Saturday, December 14, 2013

Deck the Walls

Some days are, themselves, gifts. Yesterday evening--thanks in no small part to a massive storm sweeping into our area--certainly felt like just such a gift.

We'd been set up to have something very different, as I was scheduled for duty in the barrack last night and Lauren was scheduled to be at a Quiz Bowl tournament up in Michigan all day today. In other words, we weren't going to be seeing much of one another most of the weekend. But the impending Midwestern Snowpocalypse--and a scheduling snafu--changed all that.

To make a long, kind of complicated, and boring story a bit shorter, a colleague took my duty--saving me not only from the five hours away from my family but also from driving through whatever snow there would be at midnight. And thanks to the snow, Lauren's Quiz Bowl tournament was preemptively cancelled. In other words, the universe conspired to give us an evening together, unfettered by the prospect of one of us having to get up early and make a potentially-harrowing drive through the white and drifted snow.

So I made a dinner that combined leftover pork steak with new sweet potato hash browns (made in a waffle iron!), then I went out for a bit of shopping to stock up on some foodstuffs and buy some more Christmas decorations. What followed was a night of decking the halls walls to a playlist of Christmas tunes which did not, in fact, include "Deck the Halls."

Our tree has been decorated for a while now, and the snowmen have been occupying the window in peaceful protest, but Lauren just put up the "JOY" and I put up the garland all around the perimeter of our dining room. Mother Nature brought all the white decorations in the background.

Lauren put together this scene of winter tranquility--lacking a fireplace, she built and decorated one. Having extra lighted garlands, she festooned the china cabinet with winter cheer. Inside the china cabinet, on the right side, you might just be able to make out Mickey and Minnie, part of a Disney band that we're rapidly collecting: each of the characters has a song he or she plays, and as you add more of them, they'll play along with each others' songs. Get all five together and you've got a rockin' Christmas band (the last two should arrive Monday). And in the bottom right is a gadget I picked up in my shopping that allows us to have three outlets on remote control, turning our lights on with the click of a button.

And if you haven't already seen her, you can play "Where's Waldo?" with our "Elf on the Shelf," Minga Madinga. So I guess you'd be playing "Where's Minga?"

And now we're primed to have another gift of a day today: as Lauren said, getting this Saturday freed up like this might actually be better than a snow day on a weekday (which, after all, we'll pretty much never, ever get, teaching at a boarding school).

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