Remember that Christmas...?

Laid back is the feeling I was striving for this holiday.  You can guess by the Christmas decor that I was okay with going small this year.

The best part about my Christmas was seeing my daughter and her beau! They drove up from Wilmington, a good 2 hours (or longer) drive. I love that we were able to share in a celebration.  I also loved that they were both good with our small, understated holiday.

I'm trying to find  a balance between a small and understated celebration and festive one.

I realize now, I tried to juggle too many constituents which ultimately led to me having a misstep. Communication in my family is not really as clear as it should be. Usually, we can find the funny in it. Though, sometimes not.

Several years ago my sister was driving up from Florida to spend Christmas with my husband daughter and me. It was Christmas eve and she said she would arrive around 10:00. With a little person in the house, there were still errands that needed to be done on Christmas eve. ~But, if Sis got in around 10:00 there would be plenty of time to get it all done. She could get settled and rest and we could do our last minute shopping.

I didn't want to start the errands before Sis got there. I didn't want to risk her getting there and feeling abandoned because we weren't home. This was before cell phones, so she couldn't just call when she arrived. At around 11:30 or so I started to get concerned. The trip was a long one. So many things could have happened to cause a delay. You know, like an accident or a car breakdown or running late after dropping someone off. She had a couple of people that were riding up with her and she was dropping them off at their homes before getting to mine. At some point we went out for a few errands, but came back as quickly as possible. I left a note on the door that said I'll be right back. When we got back the note was still there with no sign of Sis having arrived.

As dinner time rolled around we finally decided to go ahead and eat and felt sure Sis would be okay with that. But, I was frankly getting pretty worried. You know, the first three hours or so of being late are not all that unreasonable. I mean, who really gets on the road when they think they will? But, by now she was 8 hours late.

I decided to settle in on my couch and begin to read my new novel by Patricia Cornwell. It was a Kay Scarpetta novel. I had somehow decided to start with the newest book, that was not the first book. Anyway, I didn't really know what to expect in the book. So, as I sat on the couch reading, hoping to be distracted from worry, I got to the part where Scarpetta arrives at the crime scene. It's a car on the side of the road on the highway, although the victims are not in the car, it is clear that something very bad had happened.

A car on the highway! I couldn't take it anymore. I called 911. I explained my sister was driving up from Florida and hadn't arrived. I described the car and described the route I believe she would have taken. I felt marginally better knowing that the highway patrol would be on the lookout.

Not terribly long after I made my call the doorbell rang with happy Sis at the door! I opened the door, filled with relief and dissipating panic. My first words were, "I have called the police". Sis was incredulous about my over-reaction. As she put it, "I'm only ten minutes late." !? It never occurred to me that she meant 10:00 at night! And it never occurred to her that I would think 10:00 in the morning.

Yeah, pretty clear we had a miscommunication. This was one of those "Aha" moments that crystalizes how different we are.  I love this story of us. We both still laugh about that.

I have to hope for forgiveness from Sissy (other sister) for a similar mishap this year.

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