01 January 2011

A Somber New Year

I can't say it's been the most auspicious New Year's Day ever. Frankly depressing in parts, to be honest. James had to be up early and go to work. I didn't sleep well last night because it was so warm, even with two fans on me, so I woke later a bit headachy. Outside it was a bleak grey. I took Willow outside, then had the usual oatmeal and yogurt breakfast, then wandered around the house replacing calendars...or actually tossing out the old ones, as I had put the new ones up behind the old ones ages ago. In my craft room I have a Boston calendar of vintage photos, done by the Arcadia Publishing ("Images of America") people, which I bought in the Borders in Burlington, MA. The guest room has the little Vermont calendar James bought me at Quechee Gorge. Downstairs is the small Anne of Green Gables calendar I found in the downtown Boston Borders Books. (Still drooling thinking about that store!)

I also put the new whiteboard calendar up on the fridge (the old one is almost impossible to erase neatly any longer) and changed the perpetual calendar in the dining room.

The sky became darker and it started to pour, of course right at the beginning of the Tournament of Roses Parade. This meant there were some dropouts in what I recorded for James, not to mention it just made the day miserable. Heck, the sky might have physically sat down on my sinuses for all the pain it was causing. Nevertheless, it was a great parade, with the usual bright, clever, and lovely floats, and absolutely gorgeous horses: Arabians, saddlebreds, palominos (with Marines in dress uniforms as the riders), pintos, black Freisians, and of course, the Clydesdales. One float was even still playing Christmas music—that's rare these days. I remember when I was a kid a lot more of the bands would still be playing something Christmassy.

After the parade I warmed up some of the pork ribs we had the other night with a few tablespoons full of flavored noodles, and put on the first BluRay disk we have used in the new player, The Sound of Music. Rodney joked last night about high-def grass; well, he wasn't kidding! The movie looked lovelier than ever; I wonder if it looked that good at the Warwick Cinema back in 1966! :-)

By now the headache was overwhelming, so I took three ibuprofin and retreated into the dark for a half hour. That made me feel better, and I took Willow outside, and then realized it was time to start supper! I cooked some box potatoes, and started the ham warming up. James had black-eyed peas, too, for good luck, but I just can't bear the taste of them. Then I replayed the parade for him.

I've gotten on chat. Maybe later another BluRay? [Later: We eventually watched Hunt for Red October. Wow, you can actually see the subs underwater, rather than black blobs.]

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
This book has been a favorite, of myself as well as thousands of readers, since 1972. It is the simple story of the Herdman kids, six scruffy, undisciplined brats from the wrong side of the tracks who turn up at the local church's Sunday School hoping for free treats and end up being cast as all the principals in the annual Christmas pageant. The kids know nothing about the Christmas story, and their eventual interpretation brings a new meaning to the Nativity. Besides the deeper spiritual meaning, this is just a funny story: the Herdmans' kids misadventures as well as the other children's and adults' reactions to them. It all adds up to one Truth: "Hey! Unto us a child is born!"

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