Saturday, January 4, 2014

Was It All A Dream?

Christmas Cards at Chez Sarge
Make no bones about it, Christmas is my favorite time of year.

When the calendar flips over to December, the world changes for me.

I shut out the drooling idiots in the LSM (as if I really listen to their drivel during normal times!) and let my thoughts turn to the magic and light which has always been Christmas for me.

Christmas has two components in my philosophy: the religious (for without the birth of Christ there would be no Christmas and there would also be very little reason for hope, that's my view, yours may differ) and the other component is the anticipation of being with family, sharing gifts and good times.

There are many in the world who have neither component. I remember them, I do what I can do ease their woes and I thank the Good Lord for all I have.

I try very hard to keep the Christ in Christmas.

Now for me that second component of Christmas began on Christmas Eve when The Missus Herself and I loaded up Big Girl and headed north into what we jokingly refer to as The Wilderness. Other folks call it Western New Hampshire.

For that area of the world is absolutely nothing like the environs of Providence (our current locale) or any number of other cities we've lived near. It's a different world. A world I miss dearly but then again, I always view that area through the lens of childhood. Things were very different back then. But I can still hear and perceive the echoes of that time.

We gathered at my Mom's house. Midway through the day I realized that this was the first Christmas I had been home since my Father died. Kinda set me back it did. But I raised my glass heavenward and said "Hi Dad. Merry Christmas."

There was an answer. There always is for those who know how to listen. I mean, really listen.

But all too soon the sun rose on Boxing Day (after a fashion, it was snowing quite a bit) and we loaded up Big Girl to return to what we jokingly refer to as Civilization. It's not just a physical change of locale, it also involves moving from sort of a virtual childhood back to what passes for "adulthood". (That's in quotes as I refuse to "grow up". Or adhere to societal norms. Whatever those might be.)

One night at home.

Our Tree for 2013, it's small but loaded with memories.

Then the next day we headed to the airport. To fly to Detroit. For what I kept referring to as "Second Christmas".

There we met up with our two daughters, son-in-law, granddaughter and The WSO's in-laws for six days of good food, pleasant conversation and contentment in each other's company.

The first couple of days were warm for December. On New Year's Eve, Old Man Winter came to visit.

Frigid air and lots of snow. It felt like Michigan is supposed to feel as the old year slipped away.

But all too soon we found ourselves at the airport once again. Standing in line.

While in line, I heard a very English voice behind me say, "Two peoples separated by a common language..."

Turning around I said, "I do believe Sir Winston Churchill said that..."

We spent the remainder of our time "in the queue" with this lovely English couple (from the "real" Norfolk, yes they got a laugh when we told them that all three of the progeny had been stationed in our version of Norfolk).

It was kind of sad when we had to part company. But life goes on. As it were.

We were delayed for over an hour and a half. Not because of weather (it was starting to clear in Detroit and the Nor'easter had not really started yet in New England) but because we had no First Officer. I'm sure many at the gate were cursing this individual and wondering why he hadn't shown up for work yet. The longer we waited in Detroit, the higher the likelihood of our flight being cancelled due to that Nor'easter a-brewing back east.

I figured the poor chap's car was either refusing to start (for it was bitterly cold) or that he was sitting in a ditch someplace waiting for a tow truck. I learned this past week that in the environs 'round Detroit, no one has any clue as to how to plow a road. From the time it started snowing until we left the roads were a greasy, slippery nightmare.

Eventually the airline found a First Officer with time on his hands and lo and behold he arrived at the gate. To scattered, somewhat reluctant, applause.

We got into the air and landed at T. F. Green before the storm descended upon us. Got home, got settled in and slept the sleep of the exhausted. (You didn't really think I was going to say "of the just", did you?)

Friday we awoke to see that the full fury of the storm had passed to our north. Boston saw heavy snow in excess of a foot according to my sources. We had maybe six inches. Hard to tell from the way the wind blows around here. Next to the house we had an inch. In spots in the yard perhaps a foot. The wind tends to swirl around our house causing interesting patterns. But it's hard to gauge the actual amount of snowfall.

After noting the amount of white stuff around the estate, I started to wonder, "Was the past two weeks a dream, or was it real?"

These times always go by far too fast for my taste. Soon it will be Monday and I will be back at work. Wondering...

Where does the time go?

It passes ever onward. As inexorable as the tides.

And King Canute I am not.


  1. I don't even have to go anywhere and the time screams past like a Hornet on afterburner.

    1. Good observation Skip. Doesn't matter if it's home or away, the time she does fly!

  2. Here in Alaska, the big storms that pass through your part of the work are looked at with (I have to admit) some degree of amusement. We recognize that the snow-plowing and -removal efforts of your local highway departments leave much to be desired; here, we take it seriously & have equipment to match.

    Nevertheless, the most frequent comments hereabouts are along the lines of, "You know what we call thirty inches of snow? Tuesday.'"
    That does trivialize the problems all y'all encounter, and we mean no disrespect. Still, we just get up and go to work in it.

    1. Alaska. If you guys didn't know how to remove snow, you'd be snowed in the entire winter.

      Vermont and New Hampshire understand snow removal. Michigan? Not so much.

  3. I learned this past week that in the environs 'round Detroit, no one has any clue as to how to plow a road.

    That depends entirely on where you live. The mayor o' Ferndale lived a couple o' doors up from me and our street was always plowed, and plowed very well, thank ya. That said, getting out on Woodward and then making my way up to the workplace in Troy was another kettle o' fish, altogether. Still and even, Deetroit was better than most cities I've lived in where snow removal was concerned... or the at least the 'burbs were.

    So. Welcome home!

    1. Good to be home.

      Still and all, the only place other than the Detroit area I've seen where snow removal was some kind of mystery was Denver. Pitiful it was.

      Key point - if a politician lives in the area, you get your street plowed? Not good.

  4. I guess that's why they say that it's the journey that counts, not the destination. I'd add that it's even more important on how you make that journey; the style and sense of honor with which you live, is the real goal.


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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