lead the project. They were kept busy with other issues that sprung up on the farm though. The cold winter weather brought up a host of new problems to be dealt with, and Sunny learned the hard way that a manure spreader’s paddles need to be warmed up before using the spreader in the cold. Things that cold froze up and when turned on busted.
By the time Christmas arrived, no one felt like being in a holiday mood. I didn’t even decorate the house. There was no room to put up a Christmas tree because of the renovation. Instead I put out a Scentsy tree warmer. That was the only decoration I put out besides putting camouflage Santa hats on the dead heads in the living room.
I did some holiday baking, but I found it difficult with the lack of space. Regardless, I felt I had to bake something even though Big C despite his sweet tooth said he didn’t care if we had nothing. With Shaggy gone, the house torn apart and the guys being tired out from the extra work, they didn’t feel like celebrating anything let alone Christmas.
Still, after finding some gift certificates that Shaggy had tucked away somewhere for a local restaurant, Lucky thought we should use them toward a holiday buffet on Christmas Day. Big C wasn’t too keen on going but went with Lucky, Sunny and me after Lucky convinced him we had to do something as a family.
It was a long ride that Christmas Day to the restaurant, not in the sense of distance but the ride, itself. One could have heard a pin drop in the Jeep, this after I decided to not engage in conversation with the guys. I would have had better luck with Budster or Cook to get some reaction out of the guys for 10 miles. I chose to keep my thoughts to myself and decided to enjoy the scenery because it was a treat for me to get away from the farm.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the mood changed. Lucky and Sunny interacted like they normally do around a buffet of food while Big C, still not happy being there, became a critic about where we were seated and the food offered. As for me, when the waitress asked what we wanted to drink, I followed Big C’s lead of having a Captain root beer. I needed something to help me get through that meal after the ride which seemed like an eternity.
After the meal, the rest of the day was tolerable. It seems like a full stomach does wonders for a guy. The guys were more animated on the ride back home, finding places that had tractors sitting out in a lot for sale and other things guys take an interest in.
Later that day I quietly enjoyed a gift cousins from Colorado surprised me with that came by USPS. Our hired man and his wife who help with the milking surprised us later that night with food from their native country of Mexico. They were having a family party and wanted us to be part of it in some way. I felt thankful for them. They were real good about not taking Sundays off any more since Shaggy’s death as it was. Mexican food at the end of a day that started out rather sad was like icing on a cake.