2:30 at night. My phone is ringing. No good news ever comes at that hour.
Except this time it is indeed good news. The man calling in is outside, delivering the suitcase and the duffel bag.
I won't try to guess their journey. One bag has a suspicious tag bearing the name Taiwan Speedy Travel Service, with a foreign phone number below. I look at them as one would look at wayward children. What on earth have you been up to? Never mind, let's get some sleep and I'll deal with you in the morning.
Morning. They're still early these mornings of mine. There's lots to be done before Christmas which, for me, will be celebrated on the Eve.
Predictably, the day begins with breakfast.
But just as I then get to making a to-do list, I get a message. One of the flights from our forthcoming trip has been cancelled, setting of a stream of consequences that we have to address.
I put it all aside and go to yoga.
It's cold outside and Ed has resurrected his 90% rust and 10% car vehicle. My own car is being inspected and so I borrow that thing, that piece of scrap metal. I cannot believe that there is a vehicle uglier than my sweet donkey car, but indeed, the Geo is uglier. I remember when I first met Ed seven years ago: I met him outside my home. He'd driven up in this same Geo. I wondered -- what kind of a man drives a rusty red car with peeling pink and purple stripes on it?
After yoga, I'm back at the farmette.
There, I attack the travel bags. Laundry, gifts, cookies that crumbled, memories, I have memories of times when I shopped for all this thinking it was all so pretty. At the moment it all just looks squashed and slightly tired from days of compression and travel.
But slowly the house is returning to an ordered state and as I am one of those who thrives on order, I relax. We reconfigure our travel itinerary for the forthcoming trip, then I put on my puffy ski pants as Ed digs out our skis and we head out to our local county park -- a mere couple of miles from here.
Ah, Lake Waubesa is freezing over.
It's the first ski outing of the season. It may be cloudy, it may be close to dusk and it may be, therefore, without much color, but the landscape is, nonetheless, gorgeous. You can see from where the storm came. On one side, all tree trunks look like birches.
The snow is deep and very perfect for a ski run.
Through it all I keep thinking how truly lucky I am to be living in such beautiful country.
I tell Ed this, more than once today. When I flood him with good words, he turns shy. Okay, gorgeous becomes the standard response.
It's nearly dark by the time we get home. I take out rolls of paper and start wrapping the presents that had been buried for so long in a suitcase.