My Week: Christmas Past—Again

Ah! the anticipation and hurry scurry flurry of getting ready for Christmas! And then it’s all over. Is that your experience? It isn’t mine. When I’d read my the emails from my two sisters, just that much made me tired. They were cooking, baking, wrapping, decorating (well, one of them did and the other one didn’t, mostly). I was living my normal life. I’d gotten gifts for my daughters-in-law months ago. Other than those, I ordered presents to be sent to the recipients or gave money. To be honest, I still have one Christmas celebration to go. DS1 and family went to Indiana to spend several days prior with his mother-in-law and went back home on The Day so we haven’t Christmassed yet.

DD and I had our visit on Sunday but merm laid a guilt trip on me Monday night as only merm can. She has an addiction to Skype and seeks to reel in everyone else. I’m not so keen on it. I like to be able to get up and move around, if necessary, while I’m talking to someone who is in another location. With Skype, a person is, of necessity, pretty much stationary. I’d baked some sweet potatoes to take to DS2’s house the next day but that was all the cooking I had done.

When the oven heated up, I don’t know if it was the iron skillet I hadn’t used in years or if a mouse family was caught unexpectedly but there was a decided meaty smell. I should heat the skillet up again and see if that’s it or if there are some cremated mice babies somewhere in my kitchen.

I told her I had a lot to do. “Oh no worries. I knew it would be a Christmas miracle if it happened. I totally understand being too busy for family.” I caved. How long we Skyped, I don’t know. I do know when we disconnected, I had to get ready for bed.

Christmas Day came and with it the rest of the preparations. I fixed rosemary & thyme mashed potatoes, cashew gravy (merm sounded surprised at that one), mushrooms to go in the gravy (my granddaughter prefers hers without), and persimmon pudding.

Christmas at their house bears no resemblance to the Christmases DS2 grew up with. When I called to let them know I was on my way, the mother and daughter were still opening presents but the father was outside. My mother had us all gathered around the tree and the gifts were portioned out so everyone had to participate to the very end. Maybe now that he’s an adult…

Pulling up to the house, I found my daughter-in-law cooking Christmas dinner while my granddaughter helped. I got everything unloaded and pitched in. We got the meal ready and ate in front of the TV while we watched the final episode of Survivor. I’d taken my gifts that had been sent to the house and opened them that night. Merry Christmas.

Sleeping, I felt like “The Princess and the Pea” on my granddaughter’s high bed. The mattress is on a tall platform. I must say I got a good workout climbing in and out multiple times to visit the bathroom.

I’d planned to leave by 11 but DS2 had some recycling to do so I waited until he took in two loads and collected a tidy sum. He didn’t share. 🙁

My daughter-in-law was at work so I told her good-bye on the phone, hugged and kissed my son and granddaughter and left.

Trips like that have to serve more than one purpose so I went to the university supermarket and Walmart on the way home. It had been raining off and on but, on top of the mountain, it started spitting snow.

Pulling up at the house, here’s what greeted me:

My welcome home

The rest of the trunk was still in my neighbor’s yard.

Origin of the downed tree

Fearing the worst, I got out of the car and went to survey the damage. It had missed the house by a hair but, on its way down, it had caught the electric meter and neatly pulled it out and deposited it on the ground. I groaned. Glad that the house wasn’t damaged, I was still disappointed that I wouldn’t have power—and one does like to be powerful.

Coming into the house, I knew it couldn’t have happened very long before. The heat was turned down to 61. According to the thermometer on the kitchen wall, it was three degrees cooler than that.

I went to my neighbor/cousins’ house and asked to use the phone. Mercifully, my man cousin’s cell phone gets a good signal out here. He handed it over and said to keep it in case I had to make more calls. I called service and was told someone would be out. The dispatcher questioned me about the damage and I told him more than once it was just the meter that had been pulled out. He must have thought this old lady didn’t know what she was talking about because, when the men came, they had believed it would be a lot worse.

They had a meter on the truck they put in so I could have electricity. Someone would come and put in a replacement smart meter. Power!!

My cousin brought my Christmas present over along with a big basket of fruit.

Fruit basket

She and their tenant surveyed the damage and he agreed to cut up the tree and get it out of there the next day.

At 9 the next morning, the doorbell rang. It was a service man with the new meter. He told me the lights would be off “a second or two” and he was right. It was amazing. They barely blinked and that was that.

The new meter

He was gone by 9:05.

That afternoon, the tenant-turned-logger had me move my car so he could pull his truck down to the house.

Work site

He set about getting to work.

Scoping out the project

Marking the tree into 20″ lengths took a few minutes. He told me he could sell it for firewood. Fine with me!

The Logger

By the time he’d finished, he was working up a sweat.

Working up a sweat

He said he’d talked to the neighbors and they agreed to his taking the rest of the trunk out plus, later on, they’ll let him cut another tree that would surely flatten this house if it fell. I noticed the trunk was gone yesterday.

I took inventory of the basket of fruit and here’s the scoop:


Six grapefruit
Six oranges
Five bananas
Three apples
Three pears
Three tangerines
Two mangoes
One bunch of grapes
One avocado

The basket is for Twinkle but, so far, she has disdained it. She’s a strange cat. If it were made of cardboard, she’d be right there.

It was spitting snow again this morning. I didn’t hurry leaving so I was a bit late for Sabbath School. The superintendent didn’t make it at all so there was extra time for the lesson study and it was excellent. The teacher was a fill-in but she was well-informed and she talked so I could hear her. It even encouraged me to participate and not just sit there like a bump on a log.

My cousin-in-law had the church service and challenged all of us to come home and read Chapter 39 in The Great Controversy. I looked it up and it’s very sobering but encouraging at the same time.

My second meal of the day was a supper-in-a-salad. It had romaine, tomato, onion, garbanzos, half of the avocado from the fruit basket (and it was lovely!) and gluten-free garlic croutons. My dressing was the juice of the last half of my last lime. Guess I’ll use lemon juice until I can get to town.

The plan was for me to go back down to celebrate Christmas with DS1 and his on New Year’s Day. I’ve been messaging with my granddaughter tonight and I’ve been advised to wait until my daughter-in-law gets over the flu. You don’t have to tell me twice. I’m home and my car is covered with snow.

4 Responses to My Week: Christmas Past—Again

  1. Lila December 30, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Are you saying your son gets money for recyling?

    • Tommie December 30, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Yes. A lot of people collect aluminum cans and recycle them. Almost any kind of metal can be taken to a recycling center and traded for cash. I used to do it when I drank soda.

      You can learn more about it here.

  2. Mary Jane December 30, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Glad you had a good Christmas No. 1. I will have my real Christmas a week from now, if all goes as planned. Good idea to wait until there is no flu bug around–my dr. warned me to be careful about it, even though I had a flu shot. Seems it’s hitting hard already this year, shot or not.

    You had lots of things going on, even without baking, wrapping, and decorating! I did get a wreath on the front door a couple of days before Christmas. Guess I need to take it down now…

    • Tommie December 30, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      Yes, there was a lot going on some of which I could have done without. It does give me something to blog about. 😕

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