Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dancing in Life

Tonight that Spouse o'  Mine and I were in the kitchen, making pizzas.  His: Ham & pineapple.  Mine: Vegetarian.  We were listening to my all-time favorite Saturday evening radio show, The Retro Cocktail Hour.  As we waited for the oven to heat up, we began dancing across the kitchen floor.  It was fun!  We laughed and danced and laughed.  And then I reminisced about our sweet Michigan neighbors in East Lansing:

He was head of the Math Department, and wore a wry smile and a Scroodge McDuck hairstyle.  She, a petite thing, sported a brunette pixie cut and a calm demeanor.  Such great neighbors they were!   They were both jolly and positive folks.  We could not have asked for better neighbors.  They seemed to get a kick out of our young brood - a four year old, a three year old, and an infant.

Our Michigan winters were long.  They started early with short daylight and meager temperatures. For Halloweens, we planned our kids' costumes around heat and warmth.  We could have snow until May.  It was OK.  Everyone makes adjustments to their particular winter deals.

So, back to tonight, dancing along to the Retro Cocktail Hour:  I reminisced to that Spouse o' Mine about an evening in February, so many years ago:

Our good neighbors would put Christmas lights outdoors every year.  Annually.  And they never took them down until mid-February. She explained one year that they kept the Christmas lights up until after their wedding anniversary in February.  I thought this was stellar.  (Having a February anniversary myself.)  I thought that was so sweet.  The Michigan snow would build and build onto these outdoor lights until all we neighbors could see was a hedgerow of white snow interspersed with glowing lights of all colors.  It was a hazy mix, there in the winter dark.

One particular year, in February, I walked into our kitchen to do whatever it was a young mother does: get baby breakfasts ready, make formula, assess the laundry, WHATEVER.

And I looked out our north kitchen window.

Dark and full of snow.

Next door, beyond the hedgerow of white snow and glowing lights were our two sweet neighbors, dancing together.

I knew it was their anniversary.  I love that I witnessed their evening.  

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Beyond Twelfth Night

Yesterday, Friday, was Twelfth Night for most people.  The Twelfth Day of Christmas.  Some people take their holiday stuff down and kick the tree to the curb earlier, but I have always waited for the Twelve Days of Christmas.  And this year I invited the ladies of our little village over for a New Years coffee, set for this morning, and so I left our tree and all the holly and ivy up for an additional day.

I slept late (for me) this morning, and when I awoke I realized that that Spouse o' Mine was leaving for Ghana in an hour and a half, and the ladies of Wabaunsee were walking through my door in two hours.  Sheesh.

We normally do not keep pets indoors.  But this week has been bitterly cold, and so the 85-lb dog and our two pet cats have been spending the nights with us.  Ditto, the wild Black Cat.

(Black Cat first began showing up by skirting the edges of our 15-acre property.  We left the country for three weeks back in September and he moved further into domesticated territory.  And he beat up our two pet cats.  But then they rallied and beat him up, enough, I guess, that he decided that the score was sort of even.  No more fights.  An occasional spat, but that is it.  Then, Black Cat showed up at meal time, and so I began feeding him.  And now he is sleeping in our mudroom.  I pet him periodically, and have picked him up twice.  But I do not trust him 100% and so I keep him at a distance most times.  My intention with all this is to get him tame enough to load him into a cat carrier and haul him in to get neutered.  Then Black Cat can go live his life wherever he pleases.)

Well, I intended to mop the floors of the two rooms that we and the animals share, before company came.  (I abhor smelly dog smells, and hair on the floor.)  Poor smelly, hairy dog and hairy cats...out into the morning snow they went, and I DID mop, all while my first cup of coffee was brewing.  A 60-second shower, throw the pigs-in-blankets into the oven, feed some animals, kiss that Spouse o' Mine goodbye, and then BOOM!

Hello, ladies, come on in!

We sure had a fun time this morning.  It's a shame that we do not gather more frequently, we ladies of Wabaunsee.  We were four generations, the youngest of which was six months old, and our elder was ninety.    

That was my whole morning!  After my friends left, I sat in silence for quite some time.  And then I took my cup and saucer into the kitchen, and moved on to the task at hand:  Time to take down the tree.

I love putting a Christmas tree up, and I love packing away everything after Christmas.  I wonder sometimes why some people don't like this?  So many fun and sweet memories go onto my Christmas tree.

After the ornaments were packed away, I unwound the Christmas lights, and then I skillfully managed to drag the tree to our front door without spilling a drop of water onto the hardwood floor.  And then, as I stepped out onto the porch, the tree tipped over, and all the water from the tree stand spilled onto our porch and FROZE IMMEDIATELY.

I think I said a bad word.  

This porch is on the north side of our house and that means I will have an icy porch for the next few days.  Well, as it happens, we have been experiencing a north wind, too, and we have been using our south door for comings and goings.

Tonight that Spouse o' Mine called me from his plane, before take-off, and that did my heart good.  Now I am going to make a pizza and listen to Retro Cocktail Hour on the radio.  My kids and that Spouse o' Mine know that is a favorite Saturday night radio show for me!  

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