Monday, December 1, 2014

It's the first day of Advent

The cold is now authorized. We've reached meteorological Winter, and Advent. Doesn't that make you feel better? Me neither! But, today is supposed to be the worst of this week's cold. The roofing contractors thought it was too cold to work today. I can't really disagree. They're supposed to start tomorrow, if it warms up. Maybe if we had offered them some of the daughter person's recently baked Christmas cookies? Probably not even then. As soon as the breeze picks up even a little, the wind chill reaches below zero.

Christmas cookie decoration station
Christmas cookie decoration station
Photo by J. Harrington

Do you remember the scene in It's a Wonderful Life where Jimmy Stewart complains about the drafty old house in Bedford Falls? We don't live in Bedford Falls, but I can relate to George Bailey's comment "Gosh, it's this old house. I don't know why we don't all have pneumonia. This drafty old barn! Might as well be living in a refrigerator...." We're all hoping that new windows and improved(?) air sealing around them will cut down remarkably on our own drafty old house. Meanwhile, since we're not likely to motivate the roofers or window installers with them, we'll try to keep warm eating the added calories in the decorated with icing and sparkles cookies.

artisanal Christmas cookies, made by hand, eaten by mouth
artisanal Christmas cookies, made by hand, eaten by mouth
Photo by J. Harrington

“Your Luck Is About To Change”

By Susan Elizabeth Howe 

(A fortune cookie) 

Ominous inscrutable Chinese news
to get just before Christmas,
considering my reasonable health,
marriage spicy as moo-goo-gai-pan,
career running like a not-too-old Chevrolet.
Not bad, considering what can go wrong:
the bony finger of Uncle Sam
might point out my husband,
my own national guard,
and set him in Afghanistan;
my boss could take a personal interest;
the pain in my left knee could spread to my right.
Still, as the old year tips into the new,
I insist on the infant hope, gooing and kicking
his legs in the air. I won't give in
to the dark, the sub-zero weather, the fog,
or even the neighbors' Nativity.
Their four-year-old has arranged
his whole legion of dinosaurs
so they, too, worship the child,
joining the cow and sheep. Or else,
ultimate mortals, they've come to eat
ox and camel, Mary and Joseph,
then savor the newborn babe.


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