What's Down that Lane? - Chapter 5
Sunday, December 08, 2013
By the time I was ready to call it a day, Caleb had made me dinner. "Come back on Christmas Eve, if you nothing else planned. I'll make dinner for the two of us."
"Caleb, I'll take you up on that. I'm too tired to care about Christmas," I returned.
He smiled. "Everyone should care about Christmas. Christ was born that day. It's His birthday and everyone loves a baby."
"Well, you're right. When is Christmas Eve?" I asked realizing I hadn't a clue of what todays date or day was.
"Day after tomorrow," He replied.
I rushed home wondering if I could get some stuff together to make Bridget's Place festive and beautiful for the holiday. First I stopped at Lowes for a pile of Christmas lights, and was lucky they were not out. I managed to buy a couple hundred dollars worth and hoped someone would put them up for me the next day. I bought a wreath for the door, two spools of ribbon and made plans.
Dinner was eaten but forgotten as I wrote down plans of where I wanted everything.
The next morning, I nearly attacked the electrician. He had his guys crawling through the trees and over the house and porches placing the lights and when they were finished it was beautiful, even in the late afternoon sun. I knew it would be spectacular at night.
I had placed the wreath on the front door and wished I had one three times bigger than the one I had. I stood in the middle of the front yard looking at the house and thought, "Next year, two small ones on the front double door, one huge one on each of the front windows and candles in each of the windows." I started writing notes for next Christmas. Things would change, I was sure because I was planning on having a Light setter come out and maybe I'd hire a decorator to do Christmas professionally for me.
I went out to the tree and found the new lantern burning brightly in the tree over the two small stones. "I wonder if they are happy that's there now. It must have been very dark out here without it. I wonder how long it was out of commission?" I thought.
"Far too long," said a voice behind me but a good distance away. I turned and there was Caleb on the back porch.
"Oh! Was I thinking out loud?" I asked.
"Ah, yes!" he said not very convincingly.
"Dinner is ready if you want it now," he said.
I walked towards him and he reached out to take my hand and help me up the two shallow steps. It was beautiful inside and out. The lights around the lake had come on, the lights on the cabin porches had come on and the little bridge was decorated with wreaths and ribbons and lanterns.
"Do you think they ever had lights down there?"
"Did you know them?" I asked indicating the two stones under the tree.
"I only know what my dad told me. Apparently his father was pretty strict, maybe too strict as far as I am concerned but times have changed a lot since then anyway. I guess he beat my dad a couple of times. My dad always said he probably deserved it, but I don't believe in beating for any reason.
"Dad said he beat the slaves, too. At least a couple of times that my dad witnessed. Didn't matter, male and female, down to the children, too. To me it is more than sad, it's also disgusting to beat someone for any reason regardless of age or gender, any reason.
"Dad never let me come here when his dad was alive. Wouldn't let the old man touch me and being here was far too close for comfort. I think I'm glad my dad had that attitude, although I didn't know my grandfather at all and my grandmother, only a little." He had answered all my questions without really knowing, or did he know my thoughts.
"I think I feel the same way. I don't think we can do anything for any of them. If I find any of their graves do you think they would mind if I put flowers on them?"
"They probably wouldn't understand, but I don't think they would mind a little love and tenderness aimed at them."
We spent Christmas Eve in the house and enjoyed lighting candles and listening to Christmas carols from the boom box he brought. We cleaned the kitchen to shining spotlessness and made sure everything was put away. We took separate ways home after making sure all the candles were out, the lights were out in the house, and the doors locked.
I liked Caleb a lot. I was afraid I was falling in love with him and I starting thinking of him in that light. "How old is he?" I wondered. "Close to the same age as me," I decided.
When the new year bloomed, Caleb took me to some swank place in town and we dressed to the teeth. I hadn't worn heels in ages and had spent an entire day in town trying on formals and ended up with a very formal black dress with gold sequins scattered all over it. It was grand, looked nice on me, and it was fun. The shoes were not!
I had my hair done, the nails, wore a sparkling diamond bracelet on my wrist and enjoyed the evening, including the obligatory New Years Eve kiss. Almost missed the moment as I had gone to the ladies room to powder my nose and came out just in time to hear the particular and customary song being played by the band. He had moved closer to the restrooms so he could catch me as soon as I came out and he swept me into a kiss that you only dream about and see on TV. James Bond had nothing on Caleb that night. Neither did Superman or Zorro. I think it took me several minutes to get breath back into my lungs, my heart to stop doing cartwheels, and my brain to stop popping bubbles like the Lawrence Welk Show.
We had a couple of soda pops before we went home and I asked him up for coffee. He declined with a smile and a light kiss to my cheek. "I enjoyed tonight a bunch. Maybe a repeat down the line would be in order?"
"Okay. Thanks for a great evening. I really enjoyed it too." I stood there staring up into his light blue eyes and wondered why I could see the color in the dim light at my doorway. He said goodnight, turned and walked down the sidewalk. I put the key in the lock and went in, turning on the lights and relocking the door.
It was around 2am and I was exhausted. I changed clothes, hanging up the beautiful dress and putting the shoes in the trash. I checked my toes and heels to make sure there weren't any blisters or cuts, just red spots where my feet felt the worst. After a long soak in a hot bathtub, they felt much better and I was ready for bed.
"Oo! Life is great! Where in the universe is it going?"