It’s snowing here.
First snow of the winter. It had been broadcast for days about this snow apocalypse.
It finally started about 7 pm with an icy sleet.
I could hear the sleet hitting the windows as I huddled under a blanket. Lights off, using the Christmas tree for a warm and homey glow.
I actually decorated the house for Christmas. Garlands cover the mantle, above my kitchen cabinets, over the back door. Every horizontal surface is covered in warm lights and ornaments.
I knew that December was going to be tough so I am trying to bring in as much joy as possible to my surroundings. To keep my heart from sinking.
Even going as far as buying a tree.
First Christmas tree in a long time.
It’s a simple 7 ft prelite tree but the impact it makes is huge.
Trina and I decided we would only put ornaments on it that we had received as gifts or on our travels.
As an homage to our hawaii days together, I leid the tree with shell necklaces.
I have been so blessed to have her here.
I had forgotten how positive, funny and lighthearted she made me.
There’s a spoken rule in our friendship that we can tell each other anything without judgement.
I know that I can tell her my secrets and she will keep them safe.
Unless they are embarrassing. Those are open game to share with our fellow best friends.
She has helped to keep me from spinning out of orbit lately.
It’s Franco’s birthday next week. Ever since we moved to South Carolina, we made yearly trips to the Jack Daniels Distillery. Saw the barrel Christmas tree, took the tour, sampled and always bought an engraved souvenir bottle.
The last time, I bought him a used keg barrel and shelves made from the barrels. Perfect birthday gift to decorate our bar with.
When we were looking at them. He completely ignored the very clean, pretty ones.
He honed in on the barrel with stains, paint marks and rust. It had a roughness and character that was him.
I miss that ruggedness.
I miss his dirty hands in mine.
I miss watching him comb and oil his beard. Sometimes I put some of his beard oil in my hands and rub them on my shoulders so when I turns to hold his flag, I can smell him.
I miss watching the snow with him.
Last year, we awoke to the first snow day of winter and I was like a child.
I dress warmly and pronounced loudly that I was going to go build a snowman in the backyard.
As I gathered the snow that had collected on the outside table in my hands, I brought my hands together to create the snowball and it completely disappeared. Like a cloud of flour thrown in the air.
I just frowned and kept trying to make the ball but it wouldn’t keep the shape.
I opened the door and yelled inside “babe! How do you make a snowman?”
He yelled back “start with a snowball then roll it.”
I shut the door and sat looking at the table and snow.
“Babe!……how do I make a snowball?
He comes to the door, rolling his eyes and shivering at the cold air. “You just clump it together in your hands”
I demonstrate the clumping method I had tried and it was obvious that the snow wasn’t wet enough to stick together.
He just looks at me, shrugged and walked away to look for snack cakes in the pantry.
I complained loudly about the stupid fucking snow ruining my plans and I stomped my feet and came pouting back on to the couch.
He just looked at me and smiled his happy fat kid smile as he downed a snack. I just laughed and snuggled close to him to get warm.
That is the part I miss the most. How damn easy it was to be around him. My best friend. My battle buddy. My Alpha male. The one who always had my back.
It didn’t matter how crazy i got. He could handle it and kept me grounded.
He was my lighthouse. The port in the storm that I could always go to for shelter.
I would give anything to stand at the back door with him again. In silence as he peered out, in his funny way, to see if he could make me laugh. To see his eyes light up at me when I smiled at him.
Maybe the snow will cooperate this year.