Christmas Lull

There is a small lull in the action that is Christmas 2018.

Sensing the quiet moment, Larry has woken up. For five minutes. In general, winter is not his jam. As he creeps ever-closer to geriatricity, his wintertime wakings are fewer and farther between. This year, his first arousal came on Christmas Eve, just as we were leaving for church. By the time we got home, he was face first in his lettuce.

But this afternoon there was another rustle from the aquarium. He visited for a few moments, but his equilibrium is still a bit off, so not for long. He was dizzy; back in he went. He’s snoozing in his tubby as we speak, trying to bring a little more life back into the bones.

We’re about 3/4 of the way through the festivities that surround Christmas, here in the Nexus.

Christmas Eve the whole crew minus Arkansas came out for the Nativity Vigil and some feasting and present-opening. The Grandbaby made his debut at Grandma and Grandpa’s church, and I learned that boy really enjoys being sung to. Also, singing. He made his presence known.

Christmas Day brought a griddle, a grill, and four pans full of pancakes and assorted meats at the folks,’ and more gift-openings. Sherman the Wonder Cat enjoys wrapping paper about as much as Baby Rar.

In the afternoon came the arrival of the in-laws from the great state of Iowa and a lukewarm ham dinner. Some day I’ll figure out how to get all the food to the table at the same time. Until, we’ll all be content with warm ham, toothy potatoes, and slightly starchy corn. We’ll be happy, even. Because it’s Christmas!

At the moment, the in-laws are off collecting the matriarch and $1643 worth of appetizers from the local Applebee’s. For Christmas Take Seven. I’m building an addition onto the island. The radar says snows-a-comin, and I’m ready for a little more luster on the earth.

Because Christmas wasn’t without casualty…

The fireplace finally gave its notice last night. We’ve been nursing a cracked rear firebrick panel for a while. Last week some phone call inquiries were made for parts, but nothing was ordered. Last night a giant chunk of concrete fell off the back wall and into the flames, exposing the thin veneer of sheet metal that lies between our fire and our flaming home. We let it die out, and it has remained dormant all day. A small piece of me has died.

I am reminded that I don’t think I will even live again without a fireplace, or a woodstove, or something warm and crackly in the corner. It’s downright depressing in here. I ordered the part this morning.

Soon the guests will re-arrive, the various adult children will journey from their jobs and descend back upon the ranch, and merriment will ensue. There will be some Christmas crackers, a few more gifts, some games and puzzles, and a metric ton of food. I’m gearing up.

I am hopeful that the addition of some more warm bodies will enliven the spirits of the living room, even sans the ambiance of the flames, but in the mean time, half the house is napping, and I am writing. Christmas is about to begin again. Maybe Larry will join us. Regardless, I’m confident that good cheer will continue, despite the distinct lack of warmth and light emanating from the corner.

If you need me, I’ll be knee-deep in chicken tenders and Christmas cookies,

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