Snow and More Snow and Christmas

I haven’t posted in a while, because I got mired in the preparations for Christmas. We’ve also had more than our dose of snow and bad weather. On Saturday and Sunday, December 18-19, we had about 8 inches. Although my church managed (for the most part) to make it to church for our December 19th Lessons and Carols service, there was a pretty slim crowd in the congregation.

Then on Wednesday, December 22, it started snowing again. Since it was the last day before a four-day holiday, I let the staff at the library leave at 1:30. The roads were getting bad, and almost no work was being accomplished. I went up to Cedar Center for a few last pre-Christmas purchases at TJ Maxx and Target, then I was invited to dinner at my friends Partho & Les’s house in University Heights. I was very glad that I was driving my 4-wheel drive pickup, because when I came home at 11:00 PM, the roads were really bad and the snow was coming down more than an inch per hour.

I was up early on Thursday, December 23, because I wanted to get to the West Side Market to pick up my Christmas dinner beef roast, but get back by 10:00 AM to be at home for the UPS delivery truck. The weather was miserable. I was barely able to get out of Beacon Place with four-wheel drive, although Carnegie had been plowed. I was one of the first customers at the Market–some were having trouble getting there, and otheres were just getting set up. I got my roast, and a few other things, including the oysters for Christmas Eve oyster stew and a fabulous chocolate/macadamia/truffle torte for Christmas dessert. I got back to the house a little after 10:00 and stayed there for the rest of the day. The weather continued to deteriorate. My church choir was supposed to have a Christmas party at my house, but the streets were so bad that at 1:30 I called everyone and cancelled. I didn’t want them getting here and then getting stuck and unable to leave. Everyone seemed relieved.

The snow slacked off by mid-afternoon on Thursday. George drove in from DC and arrived at the house, cursing a blue streak, at 3:00. He’d had no snow at all unti he got off the Ohio Turnpike at Streetsboro/I-480. But when he got to Beacon Place he got stuck three times trying to park at our house. I had already spent an hour digging out the apron on the garage and scooping the front walk, but I put on my outside clothes again and helped him dig out. He eventually did get parked. We were both happy to stay home all evening, and I was just as glad to get the evening free.

Christmas Eve was full of the usual routine (except for one thing, which I’ll explain in a moment.) We listened to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College Cambridge. We had wanted to listen to the BBC radio feed over the Internet, but my network decided to act up at the most inopportune moment, so we ended up listening to WCPN.

The exception to the Christmas Eve routine was that I did not make my usual annual batch of pecan rolls. I’m still doing Weight Watchers, and I decided I did not need the temptation.

In the afternoon I went to the grocery store for a few last minute items, and then out to Microcenter to buy a new wireless router (I was really fed up by the end of the morning). It was a bad idea–the traffic was terrible. I got home about 5:45, in time to change my clothes and get to EACC for the choir warm-up for our Christmas Eve service. There was a very small crowd for the service, and we changed both of the pieces that we performed, from what had been announced. George came to the service. He has been getting over a bad cold, and has a wild cough, so he decided not to go elsewhere for a late service. Neither St. Paul’s in Cleveland Heights nor Trinity Cathedral were very inspiring possibilities. So we had our oyster stew and relaxed at home. I watched a bit of the Pope’s Mass from Rome before I turned out the light.

Christmas itself was very low-key. My choir member Andrew MacGregor came over and we had an excellent dinner of roast beef, roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts with spieced bread crumbs (the hit recipe of Thanksgiving 2004), and carrots. And the fabulous dessert I had bought at the Market on Thursday. It turned out to be much more like a pecan pie than anything. It was rich and delicious. I can’t even contemplate how many Weight Watcher points it may have.

In the afternoon and evening I talked to friends local and family far away. It was a good day.