31 December 2011

Happy Sylvester!

In reading Joanna Bogle's A Book of Feasts and Seasons, she mentions being in Germany on New Year's Eve and hearing no mention of that term. Instead, they greeted each other with "Happy Sylvester!"

Sylvester was a Pope, and later became a Saint, and his Saint's day is December 31. Since I had a little budgie named Sylvester many years ago, I like the mention of the name.

James and I have both been a bit under the weather today: I was up during the night and he's had problems today. Nothing contagious, thankfully.

About noon we dragged ourselves out of the house, first to Goodwill to bring a box of donations, and then the library to do the same. The check-out area was filled with delightful old-fashioned decorations like paper chains of reindeer heads (embellished with glitter, the antlers excellently done) and snowflakes, and also red-and-green circle paper chains like you see in vintage photographs. There were also chenille snowflakes and three-dimensional paper ones. It was all very simple but pretty. So that got done (and, oh, yeah, later on I did get the new stickers on the car license plates—legal for 2012).

Then we went to the hobby shop for about an hour. I finished Christmas is Murder, a very lackluster mystery set in a British bread-and-breakfast, the chief sleuth being a Scottish barrister. Very flat characters.

We wished all a Happy New Year, then drove two miles to Eastlake Shopping Center to have a late lunch at the Panera Bread. I filled up on soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, and had an apple left over. They have an area near the front that is like a "snug," with upholstered chairs and a loveseat near a gas fireplace open on both sides, and we sat in front of the fire to eat. It was very warm out, in the low 60s, and I was glad the fire was turned down low!

I realized this morning we didn't have anything for New Year's dinner, so I suggested to James that we go in the nearby Kroger to find some ham. Well, since we were there anyway we did the weekend shopping and also scored: not only the beef vegetable soup James liked so well at the Johnson Ferry Kroger, but a pork roast! We find these only intermittently at the Whitlock Road Kroger and grab them when we can. Ham? Who needs a ham if you can have yummy pork roast? James bought black-eyed peas, of course, and I also got some cucumbers for a salad and some French bread.

I have football on the television this afternoon. I can't say I'm watching it, but I like the sound of football around New Year and on Thanksgiving. It reminds me of long-ago holidays when part of the afternoon's visiting might be tiptoeing upstairs in my Grandpa's house, a place where time had stopped: a fifties stove the newest thing in the kitchen, a scrupulously pressed checkered tablecloth seen year after year, a dining room with stately old furniture from the turn of the last century, and in the living room, which still had its aged, cigarette-smoke stained surface and light sconces that looked like candles, an uncle or two would be sitting watching a football game on an aged television in a wooden console. (Well, they said they were watching, anyway. Usually we would find them, heads tilted back on vintage antimacassars, sound asleep.) Or later the guys gathered around the television at my cousins Eileen and Buddy's house. Warm fuzzy memories making me want to follow the uncles' example. Heck, Schuyler is already asleep!

No comments: