Heading into town, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on the radio, the sun shining outside the car while I’m warm inside it.
A house on my left has inflatables, including a dragon holding a Christmas gift, on the front lawn. The impatient driver in front of me passes illegally over a double yellow line.
It’s a common route, even now, but I used to take it every day, and about four hours sooner, because it’s the way I used to go to work.
For some odd reason, I start wondering what I would have been doing shortly after noon the Thursday before Christmas if I were still there.
My own work would have probably long been done, but there’s a chance I would have been putting out fires elsewhere in my department, although by that time of the week everything was pretty much finished.
Most likely, I would have been gearing up more than normal for the next week, since holidays always backed up the schedule and changed Friday from a reasonably relaxed day to an intense one.
Hopefully by that time, the vacation schedule for Christmas week would have been done without too many complications. There is not one second where I miss having to deal with that — trying to let everyone have the time off they need, arranging coverage where there were gaps, trying to figure out where I could help, since being off Christmas Eve was non-negotiable but I wouldn’t be back until about midday on the 26th.
Oh well, it’s someone else’s issue now.
The song ends just as I drive past the road I would have turned on to go to work. Rita Wilson’s version of “The Christmas Song” plays.
Moving on …