• James Eric Fristad

From Jammies of Barefoot Boy, to Carry-on and a Reserved Seat

Updated: Oct 9

Thinking about things characterizing a hoped-for morning: at one end of the memory yardstick a child's Christmas and in the present weeks a jet plane ride into adventure. Time creeps along unevenly, you know, when you're actively anticipating a major event. New job. Marriage. Birth of first child. Buying a convertible guaranteed to prevent you from quite entering middle age. Retirement. To me these are all variations closely related to that young and innocent time, when you waited impatiently for Christmas morning to finally arrive at your young self's house. That morning would never quite dawn, it felt like, as you reveled in the lights and smells of that fresh fir tree taking up space in the living room; bubble-lights that still worked their magic; the wrapped packages that inexplicably materialized morning by morning, down under those drooping branches; the glittering displays across Riverside's Main Street, whose purpose was to illuminate sidewalks so that shoppers might come and go with enhanced moods, through decorated stores. With stuff in sacks. I don't mean to convey cynicism here; only appreciation of the mysterious pixie powder that makes us look forward to stuff happening.

The realization is taking shape now, for me, that those scattered emotions I'm aware of, as I look towards next month's adventure, likely have their roots in the little kid I recall whose notions of style were t-shirt and jeans, whose best shoes were no-shoes, who got a haircut when necessary and whose comb got used only rarely (panache and comeliness were not on my horizon)... little Eric wishing Christmas would get here. There is a greater urgency this time, however. I mean, in the past when December 25th had come and gone, with the highs and inevitable sadness when the day waned and another 365 days arose to obscure the next go-round's arrival ... you always knew there was going to be another Christmas morning showing up in twelve months. So if you missed or rather insufficiently sensed some areas of that day's magic, no problem---another very similar 24 hours would come along.

That paper calendar in the hallway guaranteed it must come to pass. From the present vantage point there is no such printed assurance that 365 days will bring another such opportunity.

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