Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Rescued

As noted in the last post, a Tuesday evening rescue allowed Santa to arrive with a decent stocking, though Andy got to see what his stocking would have contained had it not been for that rescue. Dare I say he was not the only child in the area who got a can of chili in his stocking. I think he even appreciated the irony of getting a tropic palm tree air freshener for his rear view mirror. Christmas eve was a bit anti-climactic. Mostly because I could not get to church. Typically on Christmas eve Andy is with his dad and I volunteer to help greet and seat all five of the services at our church which is a good way for me to feel helpful and less sad about our current situation. But I couldn't get to church because of the (dirty word) snow. The good thing is that I had Andy this Christmas Eve and he was with his dad for Christmas dinner: a reverse of the usual. So we had a nice dinner as a result of the night before grocery store trek and we watched "A Christmas Story" which is what we always enjoy together around Christmas. I always laugh out loud at that movie, after seems like a hundred viewings. "You'll shoot your eye out." I love that the story is clearly told from someones true recollection of coming of age with all the embarrassments, dreams and exaggerations that stick in our minds, though they may be a version of the truth, not necessarily the truth. My own such recollection appears here, if you'd like to take a gander.

Andy has strong Harwood lines and so does not sleep in on Christmas morning. The night before he asked what time would be OK to wake me up. I said (hopefully) "not before seven." Being a Harwood myself, I was awake on and off before that and promptly at seven AM I heard the lights go on, and we were officially into Christmas morning. This kid has matured. He liked the clothes he got (he used to turn his nose up at clothes when he was of Lego age). He was a sport about his main gift that was ordered with plenty of time to arrive but is still trying to make it to our house: UPS is way behind and paralyzed by the snow. We are hoping it comes before he heads off to school. But, being just the two of us, and gifts just between the two of us to open, we were done by seven-thirty.

I've been having a blast setting up the digital picture frame that Andy gave me. As I go through oodles of picture files I have I am in awe of how blessed I am to have had the adventures we've had (trips and gatherings with many of you, my loyal blog readers) and the incredibly wonderful friends and family I have in my life. We enjoyed delicious cinnamon rolls that a friend. a.k.a. angel, dropped off for us. Then the isolation and missing family and tradition set in. Turns out I was not the only one feeling that way. The old adage of "A friend in need is a friend indeed" comes to mind. Things came together and I was able to be rescued by Jill's parents to drive me up to Jill's where she is really snowed in and was badly in need of being sprung. We snatched her off the top of that nasty hill and down into soggy but not icy weather. Her parents dropped us off at the movies (just like Junior High, Jill said) and we joined the thousands who also had that idea. There are a ton of good movies out we want to see but settled on "Seven Pounds", Will Smith's release. The start time wasn't for a few hours though so we thought we'd check out the mall area to see if we could get a meal or drink (or lots of drinks) somewhere. Nothing was open. Nothing like finally getting out and having no place to go. We wandered around and found a comfy couch in the B-Square Lodge outside the closed Starbucks, but in front of a nice fire place. We had settled in to some people watching. We looked out across the main road at the dark windows of McCormick and Schmicks, a really, really fine seafood restaurant that is way classier than our usual hangouts. By gosh, it looked like there were people behind those dark windows. It really was hard to tell and honestly I thought we were just wishful thinking. Then we saw a person go in the door. IN THE DOOR! Oh my. It was a pinch me moment. We almost ran across the skybridge to get over there. Bracing ourselves for the certain disappointment we had been suffering from on so many occasions over the past week. In fact, we decided that if it was open only for a private party that we would act the part and walk on in and pretend we were the private party! But lo-and-behold, the doors opened and we were welcomed, cheerily inside. There was about a ten minute wait. I think we were both just waiting for someone to discover the error of this good fortune and find some reason to kick us out: it just felt too good to be true. But we were called to a nice table with really huge wine glasses on it, just waiting to be filled. I had to wipe away my tears. I looked at Jill and she too had a ridiculously huge grin on her face and tears in her eyes. Our fortune had turned. And here is what I really think about about being seated at that table with that wonderful menu to peruse. God's abundance. We both would have been thrilled to find a Jack-in-the-Box open and an order of curly fries. But filet mingnon and a glass of Cabernet? That was a gift from a God who knows what the soul really needs. He is so good. We had adult conversation, cheerful, attentive waiters, wonderfully cooked meals and dessert! Yes, DESSERT, even. We lingered almost to movie time, made it to the flick. It was a little heavier story line than we might have wanted, but Will Smith is so fine to look at that it was OK. Wanting to stretch out the evening as long as possible, and hungry for interaction with friends, we trudged through the slop to Anne's house. Added bonus, Charlie was hanging at Anne's to escape too many nights with her own mother who has been stuck at her house. So we had a little cheer and cheerfulness, running on of too-long-quiet mouths and the usual laughter that we share. Then it was time for the coach to come get us (Jill's Dad's truck) before it turned into a pumpkin (really, before things started to freeze up again) and we were all delivered to our home prisons again.
Update: I got my car out! It wasn't easy but with some extra pushing and shoveling I was able to get onto my road and in the worn tracks. Made it down the hill on the bare patches and on to dry road. Yay!! Hip-hip-hooray!! We headed out early afternoon into a light snow shower that was melting on contact but enough to plant a little seed of worry until we were back soundly at home. My car is now at the bottom of the hill so I will be able to go to/from church and work as long as it stays somewhat clear. We went into downtown and parked at my office. There we joined the hordes of folks doing returns and spending Christmas cash. I was able to slip into Anthropology (I LOVE that store) while Andy was visiting with some friends from Central he bumped into out front. Then into Urban Outfitters to his exchanges and to Barnes and Noble. I didn't buy a thing (that's got to be a first) while he stocked up on some new videos and music. Grabbed some good clam chowder for late lunch/early dinner before we headed back. Stopped into the hardware store for a snow shovel (sold out) and the pet store for Satchmo's belated stocking stuffers and a new sweater (as manly as we could find) because we realized he outgrew his old collegiate one. Home again home again jiggety jig. I'll not be going out tonight as Andy wants my car but I'm reserving it for tomorrow. Need to see my peeps!

Update to the update: one upside of being snowed in is catching up with friends who are also snowed in. Just got off a long ,fruitful conversation with Lola who is stuck out in the country outside Vancouver and making the most of it. We had a looong, over due chat and now it's time to post and figure out the evening. Cheers.

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