Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:10

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti


Giovanni gave me a manual Olivetti typewriter for Christmas.  I'd seen an ad on Craig's list for a manual typewriter and said one day, "You know, I loved my old typewriter.  I wrote all my term papers on a manual in college.  I never even wanted an electric one.  I liked the feel of my fingers pressing down on the keys, the gentle 'ding' at the end of a line of type, the contrast of black words on white paper." My husband is good at picking up on my desires.  And he knows me.  That's one reason he married me--I'm convinced--my eccentricities.  Who else would want a manual typewriter?

This week as Christmas has neared I've waxed nostalgic in other ways.  Giovanni and I don't have cable TV.  We get a variety of stations that primarily broadcast reruns of old shows.  One day this week a whole day was set aside for Andy Williams Christmas specials on one of the channels.  I watched several episodes, remembering how excited my parents and I would get to sit down together and watch the programming, color television still new, grateful for good reception and no rabbit ears.  Andy singing I'll Be Home For Christmas as fake snow swirled around him.   The Osmond brothers dancing and harmonizing, adorable Donny not yet a star.

And to further my venture into nostalgia, I Googled every home I've lived in over my lifespan.  It is startling how addresses surface in the mind after so many years.  With Google maps one can take a surreptitious stroll down an old street.  Most of the homes were recognizable, but with new roofs or shutters painted a different color.  As I looked at the homes, I remembered where I was at each life stage.  The memories blended together, and mostly I remembered that  in each location, the house was a shelter, a place where I could light a candle, grab a book, curl up in a chair and feel warmed.  A haven.  I didn't expect to find the house where I spent my first seven years.  For some reason I thought it might not still be there.  But there it was.  The stone front and bay window. I still remembered the names of the neighbors who lived in the houses on either side. My mother stayed home with me, and I had the backyard to myself with a swingset, a sandbox and a pet cat that I dressed in doll clothes and pushed in a doll buggy.  The neighbor kids came over every now and then.  I wore my long hair in a ponytail and rode a red tricycle down the gravel driveway. Safe.  At Christmas there was a live tree with lights in the bay window and presents under the tree.  I left cookies and a Coke for Santa, and couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve.   

All those memories drummed up by going to Google maps.  I noted that the first house I ever knew now has a blue door.  In spiritual symbology blue is the color for heaven. One day I'll cross the threshold and be in my true home, and I have no doubt that you'll hear me pecking away on an Olivetti.  

Merry Christmas, dear reader.  Please know how I appreciate your visits to the website.  I pray you find a sense of home on this page, that you grow more and more convinced of how much God treasures you and delights in your journey.  May 2017 find you in His perfect peace. 

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.