Wednesday 08 Have you ever been dreaming and then realize that you are no longer dreaming but just “thinking”? That’s how I woke this morning. This was not at all like I normally wake. The norm is to just wake up … suddenly … totally. Today it was like a slow slide into conciseness. I didn’t care for it.
It was a cold 41° and sprinkling as we got out of bed. The high for the day was maybe 49° with a continuous drizzle.
Attendance at Grandies was down due to the weather and people being sick with this same URI that Ella and I have been suffering through. We did have a new person, Lera, arrive today. She had been invited by some of our members who also attend the Over the Hill Gang. Those of us who attended were rewarded with a Thanksgiving meal brought in by Teresa and Jackie with Pete (Teresa’s husband) along for the meal. We had requested chicken rather than turkey. We figured we’d be turkeyed to death by the end of the month anyway. There was dressing, cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls and pie to go with the chicken.
Then we went home to nap, all covered and snuggled down in the recliners. Covered because it was 56° inside when we arrived back at the RV. Tom kept slowly bringing the thermostat up to keep us at about 62-65°, which is where we like it.
Choir was cancelled because of the cold and drizzle.
Thursday 09 39° start for the day. I got up and got dressed in my “kick around home” clothes. I got my blood testing meters ready and then did dishes. I’ve explained this before but here we go again. I do the dishes to make sure my fingers are clean and warm. They have to be clean for the test and they need to be warm so that the blood flows more easily. My INR showed a little on the thin side of normal and my glucose was the best it’s been recently … and it hasn’t been bad recently.
After breakfast we started getting ready to go to the funeral of Bob, a friend from church. We also sang in the choir for the service. Our little chapel (the original church building) was packed with extra chairs brought in and still some people standing. He was remembered by his daughter as always being “straight and level” in everything he did. That included the way he scooped the ice cream so that what was left in the container was as straight and level as when it was first opened.
Ella and I did not go to the gravesite service but waited in the worship center for family and friends to return for the lunch. Only a few dozen of the hundreds who had attended returned for lunch. There was a lot of food left over. I hope that it found a home where it was needed.
Around three o’clock we left for Lakeline Mall. Santa’s soft opening (where they are getting the equipment set up and the new people trained) was from 5 to 8. I did not work it. Charlie did. However, I went to make sure that my suits, shirts, etc. fit. The set is much different than last year and more attractive. My only observation was that the traffic flow in and out did seem to be as direct as last year. We will see how it works.
Friday 10th started 50° and overcast for my first day as Santa this season. I will be sitting in the big chair from 10 till 4 most of November including Saturdays but with Sundays and Thanksgiving off. In December the hours change to 9 to 4 most days including all but one Sunday. The first Sunday in December is when we open early (before the stores) and have time with special needs children (of all ages). These events are a special treat for me. Most of them come so excited to see Santa. And few of them come with a catalog of Christmas wishes. It is a lot of joy and some heartbreakers also.
My first day as Santa this season went well. People are still surprised that Santa has arrived at Lakeline Mall, even though we started a full week later than last year. All the kids that came were excited to see me … well there was one that was a little shy … but I won her over. I also had my first special needs person yesterday. He was a delight to talk with.
It was a six hour day (10-4) and I had not packed any protein bars, so I was hungry by the time I returned home. There are no scheduled breaks in the schedule but if I need to “go feed the reindeer” I just let the set manager know.
I’m still not over my cough but was able to control it while on the set. But as soon as I was off and in my vehicle, it started up again.
I had dropped Ella off at the Leander Senior Center shortly after 9. She played games and ate lunch there. One of our friends took her to the library after lunch. She played games on her phone until I picked her up around 4:30.
Saturday 11 I worked 10-3 in the red suit. I enjoy it so much that I hate to call it “work”. It’s more like I get paid to play with children. Which reminds me; one little toddler would crawl around on the carpet and then pick up NOTHING and bring it to me. So I kept all of the imaginary things that she brought me. We never did get a photo with her because she wouldn’t sit with me. However, we had fun playing together.
I had a couple of about my age (70) that came and had pictures taken. I had fun playing with them also. I put both of my arms around her first and asked him to scoot away out of the picture. Of course I did this with a smile on my face and a laugh in my voice. So then we all cuddled together and got a great photo with plenty of smiles.
I had two special needs “girls” today. One was a fully matured young woman with diminished mental abilities. It didn’t keep her from being really excited to come and sit on Santa’s lap. I tried to engage her in conversation; however the only thing she would say was “yes”. The next girl was in her late teens and high functioning autistic. She fully interacted with Santa but didn’t speak at all.
When I returned home, Ella was waiting with three large laundry bags full of dirty clothes. I went inside just long enough to notice that it had been vacuumed and to grab something to eat. We then went to the Laundromat where Ella did laundry while I napped. I woke in time to help fold the clothes and carry them out to the truck.
We spent the rest of the evening watching TV.
Before I went to bed, I did put all of my clean clothes away.