‘Undecorating’ is a dirty word
Peggy Cooke

Merr y Christmas to all and to all a good night! I say that because it’s still Christmas at our house. I cannot seem to get all this stuff packed in the appropriate boxes, bags and cabinets. It’s not because I’m not working hard (although I appreciate any phone call or visit to interrupt my lame attempts at undecorating). And undecorating (spellcheck tells me undecorating is not a word, but I know it is—a dirty word) is not a fun thing!

I mean, when you unpack all the goodies, you “ooh” and “aah” over them and remember them from years past, but I am now at the point where I am cursing each tiny elf, reindeer and even my beloved Santa collection because they just won’t go away.

Guess who’s snickering all the time? My husband, Scrooge, who kept saying, “Peggy Sue, you don’t have to get everything out each year,” while I was getting out everything. Bah Humbug!


I was thrilled to hear the phone interrupt me as I was wrapping the 10,000th breakable decoration. I had a very interesting conversation with a telemarketer. No, really.

He was a nice young man and when he discovered that I didn’t really want to get a degree in criminology by mail, he said, “Mrs. Cooke, would you just talk to me for a minute?” He sounded sincere (and I didn’t want to undecorate anymore). He told me he was from Utah and they had a lot of snow lately but it wasn’t very cold there today. He said his car got stuck in the snow that morning and he had to have it towed and got to work late. He asked about the weather in Central Texas and said he was sorry that we didn’t ever get snow, but then we didn’t ever have to be towed out of snow and be late for work either.

He said that I was the 279th person he had called that day and only 22 people had answered the phone and none of them would talk to him. I really felt sorry for him, like maybe he was missing his mother or something—he was only 22, you see, and was stuck in that lousy job while going to school. I guess he wasn’t interested in getting a degree in criminology by mail either.

He told me I sounded like a nice person and he appreciated my taking the time to talk to him and that he hoped I would have a very nice rest of my life and hung up. “Wait! Stay on the line—I want to talk some more.” But he was gone and I had to go undecorate some more.


I had the nicest birthday last Thursday. Several of my buddies treated me to lunch and I even got presents! Since my birthday is so close to Christmas, that’s the first birthday party I’ve had since Bill surprised me with a 40thbirthday party that happened to take place at Darral and Gloria Walker’s house which happens to be the same house we’ve lived in since 2001. You have no business knowing how many years ago that was, but it has been a long while since I’ve seen a birthday cake with “Peggy Sue” on it.

Actually, I didn’t have a birthday cake (thank goodness) but I did have a birthday balloon and a blingy billfold from Joy Graham. Lucile Estell gave me a rain gauge which I was sure I would never need in this drought and, sure enough, it measured 2.25 inches overnight Saturday. How’s that for timing? Geri Burnett and Annette Griesbach gave me some unique jewelry pieces—my favorite kind—and Evelyn Hirt gave me a carton of worms. Let me explain.

She had heard me tell that Bill kept asking me just before Christmas (Christmas Eve, in fact, which is when he does his Christmas shopping) what I wanted for Christmas. I knew he would forget anyway, so I told him to just get me some worms for my compost bin. Christmas morning, I got a pretty little red jewelrytype box and when I opened it, there were several candy gummy worms. He had gone to Midway Grocery where they used to sell worms and Shelley Eanes told him they quit years ago.

Shelley went across the street to her house and brought back the pretty little red box and sold him some gummy worms to fill it. Evelyn’s worms are the real kind and daughter-in-law, Noelia, also got me some worms. I’ll bet you never got worms for your birthday or Christmas!

Click here for digital edition
2011-01-13 digital edition

Copyright 2009-2017 Rockdale Reporter, All Rights Reserved.

Special Sections

Special Sections