Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Shortest Day

The days are short
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark. 

John Updike, "January," A Child’s Calendar, 1965

I'm glad today is short, for I've worked very hard and I'm tired. At day's end I watched the sun finish its retreat into winter, and then set. I sighed. Tomorrow's sun will begin retracing its path, right, across the lake -- to its summer's end rest stop.

For today, I say, rest sun. You have done well.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Shopping Wears Me Out

Efficiency is intelligent laziness.  
David Dunham

I should be writing my Christmas letter. I didn't get one out last year. Or cards. Can't seem to get my fingers to type beyond, "Merry Christmas" though. I'm tired. I've been shopping all day.

Dear friends are laughing now. They know I don't go shopping all day. They know I'm good for two hours at most and then I've either found a bar or escaped home. But, no, to you naysayers. I shopped for a good seven hours today. All that time someone else might spend fighting crowds and looking for parking and elbowing one's way through the check out line. Hmmmph! Nuts to that. I'm almost done.

I shop from my chair. Catalogs galore. A book bag full of them. Great deals online. Added bonus -  much fun to open my front door and there everything is. Right on my front porch. Don't even have to haul it from the car.

Lazy? Maybe.
Exactly what everyone had on their lists? Maybe. Maybe not.
Guaranteed to be fun opening it? You bet. 

Why? The hundreds of catalogs delivered to my house offer a plethora of items for consideration. I get catalogs for everything from underwear to dog food. I get weird T-shirt catalogs. Weird yard art catalogs. Cooking utensils and electronic foot massage catalogs. Art museum catalogs. Wine, cheese and pear catalogs. College flag catalogs. Flower and seed catalogs. Give a herd of sheep or a gaggle of geese catalogs.

Every day beginning in September my husband arrives from the mailbox and a loud bang hits the kitchen table. "Here's today's load," he says.

If I didn't recycle, I'd feel guilty. It isn't all my fault for once you order something from a catalog, Those That Hold Your Address pass it on to everyone else. Pretty soon everybody and their brother who sells something sends you a catalog. Or, if your mother passes on and her mail comes to your house, Those That Held Her Address now switch to yours. As well as all those charities she contributed to for the past 85 years.

My mailman assures me he doesn't hate me. I normally give him a homemade sweet bread for Christmas. I'm thinking this year maybe he needs something a little extra. Any ideas? After all, my mailbox is only so big so there are times, often, when he leaves his jeep and comes up to the door to hand me my newest load. Or leaves it discreetly on my porch swing.

So, back to where I was. Oh, yes. Shopping. I'm in pretty good shape. Just need to order a few fruit and wine or coffee or English muffin or cookie baskets to out of town family and I'm good. Leaves me open to begin the quest of writing that Christmas letter, addressing the cards, digging out the advent wreath, making the bread, meatballs and cookies. Oh, yeah - decorating the house. Planting the hyacinth bulbs curing in my refrigerator. Putting up the tree. Wrapping those gifts after they arrive at my door. Planning the meals. Cleaning the house for out of town company. Remembering what this season is supposed to be about.

Those of you who do it know what I'm talking about. Merry Christmas to you.

My mind is now fully overwhelmed. Thinking I'd better go get a glass of wine.  And dream about...

... December 26.


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