14 December 2012

Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 11

The winter weirdness continues. Snow is still falling, although it has slowed from whiteout conditions to a bare few flakes at a time. No sooner did the snowfall slack off than the mercury began falling: It dropped 18 degrees in four hours yesterday, and the forecast lows keep sinking lower. We're fortunate to stil be hovering at -4.9 F right now; the high for tomorrow is -27, and for Sunday is -36. Little Bear and I made an extra trip to the store today to stock up on essentials in case the cold front sticks around!

Sunday is supposed to be Christmas tree cutting day, but if it gets into the -40s, I doubt the men (Matt, my father, and my brothers) will be too eager to haul their chainsaws up the mountain to hunt for trees... The other night, Matt remarked nonchalantly that it would be cheaper to get a fake tree and then donate it to the thrift store than to buy a real tree from one of the places selling them around town. I was having none of it; growing up, the very idea of a fake tree was anathema, and the idea of buying a Christmas tree instead of just going out and cutting one has always bugged me. It wasn't until I was partway through college that I learned that people in many parts of the country aren't allowed to just go out in the woods and cut their own! That's so sad... our scraggly wildfire-fodder black spruce that I've always decorated will certainly never be as "perfect" as a farmed tree, but I have so many great memories of tracking through waist-deep snow, off a windy dirt road halfway up a mountain, helping my father find our Christmas tree. I would hate to deprive Little Bear of that!

Those mountain roads will be exciting if it is warm enough for them to go out Sunday; even in our neighborhood, I have been so grateful to have four wheel drive and a higher-slung chassis. I saw several small cars sitting in the middle of the road, stuck, snow more than halfway up the wheel wells. There was so much snow that schools were closed yesterday! I have lived here 23 years, and have never once seen the schools close for snow. Hopefully the roads in our area will be plowed soon; they're fairly well packed down by this point, but they are anything but smooth!

The snow plows don't go nearly as far out as my father goes to cut Christmas trees, and from what I hear the hills around town got even more snow than we did, so tree cutting will truly be an adventure this year. A wear-warm-gear-and-take-survival-equipment adventure.

Even with the threat of being cold- and snow-bound next week wouldn't have taken me to town today if we hadn't had doctor appointments. Little Bear has something on his scalp that looked like an infected scratch, but fortunately, the doctor thinks it is only seborrhea that is getting irritated by friction and the extremely cold, dry air. She gave us some hydrocortisone to help calm it down.

Little Bear then accompanied me to the chiropractor, where he screamed in the poor nurse's arms the whole time. Remember when I said I was never bringing him to the chiropractor with me again? *sigh* Hopefully we won't be repeating that again for a good long time. It's a shame he dislikes it so much, though, because my chiropractor's office is only a block away from his pediatrician, and it would be so convenient to schedule our appointments together, because they are on the opposite side of town from us.

Speaking of which, it wasn't until I was all the way on the opposite side of town that I discovered I'd driven off with Matt's work keys after dropping him off this morning at the university. I'm sorry, dear...

So many feasts this week! After my failure on Sunday to really do anything for St Juan Diego, I felt obligated to make a better showing for OL Guadalupe (on Wednesday). A nice meal did make it to the table--roast chicken, bourbon-glazed yams and apples, and lemon-poppyseed bread pudding--but I didn't remember up set the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe with our Advent wreath until halfway through dinner, so I felt a bit silly. My mother and I talked about Saint Lucy yesterday evening, although, we didn't manage to really do anything else to observe her day, and today we will be celebrating St. John of the Cross by reading from his poetry. John of the Cross is famous, among many other things, for his drawing of the crucified Christ from the perspective of one looking from above; this drawing inspired Salvador Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross, an image special to Matt's college household.

I just, as in five minutes ago, realized that Christmas is only ten days away and I have not nearly finished making presents, have not begun wrapping presents, have not made stockings, have not done an iota of decorating, have not even thought about what food we will be eating or when/where we will be eating it... I can feel my hold on this "celebrating a peaceful Advent" ideal slipping. Here's hoping I can knock out one or two of the big projects (stockings would be great!) while Matt is home this weekend, so the last few days of Advent aren't crazy and stressful!

Have a very joyful Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)! For more quick takes, visit ConversionDiary.com.

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