Finally, I can leave the house and have to wear a jacket.
Don't get me wrong. I love living in the South, but sometimes it's hard to get in the Christmas spirit when you can rake the yard in jeans and a T-shirt and work up a sweat.
But the relief this week has been nice, albeit a little windy -- which brings me back to raking the yard. I spent several hours last Thursday raking the pine straw in part of my back yard.
By Friday morning, the wind had knocked enough pine straw down it was hard to tell where I had raked, so I started over. Same thing Sunday. At some point, maybe I'll learn to just leave it until I'm sure all the falling is done.
Maybe. But don't count on it.
I took some time away from the yard Saturday -- it was, after all, my fifth wedding anniversary -- and spent an hour at Wal-Mart ringing a bell with Bob Rabun to help raise money for the Salvation Army.
It's the second year in a row I've taken part of a day, stood in front of the store, and encouraged people to drop a few bucks into the kettle. It's been one of my favorite experiences through Rotary and something I've come to look forward to each year.
The best part, of course, is getting to see people I don't run into every day. Folks like Patricia Martin, who worked with my father in the hospital when I was growing up. And Wahldean Brunson, who was thrilled that her grandson has been accepted early to be a Georgia Bulldog.
And, just for the record, yes, the ringing in your ears after an hour shaking the bell does eventually dissipate. Eventually.
My parents have been hounding me about what I'd like for Christmas. Usually, I could spout off a list a mile long. This year, I've been beset by receiver's block. I can't think of a thing.
Actually, let me rephrase that. I can't think of a thing they'd actually buy me. Mom and Dad put their foot down and closed their checkbook long ago when it came to giving golf equipment or computer parts as Christmas presents.
But there are some kids in town who know exactly what they want under their tree.
Ruby wants a little make-up. Christina wants anything Barbie. Billy has his heart set on a remote control car. Zavian wants clothes.
And each of them has a place on The McDuffie Mirror's Angel Tree.
There's still time to adopt your own Angel and help make someone's Christmas a little brighter. Just drop by our office on Main Street or call Janet at 597-0335.
In the meantime, Christmas is a week or so away. Take some time this week and soak in the season. It'll do your heart, and your soul, a world of good.