Tuesday, December 28, 2010


OH, DEAR READER, NOW WE'RE IN THAT weird time of year, squished right in between two big fat holidays (and, dear me, all that chocolate--I'm getting bigger myself!) I can never quite decide whether to just scrunch down and let the holidays morph all over the place, leaning in from both sides, food spilling over from one to the other, or if I should give a few pokes and elbow a little space in between.

While I'm wriggling around here in the middle, I'll just collect a few of the Christmas leftovers and put together a small Sunday hodgepodge:

First of all, Dear Reader, when you got up on Sunday morning (the day after Christmas) and you turned on a water faucet to wash your face, did you whoop and holler with gratefulness that water spewed forth? (Hmm. It doesn't seem to have been a common occurrence, neither did I --and not one of my tenants did, either!) Before I even turned on a faucet, (before I climbed out of bed, for that matter) I was digging into that waterless problem of the day before...and an hour or so later, I had me some plumbers digging into that not-so-waterless hole where the pipe had burst.

So it turns out that it wasn't until nearly noon on the day after Christmas, a glorious cry went up from tenants rejoicing at the sound of toilets flushing! (Even today, I myself am trying not to take the sweet sound for granted!)

Well, then later in the day we got snow-- icy flakes started falling as my yard man and I and our NC daughter (It's the state where she lives, Reader Dear, that's all!) drove over the soon-slippery roads to visit the dear little woman my yard man calls Mom.

"My goodness, it's really snowing!" said Mom, as we chatted with her in her room. "If I had known it was going to do this, I wouldn't have come here today!"

"But Mom, this is where you live now," said her son

"Oh, I do?" she exclaimed, not quite believing it. "Well, it's a nice place; I like it here."
She kept gazing fondly at her granddaughter. "Now where do you live?" she asked.

"I live in North Carolina," her granddaughter  explained. "And I was supposed to fly back tomorrow, but my flight's already been canceled. There's lots of snow down south."

"And just look how it's snowing here," said Mom, looking out the window again, "I should not have come here today!"

By the time we were saying goodbye, the roads had gotten quite treacherous. We traveled through an area with lots of Amish houses, and yesterday was "Second Christmas" for them. (That's what they call it.) I only know what my yard man tells me...and he said it's the day they go out to visit each others' homes. Alas for them--it was not a good day to be out and about in a horse and buggy; we very soon came upon proof of that.

There had been some kind of an accident. We couldn't tell if the horse had died. A cluster of men stood around the animal as it lay on the ground, and nobody riding in the yard man's truck could bear to look very long as we drove by.

We were lucky to get home before dark. (Well, yes...of course, we were lucky just to get home.) That night the wind blew around the house and rattled the windows and shook the walls. The yard man built a fire, and the NC daughter spent hours and hours researching her chances of flying back to North Carolina this year.

Then, late in the evening my little white business phone rang. "I don't like to complain," said a tenant of mine in her very soft voice, "but once again I don't have any water."


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