Monday, December 25, 2017

Let Nothing You Dismay

I'll not sugar-coat it—things have been pretty rough lately, for many reasons, the majority of which involve my mom's failing health. As a result, preparing for Christmas was a bit more arduous than usual this year, but thankfully, our family gathering proved both relaxing and rewarding, with wonderful fellowship, food, and fun. And a wee bit of geocaching—very wee, alas, but geocaching nonetheless.

Ms. Brugger and I set out for Martinsville late yesterday morning, making a stop at Lowes Foods on Hwy 150, north of Greensboro, to pick up some provisions and snag a cache (GC7278J)—my only Christmas (Eve) cache this year. Once we reached the Ville, we planted ourselves at Mi Ranchito for an excellent Mexican lunch, then made our way to Mum's. I spent a good portion of the rest of the day working on a new short story, while Ms. B. indulged in a big ol' nap. For supper, I made a pot of vegetable beef soup, which turned out all kinds of good. There was, needless to say, fine wine accompanying.

I was very happy to find that my little anticdote of no small amusement—"The Christmas That Broke the Clock"—had made its way into the pages of the Martinsville Bulletin (the Christmas Eve print edition, at least), and that it received many kind remarks from my friends and acquaintances on Facebook. Happy!
Ms. B. settles in for our annual viewing of A Christmas Story in Mum's sunroom.
In keeping with our longtime Christmas Eve tradition, at 8:00 PM, Brugger and I settled ourselves in Mum's sunroom for the annual showing of A Christmas Story, followed by a migration to the den so we could enjoy a tad more wine and stream National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the computer. Spirits lifted? Good lord, yes.

Up pretty early this morning, I was, so I set right back to work on my short tale (tentatively titled "Hell's Hollow"). Brother Phred arrived around 11:30 AM, at which point Santa came out of the closet and started flinging presents around. Some fine items found their way into my stack, I must say, including a unique typewriter (see below), a CD of Stars of the LidAnd Their Refinement of the Decline, hiking boots, wine, and coffee.

Ms. B. and I prepared a damn satisfying dinner of ham, smashed cheesy potatoes, and sauteed squash & zucchini, while Phred brought us some wunnerful yeast rolls and apple pie. Afterward, we all spent some serious, much-needed quality time together, and thus Christmas became, once again, a source of joy for me.

Upon our return to Greensboro, Ms. B. and I put on Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, another of our absolutely crucial Christmas traditions, delayed a bit by circumstances this year, but accomplished nonetheless. Then some fabulous store-bought-but-doctored-up pizza and a couple of episodes of Stranger Things 2 to round out the day.

Now it's dark.

Merry, scary Christmas, and happy horrordays to you and yours.
The stockings were hung under the oranges with care.
I bet YOU didn't get one of these.

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