It’s a chilly 12 degrees this morning, and “Jack Frost” visited overnight. Our corn stove is doing its job, though, and I love seeing the merry flames from the kitchen table as I type.
The other day I made up my mind to get out the Christmas lights, and attempt to erect some sort of holiday display outside (if we have a warmer day, that is.) And, as happens every year, I discovered upon opening the box the strands that I had so meticulously packed last year had inexplicably entangled upon sitting immobile on the shelf for 11 months. This is one of life’s Great Mysteries. That and the sneaking fear of making the wrong move somehow and getting the things up, only to discover that only half the strand works. My mom, always a very patient person, would calmly and methodically twist each one should this unfortunate thing occur. The effect of half-strand burnout on me is somewhat different, I confess, usually involving visible steam emanating from my ears and a series of choice, voluble expletives issuing from my mouth. I’m convinced that no saint ever hung Christmas lights.
I’m sure there are any number of accounts of this trying activity posted in blogs across the web; the hanging of Christmas lights is a misery that loves company, it seems. But I have not yet crossed over to Scroogedom (as has my husband, who flatly refuses to assist in the task). I rarely decorate for any holiday or season, but Christmas is special and an exception.
So if there’s one good thing about the frigid outdoor temperature, it’s that it has successfully delayed this self-flagellation for the present time.
Today marks a week of being done with harvest. Just in time for the insanity that is Deer Season, where orange-clad, rifle-bearing men take to their pickups and tear madly around the countryside—sometimes in herds and sometimes solo—in quest of the elusive “thirty point buck.” None has been sighted thus far.
Harvest 2008, being now in the history books, means that David is here for the duration of the evening. This is good and bad. It’s bad in that we’re both here to annoy one another at will, but good in the sense that we have a sympathetic ally in relation to the pent-up energy that is a four and almost-two year old. The overzealousness of the children leads to many offhand remarks on our part, such as “Could you hand me a butterknife and a revolver, honey?” and gestures such as the index finger throat slice. It’s a cross, at times, but the kids do seem to provide an equal amount of joy as well.
For example, I made hot roast beef sandwiches for lunch the other day. Linus, being the typical small child skeptical of any food that has the potential of being wholesome or healthy, remarked in complete seriousness to David as he sat down with a nice, big pile of roast beef: “Hey, Dad. Is that poop?”
That one will probably go in the baby book. All part of the thankless, hilarious task of being a mother.