Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26

There are the days before Christmas and the days after and it really is remarkable that they all share one month because really, they have nothing in common.

Oh, you may argue otherwise: breakfast! There is always the farmhouse breakfast!

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But after? What a difference a day makes!

First, we spend a while blowing a hairdryer on a set of windows. They've created substantial ice dams. We breathe a sigh of relief when we can release the screens and we take them to the farmhouse shower, where the built-up ice will surely melt.

Then I settle in to grade. From morning 'til dinner, without interruption. No that's not right: I stop once -- for about a half hour. Yes, yes -- to sweep off the porch roof! It may well be the last time. Today, I note that the wood beams are iced over. That's not good. Even my slippers slide. But, I get the job done, enjoying, as always, the beautiful view onto our farmette buildings from up high.

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Then, back to reading essays. I read 79 so far. 65 to go.

Evening. A winter still outside. Though I know there will be movement soon. Every day I find new tracks of deer and other animals, many of them quite close to the farmhouse.

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Dinnertime. Yes, you guessed it -- leftovers. The day after. What a difference...


A morning of snow, of winter, of Christmas.

He wakes up, shifts position and without even opening his eyes, says, as if programmed to do it -- Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you too.

I read the NYTimes editorial -- commentary on this mighty day that is so important, so tradition ridden and I think -- yes, it is exactly that: a day like no other. A day of finding joy in life. Of working with all your might to create those pockets of joy.

Pancakes for breakfast! (At least for Ed. My joy is in my oatmeal with kefir, fruit and honey.)

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Like Scrooge, this morning I open my books and do accounting for the year. Unlike Scrooge, mine are meager sums. But, this annual exercise is always a happy event as it always, always shows a small profit for the year. Ever since I first started keeping financial records some forty years back, I rounded up my recorded expenses. The reality check comes at a time when we're all groaning under the burden of the holiday bills. Yes! piggy bank money, to be sure, but still -- all nicely black. Enough for that extra treat at the end of the year. Ice cream anyone?

In the afternoon, Ed and I ski. We talk about breaking out and moving beyond our local park trails. Yes, we consider it, then we smile. Not today. We stay local today and pay tribute to the immense gift of being so close to a county park.

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Evening. My older girl is cooking dinner for us. A Spanish Christmas! -- she tells me.

Such cooking talent! We have an excellent meal of seafood paella.

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Her husband finishes their gingerbread house project...

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...we eat (not the house!), and this brings a close to the holiday, to days of holidaying, to this season of festivities.

Thank you, Ocean readers, for all your sweet, sweet comments and wishes. As always, I am touched by your generosities.

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Onwards now to the tail end of 2013. Such a year!