It has been a cold, wet, icy day, dark, damp, dismal. And productive. I have been doing my Christmas shopping list online, and getting assured delivery dates with a minimum of hassle. Sometimes I love the internet. Poor JG has been in the city all day - a meeting, a medical appointment and (shudder) shopping in stores. However, so poor has the weather been that he probably did not have as much of a hassle as I imagine. One wonderful year we slithered over to the nearest shopping centre in the midst of an icy blizzard and did a whole evening's worth of spending in solitary splendour. I did feel sorry for the staffs, who had to be on duty until closing time, weather or no.
Another year the YD came home just short of Christmas with a guest from sub-Saharan Africa. On Christmas Eve (this is when we lived in a city) in -18ºC weather, she took the guest to the shopping centre to buy long underwear and other equipment for a Lanark Christmas. They could not find a parking spot in the whole mass of parking garages that surround the place. In fact they could have probably walked it faster from where we lived then, except for the fast-frozen visitor. Who loved, loved! the snow, never having seen much before, and leapt out of bed every morning to shovel and marvel. Me, I shovel and whine.
Other than smugness about the online coups, I do not feel very Christmassy this year. I horribilifed the YD by saying I was not really enthusiastic about putting up a tree. This afternoon I am off to the Hall to help pull together a Christmas feast for 25, which we will serve tomorrow. A two day marathon. Our Hall committee is very small at present, but we have to keep events going or we will have no money for heating, power and necessary small repairs. And the Hall is our contribution to the community. So, two days of cooking, two fat birds, three sweet desserts and dish pan hands in perpetuity. I should not be complaining - I enjoy working at the Hall, and it keeps me in touch with lots of friends. But it is hard, this year, with Marion gone.
It is a gorgeous winter day, today. Blue sky, sparkling snow, crisp breeze, sun pouring in to all the windows. It's the first bright day in a while. The little birds are swarming the feeders, and I have to get the suet up pronto. The YD's animals have gone back to the city and I can now clean the footprints off the hardwood floors - my cleaner came yesterday and together we de-haired the place. Cat and dog hair accumulates in the most unexpected places. We have a wood stove in the living room that you can burn with the door open, with a separate screen to put across to keep the sparks in. I keep the screen stored behind the stove. It was absolutely stuck full of hair yesterday. And the YD's dog, she avers, is one that does not shed. In fact, Shammy is not bad, compared to the dogs we had while the kids were growing up.
This nonsense has taken me two days to put together and I now have to quit. I have to assemble ingredients for aspic to take to the Hall, make several lists, do a bunch of mail, drop stuff off to a neighbour and be at the Hall by 1:00 pm. It is now 11:00 am. And I thought that when I quit the major board I was a member of, I would have lots more time.