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About the day before the night before Christmas…and the perils of hiccups!

I had a post half-written (in my head) and was feeling cheery and ready to host a small Christmas Eve gathering in our home the next day. Add to that eager anticipation of a full family Christmas with the shared excitement of young children–the ones who say things like, “Santa is such a nice man. I wonder if he gets the toys free from stores?” Sophia and Karina do believe in Santa, but I’ve been told they aren’t as sure about the reindeer and apparently a workshop with elves is also a bit hard to swallow.

We can’t look back and say exactly when it was clear that Jay was sick. He had a little cough and felt miserable. He was running a low-grade fever. But it was the three days of almost non-stop hiccups that became the focus. Do you go to the doctor when you have hiccups 18 out of 24 hours?

And wouldn’t you feel sick and little flushed if you hadn’t slept a full night in three days?

With much encouragement from our nurse daughter, Jay did see his doctor on Tuesday the 23rd,  and although the hiccups were a mystery to him, too, antibiotics were prescribed for a mild case of pneumonia, with simple instructions to just rest. And then the day just didn’t improve. By evening the fever was climbing, and I probably wouldn’t have encouraged a trip to the emergency room, but Aimee was beginning to get nervous about her dad’s appearance. Something wasn’t right.

And off we went…

As it turned midnight and the 23rd became the 24th, I had a flashback. December 24, 1973 I walked into a similar hospital emergency entrance to give birth to our first child. The attendant greeting me at the entrance took note of the date and said, “There’s a manger down the hall.” That was the first of many Christmas references, with Aimee born later that day and placed in a little Christmas stocking

Present day, and aren’t we glad for antibiotics? Jay was released early this morning and home in time to see his granddaughters open their presents. And sometime late yesterday afternoon those crazy hiccups finally stopped. Fingers crossed!

In all the excitement I missed the round of Christmas greetings I’d intended to share, but I have one left to give.

Earlier this week Sophia noticed one of my Spotify playlists and asked me to explain “Contemporary Christmas.” Sophia doesn’t just ask questions; she loves discussion. So that’s what we did.

The playlist included songs from current entertainment artists, but at seven, she still doesn’t know many of them by name. In an attempt to tell her what was NOT particularly contemporary, I mentioned Bing Crosby. She said she knew who he was–and by the way, he was dead. Hmmmm. Well, that would mean he wasn’t on the contemporary list. But he would have been on MY contemporary list at one time.

So we took our time talking about how the word contemporary has multiple meanings. We could be talking about “belonging to or occurring in the present” or referring to “a person or thing living or existing at the same time as another.”

At the end of an invigorating discussion Sophia turned to me with a knowing expression and summed it up. “Yeah. I understand. It’s not contemporary if the song goes all the way back to the old times, like the 70’s.”

I hope she will always love our discussions, and not be too thrown off by how hard I laugh.

Well, I go all the way back to the 70’s–at least! And I have a favorite from that era I pull out every year at this time. The artists blur the lines of contemporary. Bing Crosby wasn’t exactly my contemporary, but he’s timeless. Pairing his voice with a very 1970’s contemporary artist, David Bowie–sheer genius.

To read an interesting back story on the awkward meeting of the pair, read HERE.   And if you would enjoy going “all the way back to the 70’s” you might enjoy recalling Bing meeting Bowie at the door. Like I said, an unlikely pairing.

It’s never too late to wish peace and joy in the new year. And that’s my personal wish for each one of you. The world is made up of all sorts of unique and unlikely pairings. I’m hopeful that maybe we’ll take a bigger step towards all getting along. Peace.