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An Advent Calendar Memoir

 This is a story about my first year of widowhood, focusing on the month of preparation before Christmas. The pictures behind the doors of the “Christmas Night” Advent calendar suggested themes for each chapter. There are twenty-four doors and two extra chapters. They will each be released from December 1 – 26, 2014.


Chapter 26

THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS – Monday, December 26, 2006

That morning John got Tally to Wheaton bright and early, but putting the tires on the car took longer than anyone had anticipated.  Even at noon when I drove Tally Jr. back to the tire shop the job wasn’t finished and we were held up further by dickering over the cost and whether it had been paid or not. Continue reading

Chapter 25

CHRISTMAS DAY – Sunday, December 25, 2005

 When we were little kids and still believed in Santa Claus we’d be at Mass on Christmas morning, no breakfast in our stomachs because we’d be receiving Communion.  We’d all be dressed up and felt special but were impatient to rush home and open presents.  Once we were in the car, Dad’s evil twin would prolong the suspense by driving home the long way, taking side streets and lanes that did nothing but extend the trip while we screamed in protest.  He got such a kick out of it, that he did it every year.

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Chapter 22

DOOR  # 22 – Thursday, December 22, 2005


Behind this door is a placid deer family lying on the snow – a cardinal on the male’s antlers is whistling, “Hail, hail the gang’s all here.”  Their picture resides next to a swirl signifying the incessant wind which plays across the snowy hillside.  Familial peace amid the gusts that surround them.

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Chapter 18

DOOR #18 – Sunday, December 18, 2005


This bear is balancing a gift box on his head, but he’s also screwing up the margins on my five-year-old computer, so his influence on Word Perfect is slightly negative.  He’s wearing a bright red ribbon around his neck and appears to be in the spirit of things, but “some days are diamonds, some days are pearls,” as John Denver used to sing, and today I can’t get a bead on what this creature is about.  Continue reading