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May you all have a teen | Living with Gleigh

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the fact that the Christmas season is six days shorter this year. I’m not sure exactly where it’s missing; no one ever does anything until the last minute anyway. I speak from experience: as the writer of my church’s newsletter, not many people who have been asked to write an article get it to me early. No matter if I give them six weeks or three weeks, they don’t write it until the last day or two.
I don’t wait until the last minute do my Christmas tasks. Although admittedly, I could probably start putting my blog into book form for my computer-less mother-in-law in September instead of waiting until the middle of December. I started my blog and this column three years ago in the fall; so the blog book spans September of the last year to August of the current year.
Aside from Christmas gifts, there are also meals to plan and some foods can’t be purchased too early or they will spoil. So Saturday, armed with printing projects my daughters wanted for their grandparents and my blog book on a flash drive, a list of groceries and other errands, I headed out to finish up the last of my Christmas preparations.
When I got to Office Depot to get my print order in, I was pleasantly surprised. There was no one there and the print department customer service gal was able to spend a lot of time with me as we worked through my daughters’ art projects and other items. I thought, “I got this. There is no one here; I must be ahead of the game.”
All the projects got finished as I stood there, except binding my blog. So I went to Fred Meyer to get frames for pictures and a few stocking stuffers. I was hard pressed to find a parking space. A feeling of panic overcame me, but I forged on. Inside the store wasn’t too bad, as employees were out in force.
Another job checked off my list. On to Costco, where I needed a few fresh foods, dog food, cat litter for my mom’s cat, and the last of the pictures I needed for the grandparents’ picture calendars. Again, the parking situation was touchy and short of stalking someone for their parking spot I waited patiently until someone pulled out.
Then I went to my mom’s to drop off the cat litter and headed back to Office Depot to pick up the my blog book, when I remembered I forgot to pick up folders for my oldest daughter’s gift of poetry. I was reluctant to go back to Fred Meyer because of the parking situation, but my route took me by Big Lots!
I felt like a genius happening across it and figured they’d have folders and the marshmallows I suddenly remembered my youngest wanted to make melty snowman cookies. Better yet, the parking lot wasn’t packed.
Then I got my print order and topped it all off with a trip through Starbuck’s drive-thru, buying coffee for all. When I got home I felt like jumping out of the car with a fist pump like Rocky Balboa when he made it to the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps in the movie, “Rocky.”
The icing on the cake (cookie) was my teenage daughters had finished cleaning the house by the time I walked in the door. Sure, I told them to do it, but at least I didn’t have to clean as well as run errands. So whether you are reading this before Christmas or after Christmas, have a merry one and may you all have a teen in your life to clean your house.


Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is enjoying her teen-cleaned house. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.

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