I know you readers are waiting in breathless anticipation to know whether or not I FINALLY got my 80-inch TV that I have been asking for many years in a row.

Every year the Yard Sale Queen asks me, the man who supposedly has everything, what I want for Christmas. And, every year I subtly say the 80-inch TV.

So, the answer is? Drum roll please!


“Honey,” I asked after opening presents, “Where is my 80-inch TV?”

Her brown eyes opened wide as she repeated a familiar refrain, “In the store!”

Well there you have it. Spoken in a firm and convincing voice the answer I have been hearing since she and my Fake Granddaughter created a cardboard 80-inch TV as a joke several years ago.

So, what did I get? New sneakers.

Not that I needed new sneakers. The gray ones that I have had for more than 10 years fit just fine and are comfortable. The Yard Sale Queen thinks otherwise.

“They are nasty,” she asserted. “If you don’t get new tennis shoes, I am throwing the old ones out.”

Now realize that in our house there are shoes everywhere. The only problem is hardly any of them are mine. I have two pairs of dress shoes, a pair of worn Sperry Topsider boat shoes I wear almost every day, a pair of sandals I never wear and wonder why I bought them in the first place and my aging tennis shoes. 

The rest of the 100 pairs of shoes belong to my shoe-happy Imelda Marcos – the Yard Sale Queen.

Christmas this year, I discovered, was clothes year. I am not complaining about all that. A new suit, several dress shirts – real men do wear pink – several nice turtleneck sweaters, dress trousers – women wear pants – socks, about three pairs of jeans in assorted colors and Virginia Cavalier jammies. 

I also got a few gift cards at area restaurants so that I can wine and dine the Queen.

The Yard Sale Queen got, well, crowns for teeth, some Virginia Cavalier clothing, gift cards and other stuff, I can’t remember what.

That is so embarrassing. The mind is the second thing to go, but for the life of me I can’t remember what the first is. Maybe it will come to me in another 100 words.

Riley, our 2-year-old Yorkie that the Queen wanted and spoiled beyond recognition, got another squeaky toy. She loves her toys. Thank goodness she hasn’t figured out how to make them squeak. They squeak when we make them squeak, then heave them across the room for her to chase and bring back until we are exhausted squeaking and throwing.

We also went a way for a few days, a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, which is supposed to be beautiful and warmer in December than it is here. Wrong!

The day we drove down there it rained the whole way. 

The next day, which was cold and cloudy, we visited Patriots Point, which displays the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, destroyer USS Laffey and the submarine USS Clamagore. Patriots Point also has a really cool Vietnam exhibit highlighting the North Vietnamese attack on the Marine Base at Khe Sahn.

The following day, the Yard Sale Queen wanted to do what she does best – shop. So, we found a huge mall where she shopped for hours, while I sat in the car reading newspapers and surfing the internet.

After lunch, she wanted to go to the outlet mall. Her mission was tennis shoes for me. My feet hurt walking miles to find tennis shoes. I caved and saw a pair of Skechers tennis shoes I could put up with. Notice I didn’t say I liked. However, they didn’t have them in my size, so we had to order them. 

She liked them so much she bought herself a pair. Now we have matching tennis shoes. How cute. We tell them apart because mine have blue laces and hers white.

I still have my old tennis shoes hidden away.

Christmas, ain’t it great?

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