Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Because I live on the Atlantic coast (not “near” the coast but “on” the coast) I never believe any forecast that calls for snow. Oh, it might snow two miles inland, I’ll say, but for snow here, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The bay window is a beautiful white-out, my tiny blue car buried below, my family out trekking to finish a few more errands before we hunker in for a New Year’s Eve at home. (We had other plans, but I’m Not Driving.) I’m starting to brainstorm ways to celebrate right here in the living room, or maybe sliding down the icy street from the snow ramp below our house.
I see no harbor today—I can barely see the flag flying in the boatyard half a block below. I love the filtered light, the muffled sound. I hear snowplows thundering somewhere, engines warming, a neighbor shoveling.
Three weeks ago I turned in my last packet of school work for the quarter and shifted to be Holiday Mom, the baker of cookies for the bake sale, the person who guides children through gift-making and thank-you writing, the person who can convert a European recipe for gingerbread house frosting. And these days I’m enjoying a new role as The Person Who Assists. Gingerbread houses? I hand them the kits, carefully stored from last year, and $20 worth of candy and supplies. Tree? I plunk it in the bucket and wire it to the wall, then I bring boxes of ornaments from the attic and stand back. I put the star on the top. I untangle lights. They do the rest. Cookies? I make sure the dough is the right texture for the cookie press: they can do the rest. I take photos. I admire the results. I clean up, which is a mighty task but look how much the kids can do themselves! Each year the kids grow more confident, sensible, capable, funny. I like these ages. I like assisting.
I set up the loom with enough warp for two scarves: one for a kid to weave, one for me to weave—it takes time, but I’m learning a little more every time, how to make the fabric stronger, how to make fewer mistakes, how to make the most from a skein of great yarn.
I see my family trying to steer the minivan up the unplowed street: no way. This is going to be a good one.
Happy New Year.