Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tis The Season

Wow, it's been almost a month since last post. I have no real excuse for not posting sooner but I can make up a number of reasons. One big one, Christmas! Every year there is the normal holiday hustle around here as JoAnne transforms into the Merry Madwoman, a December Decorating Demonette. In keeping with our "decluttering" attempts the amount of Christmas decorations have been cut to a minimum. Early in the decorating process it was evident that things weren't going quite as planned. Last year we totted in ten totes of festive fixtures. I don't know what goes on out in that garage during those warm summer months but, this year we toted in thirteen totes full of peace and joy. And! Nowhere in those totes could be found a Christmas tree. That has a special place of honor in a corner of the garage. It's a large "prelit" spruce from a forest of factories somewhere in Taiwan. The bad news, of the over one thousand clear lights, only about fifty lit. Now, in our home, the decorating season was the incubating place for marital discontent (really big arguments). "The" tree was originally purchased to alleviate some of the tension and served it's purpose well (well, for a few years). But now it became a potential fuse set to go off at any minute. A quick trip to our "Helpful Hardware Man", a purchase of several hundred strings of lights, which were in place before Jo Frost got home from work, did the trick and warded off a potential "Bah Humbug" evening in Santa's village. Once the tree is properly lit I recede into the woodwork (or my computer laboratory) to attack the second most important segment of "The Season", namely, The Seasonal Inquirer, the Blume family Christmas newsletter. For most people this isn't a big deal they simply write about what happened to their family during the past year and end it with a pleasant seasonal greeting. Not too tough? But around here it's a major project. I've designed annual reports and entire advertising campaigns that caused less stress and strain, less research and development than this little missive. During the course of the year, both Jo and I have exclaimed, "remember that for the Inquirer" only to completely forget what was so memorable. Because of the complexity of the project, Jo usually sets a deadline for me. That way it seems more like a job and not like a pleasurable endeavor. All I can say is, "it's done!". I won't go into all of the Hardware, Software, Computer, and Printer obstacles that, literally, attacked me threw me to the ground and pushed me to edge of the desktop publishing abyss although it did involve working on two computers, utilizing out dated Quark and PhotoShop programs, unacceptable fonts and a couple of reluctant printers. The real capper to this tale is that while addressing the envelopes, folding the Inquirer and signing the cards, Jo discovered that more than half of the cards she bought involved a recipe card that she hadn't planned for. Hopefully "Helpful Hardware Man" can come to the recue one more time. (Don't expect a recipe in our card to you)
The house is decorated, packages wrapped, the cards and out-of-town gifts are on their way to the Post Office and only a few more cookies need baking. With a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures hanging around the zero mark, It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!".
All these little snags and hardships seem so small when we consider that thirty years ago this week, JoAnne was diagnosed with breast cancer, operated on and spent the Christmas holiday recovering. This Saturday the joy in our home is the celebration of thirty years of JoAnne being cancer free. I'm sure that when Tiny Tim said, "God bless us all" we were included as part of the "us" because we have certainly been blessed over the years.
No pictures this post. If you want to get a look at our "Winter Wonderland" just drop by. Tours leave the front door every three minutes. (Admission free)
For a little chuckle check out Saffie's last two posts.