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Hill Country Living

It’s the second day after Christmas and we are entering that strange time period when what we do doesn’t seem to matter or register in terms of the past, present or future. The days between Christmas and January 2 are the Twilight Zone of our calendar year. It’s like a get-out-jail-free week.

Hopefully, that’s literal for some people. No one knows what stores are open or what stores are closed, some people are off work and greatly embroiled in a deep state of leisure while others have to go to work, but you know that nothing of any value is going to get done so what’s the point? I’m an advocate for just taking the entire week off. But I still need to get paid so I better start believing in Santa Claus again before that happens.

Speaking of, my youngest son set up a very elaborate Santa Claus booby-trap in our living room on Christmas Eve. While other more considerate and heaven-bound children were leaving cookies out for Santa Claus in the hopes that he may refresh himself before continuing on to deliver the message of giving directly in the loving homes of others, my son used the single cookie as a lure. 

The grabbing of the cookie would pull a piece of red yarn that traveled back and forth from chair to sofa to bookshelf and back again like a laser room made by a knitting grandmother. There was jingle bell that would sound when the trap was tripped. The idea was that Santa Claus would then get so entangled in the yarn that he couldn’t escape. 

Considering every good villain needs an end game, or at the very least, a reason, I asked my kid,”Why are you kidnapping Santa Claus? What are you going to do after you catch him?” My kid said,”Become him.” 

There was a bit of a creep factor in that answer until he went on to explain that he wanted to get in the sleigh and travel around to give presents to kids, mainly the ones in Water Valley without much money. 

He seemed totally sincere and it was a sweet thing to hear so even in the probable case of him just vying for last-minute brownie points, I’ll give them to him.

In the end the trap went off and the wires were tripped. But Santa Claus escaped and the red yarn was left in a tangled mess on the living room floor while a pile of brand new Nerf Guns and various packages of fluorescent colored slime adorned the sofa. 

My kid wasn’t disappointed that he didn’t trap Santa. He was ecstatic that the trap had been touched at all and said,”Look! You can see right here is probably where he fell down! I almost got him!” I realized that trap was more about proof than actual kidnapping. And I no longer fear my home being broken into by a robber with that kid around. 

Lastly and completely unrelated, I just have to share that I am currently writing this from the Ozarks mountains where I came to see an art exhibit. Weird I know, but the point is that yesterday while we were driving down through a valley past the Buffalo River a massive animal that was some hybrid between a deer and a dinosaur almost ran in front of our car! It was at least twelve feet tall (okay, six) and we almost plowed directly into! We screamed, the dinosaur-deer screamed, the 18-wheeler rolling at break-neck speed behind us probably screamed. After I googled everything from “girl moose” to “do caribous live in Arkansas” we finally figured out it was an elk! I saw an elk!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and continues on to have a Happy New Year!

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