Friday, December 25, 2020

Pleasant Hill Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Last Christmas was the first I had ever spent without my mom being present. In the fall of 2019, she moved to a nursing home, so Kim and I made for ourselves a mellow Christmas at the old homestead in Martinsville — “Pleasant Hill,” as Mom loved to call it (see “Damned Rodan’s Christmas Special, December 25, 2019”). Now that Mom is no longer with us, Kim and I are once again celebrating Christmas at Pleasant Hill, just the two of us. In some ways, I feel Mom’s presence now more than when she was still alive but debilitated. Over a period of years, as dementia took an increasing toll on her memory, her identity, gathering as a family became more and more emotionally difficult, especially at holidays. Now that she is at rest, I find that I feel closer to her (as well as to my dad) because time and distance have somewhat dulled the pain of experiencing her physical and mental deterioration at close range for such a long time.

This afternoon, Kim and I got off work at lunchtime, so we opted to see if we might be able to continue one of our longstanding Christmas Eve traditions: visiting Grove Winery on our way to Martinsville. Happily, the winery was open, and — even more happily, at least for us — the few patrons on the premises were soon to leave, giving us plenty of space to ourselves out on the extensive patio. We enjoyed a tasting and a glass each of their wonderful Nebbiolo. We then hit the road for the old homestead.

We had hoped to spend a nice evening outdoors in the company of our friends Stephen & Samaire, but inclement weather forced us to postpone the gathering. None of us are comfortable spending any length of time together indoors, so we’ll be hoping for better circumstances in the near future. Failing Plan A, our Plan B was to cook up a pot of chili (which we did); make some mulled wine (which we also did); bake a pumpkin pie (done); wrap presents and place them under the tree (done); and watch our traditional Christmas Eve movies, A Christmas Story and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (done and done). As it turned out, we had so much to do, trying to also fit in a social gathering would have kept us up even later than it is (currently 2:00 AM). Now that I’ve managed to crank out this portion of a blog entry, I think I will retire for the night. What’s left of it. Until later....

Ms. B. and Old Scrooge enjoying a windy afternoon at Grove Winery

Friday, December 25, 2020
For the past decade and some change, there has generally been geocaching on Christmas Day. Over the years, though, I have cached out such a radius that no caches remain for me to hunt in reasonably close range. But this weekend — and the upcoming week, since I am off work — may offer some decent geocaching opportunities. Here’s hoping.

Since it was a very late (or very early) Christmas Eve for Ms. B. and me, we slept far in excess of our normal hours this morning. Well, I did, anyway; sleeping late tends to be Ms. B.’s typical M.O. We opened our gifts — a wonderful haul! — and enjoyed some mighty fine apple fritters for breakfast. Coffee. Coffee! COFFEE! COFFEE!! I need more....

Then, right as we sat down to an excellent dinner... boom! Migraine. I’ve had far fewer of these damned things this past year than any out of the past eight or so, but the timing for this one sure sucked. Fortunately, the headache turned out to be relatively mild.

Upon arrival back home in Greensboro, I discovered what might be a troubling issue regarding Mom’s estate. But maybe not. I hope to have it sorted out shortly.

And so, I figure it’ll be a quiet evening but a busy week coming up, with quite a few activities on the docket, some fun, some less so.

I hope you’re having a fine time of it, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. G’day and g’night.

Dad is home. Woopee.

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