Monday, December 24, 2012
"Don't forget to bring suits," I told Mom when she indicated her sleigh was filled from floor to ceiling. "Swim," I clarified. "Though I guess snow wouldn't hurt either."
My landscape (dirt and trees and bushes, etc.) has - at long last - been coated in a layer of fluffy white. My house seems to be located just at the edges of the blizzard that pushed through, leaving a friendly couple of inches rather than the daunting feet that fell nearby.
I had prepared, shaking my head at the idea of storing my snowblower in the shed until late December, but pushed it up the hill and through the gate and into the garage where it stood ready to clear sidewalks and driveway.
I emerged into a chilly morning, carefully filled it with gas and coaxed it to start. Breathless after several minutes of fruitlessly yanking a chain, I sighed and murmured to Dad that I didn't know if I could do this.
Then, with a spark of the motor and cough of smoke, the machine roared to life and puttered happily while I blinked back tears and set to work.
I found myself frowning at my meager pile of gifts on Saturday while Chienne whined impatiently at the door, not awaiting Santa but her grandma and cat. They arrived and I offered a grinning welcome to Sir Sprout before he sprinted from the much-hated car to house-bound safety. Then I clung to Mom for a moment, nudging away the sadness this season has brought us.
We unloaded the car, my penguin-paper-wrapped offerings soon disappearing underneath 50+ much larger gifts. We arranged the baby carriages we had assembled at her house and I'll admit to a bemused shake of head when we arranged dolls and blankets in them.
"I told you I have the welcome letters for our trip, right?" I asked Mom and she nodded, confirming that she had swimsuits to wear in the hotel pool. She and I are spending Christmas at my house - the first time I've ever been away from home - sans tree or decorations apart from a nativity scene. (Fear not - the fireplace and pile o' presents add some happiness to the decor.)
Brother will fetch his girls en route to Aunt Katie's and they'll arrive on the 26th. We'll be here for that day and the next before proceeding to our post-Christmas trip at a not-too-far-away mecca for dolls. That are girls. From America. Going all out, I've reserved two rooms at a nearby hotel with a special doll package. Doll beds and cupcakes with sprinkles and a free movie and space for each of them to spend with either Grandma and Aunt Katie or Brother and his longtime girlfriend.
I'm actually pretty excited about it.
And will likely post photos.
Until then, I'm wishing you snowblowers that start, laughter with family and friends and a really lovely Christmas.