I've done all my recent writing in my head. Which is fun for me, and not as much fun for you. Anyway, the posts are starting to stack up. In their entireties they were both clever and profound (you would have liked them), but for the sake of time and in consideration of all the people around here clamoring for clean underwear (the nerve!), you are getting the Reader's Digest version. (Did I ever tell you the story of how I was actually published in the Reader's Digest and lied about my name? True story.)
And so, Post One:
On Thursday night I took the girls to see Little House on the Prairie, The Musical at Gammage. It was just marvelous, and it is quite possible that I cried through half of it. At one point Olivia looked at me with tears in her own eyes and nodded compassionately.
I sat there in the auditorium with my own Mary and Laura and thought about love and sisters and sacrifice and hard work and faith and building a life for your family and long winters and what we would do to keep warm if we lived in the Dakota territory before insulation and central heating and indoor plumbing. I thought about what it means to live in a happy family and over and over again I told myself, "This is now, this is now," just like Laura did in Little House in the Big Woods.
When it was all over we went to the talk-back where Olivia raised her hand and asked the cast if they had all read the books, and then with my girls clutching their own treasured books we waited outside the stage door for autographs.
And on the way home, over the Christmas music, I could hear the girls talking about their favorite parts, and how it is so sad to read such good books when you are young because you might never find as good books the rest of your life. I smiled at that and secretly agreed. And as I drove home through the dark streets and listened to their voices in the back seat and heard Savannah ask Olivia why she was crying at that one part, I was grateful that they each have a sister. And that in the long, cold winters of their lives, they will always have each other.
The makings of 23 centerpieces.
If you've been reading this blog for a bit, it becomes fairly obvious, fairly quickly, that I married better than I deserve.
What can I say? It is an indisputable fact that I have excellent taste in men.
This week offered more evidence of this.
David and I were supposed to put on the ward Christmas party on Saturday night. Food and seating and entertainment and Christmas cheer for two hundred. Saturday was also the day of a one-day quilt retreat with my family in Park City, Utah, about 700 miles from here. I hemmed and hawed about going. I tried to change the date of the ward party. I decided not to go to the quilt retreat. Then I hemmed and hawed some more. Finally David said, "Let's just buy you a ticket. I can feed two hundred people by myself." Unbelievably I said, "Okay."
And that it just what he did. The party was a roaring success. Last night in bed he told me in complete honesty that he thinks it was the best ward Christmas party he's ever been to.
I am not a bit surprised.
After all, I have excellent taste in men.
We finally had a cold snap.
Cold enough to wear beanies and knit gloves with our jackets in the mornings.
Did you know it only takes about one day for children to lose one or both of their gloves?
Lucky for us, the cold snaps around here only last about two weeks. I don't know how all you real-winter folks do it. My entire month's budget would be spent on gloves. 30 days, 4 pairs of gloves per day...it adds up.
The other day I was at Target for a completely different reason and saw that they had their gloves on sale, 2 pairs for $1.50 in all kinds of cute colors. I thought, "Sold." I bought everyone two pairs of gloves. This morning the girls were both down to one pair and Ethan couldn't find any. He finally ended up wearing mine. I suspect I will never see them again. Oh well. It will likely be summer weather again by the end of the week.
Remember that post about wanting to be snowed in somewhere?
On Sunday morning after a delightful quilt retreat, we were in Park City preparing to leave. The man who plows the driveways in the neighborhood came by and laughed at us and told us we weren't going anywhere. It had snowed 25 inches in less than 12 hours.
We went back inside and considered staying another day and I called David and told him I thought we might be snowed in and he said the roads looked fine from here. If we could just get down off the mountain he thought the highway would be passable. It was, but just barely.
As we were white-knuckle crawling our way down the mountain I thought about how when my romantic notions actually come to pass in real life, they are not nearly as romantic as I thought they would be.
My readers in Wisconsin and Michigan and Massachusetts have my apologies.
My Christmas cards are still sitting neatly in their boxes.
I have threatened several times that they are going to end up in the recycling bin.
David just nods.
He's been through this before.
And now every time someone else's Christmas card arrives in the mail, a little trickle of ice-cold panic sluices through me.
But still they sit.
I am waiting for inspiration.
I am waiting for Christmas spirit.
I am waiting to figure out just what it is I learned this year.
The writer in me is still sorting. Sorting the lessons from the regrets, the gold from the sand, the moving from the mundane. There is something there, the water just hasn't cleared enough for me to see it yet.
I hope it clears by Christmas. If not, I have given myself permission to fill the recycling bin.
And David will just nod. (See Post Two. I told you.)