(from a previous dog walk, a channel to a power dam near town)
I read something on the internet yesterday to the effect that at this time of year the gap between what we want and what we have seems the greatest. I thought that was pretty spot on. The rest of the year we take that gap for granted but now, it just seems hard. We want the picture-perfect Christmas and we get reality.
Not that I am complaining, I just thought it was a good observation.
Today was a do-nothing day after a series of hectic days. I got sidetracked cleaning up some computer files, in no time at all it was 2pm and I still had not taken the dog for a walk. So we walked downtown and stood in line at the post office, myself for a package and Hapi for a dogtreat. We went home and I made tea and read a bit of my new book from the post office. I brought in some firewood from the shed and made supper.
Yesterday I had a whole bunch of things lined up to do, I was kind of dreading it all week. Knew I would have to leap out of bed and hit the ground running if I was to get it all done. I had church, walk the dog and three overlapping entertainment-slash-social occasions in the afternoon and evening. Also some prep work to do for two of those occasions.
At choir practice one of the choir members invited me to the lighting of the last Hanukah candle that evening.
I said, You celebrate Hanukah?
He said, Yes, I'm Jewish.
I said, I didn't know you were Jewish!
He grins and says, Yes, will wonders never cease!
Anyway, it was smack dab in the middle of my overlapping entertainment-slash-social occasion run for it so most reluctantly I had to turn it down. Damn. That would have been a good thing.
Then I go home and start getting ready for the quick dog walk in between and my neighbour comes out to invite me for supper and an inspection of their newly renovated kitchen and bathroom, an invite I have been secretly hoping and waiting for these last couple of months. Again, damn, can't do it, and her Christmas social calendar is so socked in that the next available opportunity won't be until sometime in 2013.
Unfortunately the three overlapping entertainment-slash-social occasions require missing supper, I thought I could manage it but turned out I couldn't. I grabbed a couple of leftover Hallowe'en candies to tide me over but they didn't. So I ended up missing the middle occasion and going home to eat instead. To the dog's great delight. However she was quite dismayed when I took off again less than an hour later.
The final social occasion was one I was actually kind of dreading, would have dropped it I could have, but it turned out not to be nearly as bad as I thought it might be. And I got to eat some very good food. I was greeted at the door with hot-from-the-oven lobster cakes and it got better after that. And I met a couple of bakers who I have admired from a distance, they sell their wares at the Farmers' Market and they are really good. Turns out one of them stood behind me in the Christmas Cantata last week and is a former opera singer! I did not recognize her until she told me. And, we have the same first and second names, but she uses her first name and I my second.
Aside: I have always gone by my second name, I don't really know why. My parents' decision.
Her husband bakes bread and we had a lively, if a little esoteric, discussion of locally available flours.
The event was a Greed and Avarice party, in which we all pick gifts from a pile and take coveted gifts from each other. This year the coveted gifts included a lard bucket full of high quality home baked cookies, a couple of bottles of wine, a large box of truffles, and tickets to the local cinema. Last year I ended up with a gift I quite disliked and went home and stowed it in a trunk in the basement. This year I rewrapped it and stuck it in the pile as my contribution. Turns out the person who pulled it from the pile made a huge joke of it, everyone rolling on the floor laughing, and then reluctantly gave it up to someone who actually wanted it. Wow.
My new opera singer friend ended up with a gift that she didn't like at all, and quietly said to me that she had contributed one of the much coveted gifts and felt a little cheated ending up with this terrible thing that she quite disliked. I told her what I had done with my gift from last year and she brightened up.
That's exactly what I am going to do! she said.
I did not end up with any of the sweets, wine or tickets, but did briefly get my hands on a couple of those items. My gift consists of two items, one of which I may keep and the other I may regift at an upcoming opportunity involving a completely different group of people. Or they may get both, I haven't decided.