My living room looks like it’s been invaded by Santa’s elves.
A large Christmas tree sits in front of my fireplace.
Hogwarts Castle and Harry Potter ornaments sit on one table.
Miniature trees overflowing with ornaments stand in every corner.
A Christmas village sits inside my entertainment center.
So, you probably think this column is going to be about the holiday season.
Though it has a different meaning for me now, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I have ornaments in memory of my mom, dad and brother on each tree.
This year has been unique.
As I wrote in a previous column, I bought new ornaments and now I’ve got to decide where to put them. Though it needs a thorough cleaning, I have a shed outside that provides plenty of space to store the ornaments.
But some are just too valuable.
Though we’ve yet to reach the short rows of officially introducing the holiday season, I’ve searched for storage space in my house.
One closet is nearly busting at the seams.
I’ve downsized my master bathroom closet twice, and might have to do it again.
I have a third closet that’s been downsized a little bit and does have some room to spare. And, in case you’re wondering, I’ve started cleaning it out and marking items that I plan to donate, except for five — my four high school yearbooks and my Shakespeare textbook I had in college that’s nearly four decades old.
The yearbooks brought back great memories.
Yet, one childhood friend was not in it: Michael Dixon.
I spent many Saturdays during the summer at Michael’s house. It was a great two-story home on a corner street near the Pinetops Ballpark. If we weren’t upstairs in his room or rambling in the attic, you could find us at the ballfields shagging fly balls.
We had been best pals since kindergarten.
That all changed just before the summer of our fourth-grade year. I found out Michael was moving because his dad, Big Bruce, got a good-paying job in another town.
I begged Big Bruce and Miss Becky not to move.
I even asked mom if Michael could live with us.
Fourth grade was a tough year.
Mom and Miss Becky called each other on occasion and I managed to see Michael a couple of more times. Then, mom told me one day they were moving to the midwest and we could write each other.
Unfortunately, me and my partner in crime fell out of touch.
I often think of Michael and those lazy days of summer. Those were some great times.
Oh well, back to the closet.
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. Email him at email@example.com.