December 14, 2016
The Christmas rush is on. This year, fortunately, I’m not too terribly disorganized. Perhaps it’s a cop out on my part, giving everyone except my toddler great-grandbabies gift cards. For me that option is easy as heck. For the recipients—they can get something they really want, and there is no need for them to be disappointed or to return anything.
David and I aren’t getting anything for each other this year. We may go away someplace warm in February, but the jury is still out on that. For the most part, if there’s anything we need we just get it. And we’re both at the point that we don’t want what we don’t really need. This will be his last year in the work force. He’s ready for retirement, and while I’m not quite there yet, I will be on the day he punches his time card for the last time.
Meanwhile, life goes on. We had expected him to be ‘enjoying’ a seasonal lay-off, beginning October 28th. Everyone at his jobsite got notices of the impending action. The plant manager was very upset about the decision, which was a last minute one and came from head office. The man worked some magic and managed to keep a crew of about ten, based on seniority. Since David is the most senior employee—coming up on 40 years—that was a bit of a relief.
We’d already pared back our holiday plans, and tightened our belts. When you get to our stage of life, that isn’t a difficult thing to do. Being older, these bumps in the road don’t jar us the way they did when we were younger. I do dislike uncertainty, but that’s my problem, totally. We would have gotten through a two-month long lay off, but we’re just as happy we didn’t have to.
My daughter is hosting Christmas dinner on the 28th, as that is when she and our second daughter, Sonja, are scheduled to be off. Sonja is cooking the turkey, and my husband is already rubbing his hands in anticipation. Of course, that means that Christmas Day, it’ll be just the two of us. And that will also be a gastronomic treat for him. He loves goose. Absolutely loves it. The rest of the family, not so much. So, this Christmas Day’s supper, here, will be simple: roasted goose, rice with raisins, and some green veggie—possibly spinach or swiss chard. I might even have a glass of white wine with my meal. That’s Morgan’s idea of living life on the edge.
Last Friday we awoke to our first real snow fall. We’d gotten a skiff or two before this, but the temperatures at that point were mild enough that the white stuff melted by end of day. I was just relieved the snow held off long enough for my beloved to correct his slight miscalculation with regard to the porch steps and walkway.
A week or so ago, the temperature dropped and the wooden steps and walkway that were wet at the time, became too icy for me to navigate. On the porch, in a blue box with a lid, there was some salt. We had checked just the day before, but none of our local stores had received their new stock of salt, so there had been none available to buy. All the salt we had was this lump that took up nearly half the box. Now, I had asked my husband a couple of weeks beforehand to take a minute and take something sharp to that salt block, to break it up so it could be used on the steps. I know from personal experience that would not have required a great deal of muscle. That idea, however, apparently didn’t appeal to him. Instead, (and relying on accumulated life experience), on the day those steps iced over, he brought down the kitty litter, and used that on them and walkway.
Friends, have you noticed that kitty litter isn’t the stone dust it used to be? No? Well, neither did my beloved. Let me tell you, as clearly as I can: do not try this, ever! As a result of his ministrations, the steps became slicker than cat poop on a linoleum floor. David was shocked! This should have worked! I explained, with as much restraint on my sarcasm as I could muster, that kitty litter is no longer stone dust like it was in the olden days. It’s all chemicals now, clumping chemicals, that become as one with whatever wetness it comes in contact with.
He used the outside broom and brushed off those steps. That didn’t work. My daughter rinsed off those steps with water (which, yes, is wet). That didn’t work either. My husband finally ended up getting his electric drill out, putting the wire brush tool on it, and going over each step and the entire length of the walk way with that tool, scouring off the goop.
That worked. But now it has snowed, and so the salt (which my daughter broke up for him, took her only a couple of minutes) is in use, and hooray, we have two new bags of that, now, so we’re set.
Just another example of how things can change and we don’t even really notice—until we do.