We discovered a minor leak inside the Winnebago the day after Thanksgiving. It’s in the spot where the coach and the cab meet and it’s midway down in a corner area. Since we’ve only owned it for a month, even though it’s 12 years old, I was fairly dramatic about it. (“I can’t believe she’s leaking! I hope it’s okay! What if they can’t fix it? What if we’re left with nothing but a pile of rust and mold? Did we buy a lemon?!”)We take it into the dealership tomorrow for repair, but I’ve spent the week with towels and a space heater, repeatedly drying things out. Fighting a leak in the fall/winter in Washington state is quite the battle with all of our rain! I’m terrified of mold, but I think we caught the leak early enough. We had a windstorm about two weeks ago and I’m wondering if one of the seals on the roof wasn’t damaged during that. There were branches flying everywhere that day and we have a yard full of trees.
Thanksgiving itself was really hard for us. I spent the day missing my dad, but it was made less painful by the fact that our current Thanksgiving tradition (Thanksgiving buffet lunch at a local casino) isn’t a tradition that we shared with my father. This was our first holiday without my dad, but Thanksgiving immediately throws you into the Christmas holiday, and now I feel like I’m drowning in red, green, and grief. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s now everywhere and it’s in our face all the time. Dad loved Christmas. It was his holiday. He took gift giving seriously and most of my best childhood memories revolve around the elaborate Christmases he and Mom planned for us. He thought of every last detail, right down to the sooty boot print by the fireplace to show us that Santa truly had visited during the night.
I spend my days on the verge of tears. Even during my workday, when I’m walking the streets of Seattle heading to and from the ferry or on my employer’s campus, it doesn’t take much to upset me. Walking past decorated businesses or houses, I think about how anal Dad was about Christmas lights and how they should be absolutely straight in a row and never crooked. When I see sloppily-decorated houses, I think about how horrified he’d be by crooked decorations and then I cry.
I’m also painfully aware of the fact that I am now part of a religious minority and Christmas is pretty much forced on you, whether you celebrate it or not. I laugh at the Republican/Trump claim that there is a “war on Christmas” and that people don’t say “Marry Christmas” anymore and are forced to say “Happy Holidays” instead. I’ve had multiple people tell me “Merry Christmas” in the past week and I want to scream, “I don’t celebrate Christmas!” Instead, I snap my mouth closed and smile and nod because I’m not a jerk and I know people have good intentions. The idea, though, that Christmas is somehow less prevalent than it was is a massive Republican/Christian lie (and I live in a very, very liberal section of a blue state)! People say “Happy Holidays” when they don’t want to assume that someone celebrates the same that they do, which is wholly appropriate.
Anyway, I’ll get off that soapbox, but I’m ready for the Winnebago leak to be fixed and for Christmas to end for the year. I need Grief DEFCON 1 to drop back down to DEFCON 4, aka a manageable level. Hanukkah begins in about 10 days and then I will have menorahs and candlelight and dreidels and latkes to distract me. I’m ready for that brief respite.