The combined effects of the calendar and the weather have given an opportunity and reason to blog again.
When I started to write this, it was January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany; sometimes, in Ireland, called ‘Little Christmas’ – also the date on which the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas Day. It also so happened to be the day after ‘Twelfth Night’. “So what?” you say – and like Joe Biden may even add a hearty “BFD!”
I’ll tell you. That is the day on which we (that must be the ‘Royal we’, because I have little do with it) take down all the Christmas decorations. Since my wife put them all up, it’s only fair that she takes them down, I say! My contribution was to help lift the artificial (with attached white lights) tree from its base and help haul it back to its place in the basement for another 11 months or so. A wooden Santa, an equally wooden reindeer (but with a 4 amp nose), Christmas cards, orange colored candles-from-every-window, mantle ornaments, tree ornaments and three nativity sets were all boxed up and also put away in the basement. Of course, all the ‘year-round’ stuff that previously occupied the mantelpiece and other places now vacated, had to be brought back upstairs! During most of that process, I managed to watch a few football (soccer) matches on the DVR, got in my daily 30-minutes of exercise and spent hours fiddling around on the computer – all in the security of the basement, far from the activity overhead. Except for humping stuff up or down the stairs, I’m pretty much expected (sometime told) to not interfere with the process. Suits me! It was all efficiently taken care of - while outside was another story!
Sunday night was Twelfth Night and also the night when the previous nights snowfall began get drift deep enough to bury 12 drummers drumming – had they been the size of my garden gnome, who had either been buried – or ran off with the brass monkeys – it was getting cold. I mean C-O-L-D! Monday’s high was minus 2F (minus 19C) and the low was minus 24C). Obviously, there would be no way I could watch my wife take down the outside Christmas lights; I would freeze being that close to the window panes!
The snowplow kindly came into the subdivision late Monday night and pushed a pile 4 feet high in the spot where I usually park my vehicles. I had dutifully put them in the driveway on Saturday night – as required by City Ordnance when more than 2” of snow is expected. Oh, I forgot to mention, the plow also pushed an 18” high pile across the entrance to my driveway. Thanks, Bub! No matter, the snow was too deep in the driveway to move the cars anyway – and one wouldn’t start! Hot soup and movies on TV were in order. A friend, at my daughter’s behest, came by yesterday (Tuesday, 7th) with a snow blower and his pick-up truck with snowplow on front. Billy and his helper cleared the obstructing piles of snow and I returned the favor by putting him touch with ‘my garage-door guy’ (used him 3 times in 2 years) to fix Billy’s parents’ door. See, one good deed . . .
I’m relying on that simple, but kindly act, to compensate for the sacrilege I have perpetrated in my yard. I had made the conscious decision that there was no choice but to leave plastic illuminated-on-the-inside Joseph, Mary and infant Jesus-atop-a-milk-crate, along with their wooden illuminated-by-a-spotlight clones on the other side of the driveway, out in the snow. Not a matter of procrastination, you understand, but one of pragmatism. However, I did venture out to unplug them at the outlet, lest the neighbors saw them shivering out there and called the Archbishop. As cold as it is forecasted to be, they may be out there until the Easter Bunny shows up with snow shoes and a shovel.
‘Oh, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!’