The day after Christmas and I’m sitting here at the cottage enjoying the winter sunset. The clouds are high and wispy and the setting sun is coloring them bright orange and yellow. Looking out the window and through the birch trees on the lake shore, I feel a contentment and peace that has eluded me for the past couple weeks.
So far since arriving here yesterday afternoon I have finished reading one book, started another one, completed three crossword puzzles (one was the New York Times Sunday puzzle. Check out the movie, Wordplay, if you want to know how cool that is). watched a movie, slept until after 9 AM this morning, spent an hour exercising, cooked a big pot of chili, managed to sneak in a half hour nap, broiled a couple steaks, and did the dishes. All Mary did was walk the dog and clean up the cat puke on the bedspread. Oh yeah, she drove into town to buy me some wine and brandy. So she hasn’t been totally derelict.
The usual holiday chaos has abated now that Christmas day is past and the New Year’s Eve plans are subdued and nothing to get too excited about. So we are finally able to decompress for a couple days before heading home and resuming the normal hectic schedule. That is, Mary’s hectic schedule. My idea of hectic is if I have to leave the house for any reason. Still, after a couple more days here we will be ready to resume our normal routine.
Since I don’t have internet access readily available here at the cottage (I’d have to go into town to the library or some other hot spot to get connected), I’ll just keep adding to this each day and then publish it at home when we get back. Or not…….
Another day, another addition to this drivel………
We must have had our quota of sunshine yesterday, because today is gray and dreary, with no hint of sun poking through the dense washed out atmosphere. Staying inside today is no hardship. Mary, feeding one of her fetishes, has spent the morning cleaning, while I stretched and exercised again in an effort to keep everything attached to this old skeleton functioning.
The whine of the vacuum cleaner Mary is maneuvering around the smallish confines of our cottage means that I don’t get to listen to any music while I work my muscles back into usefulness. Listening to some classic rock, or even some classical music along the lines of Mozart, makes the strain of exercising more tolerable and helps to speed the time of effort along. Without music, I start counting the minutes, and even the seconds, until I can convince myself that all that self flagellation has had some good effect. A heavy dose of Advil, after completing the exercise routine, helps to ease the transition back into my customary state of dissolution that will prevail the rest of the day until sleep overtakes me. At least that’s the plan.
Add in a couple glasses of Cabernet at happy hour this afternoon and a Brandy Mannhatten (or two) before dinner, and I’ll be Mr. Mellow until the day closes down with a couple shots of peppermint late in the evening. I know, that sounds like I wander through the evening in a fog of drunken senselessness, but with a judicious intake of solid food along the way, I usually manage to stay mostly upright and cognizant of the world around me. This is vacation time, isn’t it? So a little stupor is acceptable, even desirable……..
Thursday morning and the boss has decided that we've had enough rest and relaxation and that it is time to rejoin the real world. So after my second cup of coffee, but before I could settle in with a book or magazine for the remainder of the morning, I became the designated teamster, schlepping all our worldly possessions from cottage to van. Amazing all the stuff we feel necessary to take with us from home to cottage and back again. The van neatly loaded, the dog harnessed in her seat and the cat curled into her favorite hiding place beneath the back seat, we left the cottage for a leisurely ride home. The day started out with a low sky that was getting denser with moisture, so leaving was probably a good idea.
One of the other reasons for returning home today was that our neighbors next door were having a holiday open house this evening and we wanted to join in the festivities. They have been our neighbors for just the past four years and this is the first time that we've actually socialized without having to lean on the fence between our backyards. They are very nice people and quite gregarious, with a lot of friends always coming and going. So we were quite pleased to have the opportunity to become part of the gang.
We had a good time meeting lots of people that we will probably not see again until next year's open house. Situations like that are usually stressful for Mary, but I love meeting new people and asking them about themselves. They always consider me a brilliant conversationalist, when in fact all I do is ask a few leading questions and then stand back and let the torrent of words wash over me. An occcasional nod and an earnest "hmm, hmm," keeps my reputation for brilliant repartee intact. We shuffled from one group to another, nibbling from the endless platters of fun food, comfort food, forbidden food, and once-a-year food that covered every available surface. Had we stayed much longer, my new year's resolution would have to be to lose 40 pounds or invest in a new wardrobe. So after an hour and a half of socializing and nibbling, we made our graceful departure, while still able to walk and not roll, glad to have made the effort to be there.
As Christmas week winds down, we sit here in our home thankful for the friends and family that make weeks like this so special. While we see all these same people throughout the year, there is something about the week between Christmas and the New Year celebration that intensifies the feelings we have for those people in our lives. Hope you have the same kind of week that we are having and that the people special in your lives are there to share it with you.