Today is the Winter Solstice, the first day of winter. It’s not unusual for us to already have snow by now but honestly, Mother Nature, you outdid yourself this time. My area only got about a foot of snow, though other places in the state ranged from 0-26″ — but at least we are prepared for snow here. We know how to drive, we have adequate plows and sanders, people understand you go out and shovel as soon as the snow stops if not several times while it’s happening, just to get it gone ASAP to make for safer walking and driving.
The DC area, and my friends in Virginia (waves to Lori) took a wallop with this storm, which hit at such a terrible time for those shopping and/or traveling for the holidays. Frances had her flight cancelled and rescheduled for today after a 3 hour wait on hold. Thousands of travelers will end up stranded because, as we all know, snow and airport closures in one part of the country have a domino effect everywhere.
Last year it was my turn, spending 3 days to go from CT to TX after not one but two storms that came one day apart. I told my family then that I loved them but that I wasn’t going to do that again this year. I meant it, and I’m keeping my word – and happy to do so. I love my family a lot but in these days of overcrowded stressed skies, why push it?
So I’m thrilled that this year I have family up near me and I’ll have company for Christmas — my football-playing nephew who gets only Christmas Day off. It’s his first time to not be with his family in Texas and I know he was homesick for family over Thanksgiving. Weather permitting (and it’s definitely a factor in any plans), he’ll drive down on Christmas Eve after they finish team meetings and spend the night with me. I have the inflatable bed and a tree and will be cooking him a home-cooked meal, even if I won’t be able to eat most of it.
It’s funny the things that people really miss and that make them feel at home. We’re having a crockpot turkey breast, my mom’s sweet potato casserole with oranges, his mom’s cornbread dressing, and by request, green bean casserole. He offered to help me make it so it would be easier, obviously not knowing it’s one of the world’s easiest dishes. Dessert will be a pumpkin ice cream pie, also a kind of family tradition. I’m also making a sour cream coffee cake for breakfast (his) and for him to take back with him to share with his roommate. He couldn’t believe I knew how to make Grandma’s coffee cake, though I pointed out to him I’d been making it longer than he’s been alive.
What’s ironic is that I don’t think I’ll be able to eat much of anything. I’m going to the doctor for a fill in my lapband today, which means a day or two of liquids only, followed by mushies, and only then by soft foods. I’ve had some instances of stuck food or just the sensation of it, and frankly am not that interested in eating solid anything. So the appointment comes at a good time to check in, make sure I know what I’m supposed to be doing instead of making something up out of a lack of direction.
I had a nice visit to NYC last week to spend part of a day with Our Frances. We did our traditional visit to Chinatown for Qi Dong massages (omg, they are to die for if your body is tied in knots), followed by walking around and being lured into a backroom to check out knock off purses. Honestly, what’s a trip to Chinatown without knock off purses? We each bought one 🙂 Then it was on to Little Italy for lunch (a bowl of minestrone for me) and quick subway hop to the Union Square Christmas Fair. I love going but a lot of the booths look the same now that I’ve been several times. It’s still fun to be outside listening to Christmas music and being part of the crowds checking out the booths.
I hope you and yours are safe and warm today, not stranded by the side of the road in a snowbank or without power in frigid weather. I hope you either can stay home or have safe passage on roads to get where you’re going. Remember – it’s winter now!