Showing posts from December, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

On Monday, on our way back from our annual Christmas week trip up to Massena to celebrate my Mother's birthday (which is on December 28), we encountered typically treacherous weather on the strip of Rt. 81 around Pulaski, just before Syracuse. I have endured many terrible winter trips on this road, and Sunday's trip wasn't even the worst of them. The worst in our history was in January of 1985, right after I had moved to Rochester, where massive snow and white-out conditions made Rt. 81 disappear and extended the trip between Watertown and Rochester from two hours to eight hours. That night it seemed like we would never make it home, and after that trip I vowed we would not make the trip during the winter months anytime in the future.

But, as of last weekend the forecast looked favorable for a fairly uneventful trip weather-wise. And, it was uneventful, at least for the trip up North. Sunny and warm, we got there in our usual four-and-a-half hours. We had heard rumblings …

It's NOT just like riding a bike

Last night, one of a handful of times in the last five years, I went ice skating on a friend's backyard rink. Before I laced up five years ago, the last time I had been skating was probably 25 years ago. Most of my childhood winter activities revolved around skating, as my friends and I went out just about every night to the rink at the Little League field or a shallow pond nearby. To this day I think I have some nerve damage as a result of the many times I came home with frozen toes, and I remember parking my feet (and butt) atop Nonnie's old-fashioned radiator, blasting out heat, in attempt to thaw them.

BUT, some things are lost over time, like the ability to ice skate. How awkward I looked out there, trying to regain my old stride and perform my old tricks (which were basically stopping quick and skating backwards). Who knows? Maybe practice makes perfect and I can get those ankles back up to par and speed around the rink like that long lost teenager once again!

The Longest Day

Today marks one of the days I look forward to all year: the Winter Solstice. Although this day officially ushers in a long winter, it also marks the day when the amount of light begins to increase every day (which means: Spring!). Am I too optimistic wanting to skip winter altogether??

Today the sun will rise at 7:39am, and set at 4:38pm - giving us a whopping 9 hours of sunlight! In case you need something to look forward to, a month from now we will have already gained 1/2 of sunlight.

This longest day is the start of what will be the longest work week as we have to work through Wednesday. And how slowly those days will go until we have a week-and-a-half off to regain our sanity and ring in the new year!

Welcome to Cookie Land

Last night we held our Sixth Annual Fourth Avenue Cookie Exchange, and hosted our neighbors from the street and a couple beyond the Fourth Ave. realm. It's always pretty obvious how small our house actually is at times like these, but I always feel that the fun of inviting without limits outweighs the fact that people are packed into our three major party rooms: the kitchen (very bad, indeed), the dining room (a little better except for the big table in the middle), and the living room (open enough for a bunch of people to sand in the middle).

This year, as always, there was a great selection. As with the last couple of years, the Baker kids request "Christmas Windows," which aren't so much a cookie as they are candy (mad with three ingredients: chocolate, butter and colored marshmallows). Apparently the either (1) have no imagination, or (2) just can't get enough of those Christmas Windows. Ironically, I didn't get a chance to try any of the cookies folks br…

He Lights Up Our Life

Just like we lit him up!

Christmas - A time for...letting go?

Something has happened to me in the last couple of years. I've really started evaluating how I spend my time and the "things I do" to determine what's worth continuing and what has run its course. I've always been one of those people who sees a need or an interest in starting something up (like my bookclub or the New York State Chapter of my professional organization), and "just does it." But, lately I've been forcing myself to do some tough self-evaluation to determine my motivations for taking things on. Does it come from a desire to belong? Do I think if I don't do it, nobody will?

Such self-examination comes with maturity and feeling more comfortable in one's skin, but I've been thinking a lot lately about my relationships and things I've been involved in. This year in particular, has been one of those where I've said "I'm all done with that," and have practiced letting go of some long practiced (and loved) activ…