The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Christmas Dreams

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As I was driving home to Cowansville this morning, I remembered my dream last night of the Christmas season. In the dream I was still working at the mushroom mines where I worked 30 years ago. I was responsible to buy the Christmas present for my work group’s donation to the Christmas party drawings. I had $800 to spend on one present. I shopped and shopped without finding the perfect gift. Finally, a day before our party; I went to the BonTon and bought a set of pots and pans for $249. What a practical gift with hundreds left over. I remembered that this was a gift I had bought for my mother-in-law a few years before she died. When I got back to work, I started worrying that I had bought the wrong thing, and what about the rest of the money? I asked another work group about their present. They had $1500 to spend and already had a medium-size gift-wrapped box sitting on their table in the lunchroom. I envisioned a piece of crystal in that box like Baccarat or Lalique. That would have been an absurd gift. And then I thought about that $249. That was the price for the PS4 at Costco I had seen that day. This was a play system that my son wanted to buy someday when he is allowed internet access. It seemed as if my dream was tangled with different memories of the past and present.

I decided to get some advice from a boss of another work group who lived in a trailer court. I walked there in the warm sun without a coat, so this was not Pennsylvania in my dream. Maybe it was Arizona where I had lived. The trailers sat on dirt instead of grass. I dialed the woman’s cell phone and listened to it ring nearby. Out came my son from a trailer with the ringing cell phone in his hand. I didn’t even know he lived here. I asked if he knew the woman I wanted to see. He walked with me towards another trailer where several older woman were exercising naked. As we passed steps where two young men were smoking, I saw coins laying in the dirt. I reached down and scooped up silver dollars. I had a pocketful of coins as my dream ended.

What did all this mean I wondered. Perhaps the coins were for me to put on my window sill on New Year’s Eve, a custom my mother-in-law followed every year. She called us each December 31 to remind us to put out our coins for prosperity in the new year.

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