I had tried (but the pandemic interfered) to make Advent and then Christmas Day a less rushed season. Usually I have the majority of my shopping done by Halloween. I then concentrate on decorating, baking, and gift wrapping. This year was not going to cooperate. I had already tossed the expectations aside by Halloween. Still I was clinging to the notion that all would be done in an efficient and calm manner. I suppose it is silly of me to have thought that clinging to an anvil on a sinking ship would save me. So in no particular order I give you the “in the crosshairs” list of disaster:
⊕ The Christmas lights that worked last year wouldn’t light. I even went through them bulb by bulb making sure they were seated properly and all accounted for. No luck. I had to resort to the old lights that are short strands and tangled and blink uncontrollably which annoys the bejesus out of me. Sparky finally found the blinky light bulbs and replaced them, which pushed them over the edge. They died. We had to use the outdoor lights that are a big woven net designed to toss over shrubs. It is ugly. It worked but hanging the ornaments was a new kind of difficult.
⊕ I bought gifts online despite last years fiasco (the shoes that never arrived until after Valentine’s Day). I went so far as to have envelopes ready to stuff with some cash in case the gifts didn’t arrive. They did make it before Christmas but I had to wrap in a hurry. That meant stuffing them into gift bags – never mind that they were the leftover bags from a kid’s birthday party…
⊕ Speaking of gifts, I bought the wrong cable for a phone. What I got was a charging cable. What I needed was a data transfer cable. Who knew there was a difference. I had to take it back. It was a nightmare even with a receipt and an unopened package. Of course there were none of the right cables available. This resulted in a flurry of phone calls to locate the proper one which resulted in part of the above.
⊕ I decided to bake some cookies I’d never tried before that were featured in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Yeah. No. I suppose I could have sent them to neighbors with infants/toddlers as teething biscuits. Even dunking them is milk wasn’t enough. It was suggested that I could line a large compote bowl and add some pudding and refrigerate for a couple of days in hopes they would soften. I opted instead to toss some out for the crows and squirrels. They sat there for a week and finally after a rain and a little snow they disintegrated.
⊕ The above cookies were for the church cookie sale. I made different cookies. I burned the first sheet, then the second sheet, then I got the 3rd sheet to come out. By then I had run out of time to participate in the cookie sale. My sons came over for dinner and polished off the remaining cookies. I seriously thought my cookie mojo had fled 2020. Then saintvi came over for our annual cookie baking frenzy. She made pfefferkuchen and snowball cookies aka OMG cookies. Her cookies were delightful. I made gingerbread cookies (not as good as hers) and tried a Red Velvet cookie coated with Oreo crumbles. After the first batch I got the hang of it and they actually taste good!
⊕ I finally got a flier for my retirement gift (date of retirement 6-30-2019). I poured over the items and looked blankly at Sparky. Asked his opinion. Still couldn’t decide. I narrowed it down to the 2 pc. Samsonite luggage set, the Kenneth Cole leather messenger bag, or the Mammoth cruiser 20-qt cooler. I decided to go with the messenger bag. I had to order online (of course) and the messenger bag was no longer available. This caused some additional gnashing of teeth. I finally selected the Samsonite luggage – which was not available. Ended up getting the 3 pc Elite luggage. Amazingly it was ordered and arrived in 6 days. I am pleased!
⊕ I received 3 masks from the university. I really liked them. I had to repair the ear loop on one. Then I lost another. The last mask was my least favorite and don’t you know I misplaced it too. So I was down to just the one. As I was moaning about it I discovered a missing one in the pocket of a sweater. Still didn’t have the one I liked best. Then as I was walking in the parking lot at Goodwill I found one just like the one I lost. Well, not exactly, the one I found was muddy and one ear elastic was broken. Since I know how to replace the elastic I now have a full set again (after washing on hot and drying on hot too)!
⊕ I let Sparky use my sewing machine. He wanted to make his own design of mask. It is ridiculous. It has big padded triangles on each side of the nose, in a cross between a regular mask and a neck gaiter. That aside, he completely discombobulated my machine. He released the pressure for the feed dogs and tightened the thread tension to the point that the needle was bowed. I’m shocked that the needle didn’t snap off. He is now banned from touching my machine. I had to unwind thread from the bobbin assembly after cutting it out of the machine and extracting the loose bits with tweezers. I know this is a first world issue but it was still annoying as all get out!
⊕ My last disaster was my failed attempt to recover all my files from the crashed flash drive. Sparky and I with the help of several professionals spent days tried to recover data from the flash drive. Instead I worked like a dog to find any copy of my poetry. I managed to copy them to the cloud. All 13 years worth. I recovered a couple stories I’d written. But the poetry compilation that was supposed to be done for my Mother for a Christmas gift was gone, gone, gone.
⊕ I have red hair. I’m Irish. I lost my temper. It usually takes a lot to get me to my flash point. But when I get there, it is like tossing a lit match into a barrel of gasoline. I suppose it is okay in a way. There were no casualties and more importantly, no witnesses (other than God). I got it out of my system and like a good belch, I felt better immediately. Yet I have residual shame for my lack of self control for losing my cool over (ready for it?) defective toenail clippers. I attribute this to the train wreck of 2020.
Yet. When push comes to shove I am thankful. My litany of disappointments, tribulations, perturbations and little catastrophes is just that a list of trivial events. The big stuff is still wonderful. I have my Sparky who is devoted and loving (even if he is a danger to all sewing machines in this hemisphere). I have my sons and extended family who are safe and well and being prudent. The work I’m still doing is enough to keep me occupied but not so much as to interfere with my nap time. I have food, shelter and toilet paper. I’m hopeful for 2021. There is opportunity and possibility around the corner. All in all life is good. And when push comes to shove, I’m grabbing my rose colored glasses and enjoying what is, what I hope will be and giving thanks for what was.