Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Present, Minus Ghosts this Year

I have already been out and about this morning, picking up some bagels and donuts from Dandee Donuts, the best local donut shop that's an easy drive for me.  My spouse smoked a side of salmon yesterday, which put us in a brunch mood--now we are prepared!

Last night, I dreamed I was on a quest to get bagels and to find a place that sold both donuts and water purifying tablets.  I woke up with 2 thoughts:  first and foremost, what kind of coming catastrophe would have me stocking up on bagels?  And then:  this is what happens when one does holiday planning and then finishes reading Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower right before sleep!

Yesterday was quite the up and down day.  Gravity was working overtime in the kitchen--we had several spills yesterday.  And we had an incident with the freezer that flummoxed us for several hours:  the temp in the freezer started going up.  We have a weird freezer system where if you mash the buttons the right way, you can turn off one side but not the other--so the fridge was fine.  Then we had to figure out how to push the buttons to get the temp going down--it shouldn't be complicated, and it's not, but you have to remember that you have to hold the down button first to reset it--you can't just mash it.
There was a minute when I thought, "We're gonna have a $300 repair bill, just to have the service guy come out and push a button or two because we can't remember exactly what to do."  Happily, that was not the case.
We did some wonderful grilling of veggies, along with the salmon.  I've felt a cold trying to sink its claws into me, and I've been eating veggies and drinking juices in an effort to help my immune system fight off whatever's trying take hold.
In the evening, after we ate our meal on the porch, my spouse played Christmas music on the violin, and I read.  I devoured much of Ann Patchett's Commonwealth.  It's wonderful.
This morning, I went early for bagels, after calling to make sure Dandee Donuts was open and had bagels.  I love seeing the Christmas lights during this week when so many people leave them on all night.
I saw a gate which looked like someone had thatched it with evergreens and lights.  That took me back to the first time I ever saw Martha Stewart--it was a holiday special, and she was thatching the whole side of her house in evergreens.  Later in the show, she would make gingerbread houses so intricate that I expected to see architectural blueprints.
I am so relieved that I don't feel the need to do anything elaborate for Christmas.  I have yet to bake any Christmas bread or to make the cookies that we roll out and cut with the wide variety of cookie cutters I've collected.  I have no Christmas cards to send.  I buy very few gifts. 
I've done a good job at staying present in the current Christmas.  There have been years that I get lost in nostalgia and the longing for Christmas past.  Not this year.
I will spend a lot of time at church before the week-end is over, but that's cool with me.  These services are some of my favorites.  And in between, there will be soup and ukuleles and time for reflection as the Christmas lights twinkle.

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