Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas cards are away! What a task! It's amazing, really. That it's all done, I mean. Sometimes I wonder why we do it, as if in some grand insecure pursuit of the sustainment of social relevance, but I think it may be that it's just nice. And it's good business. There's a lot of cards; enough for an army! (Okay, we only sent out eleven. If you got one, consider yourself extraordinarily loved.) We sent out more this year than last year, and fewer business ones. I guess we spent more time with friends last year than customers. That explains our diminished bank accounts.

There are some good ones coming in to our house this season, by the way, and of course I spend some time psychoanalyzing them over a hearty winter brew (see bottom of sidebar.) It's interesting to me to review how each family chooses to present itself in the photos. I know everyone does this, which is why I had my family pose as inebriated gypsies and squat in the forest behind a log, devouring gruel. We also use mailing labels, and have the whole thing shoot out of the computer spreadsheet, to make it all even less formal. Gone are the days of hand writing each address on every envelope for us. Oy. It's enough to make one want to convert to one of those religions where they don't send out holiday cards. (Are there any? There used to be.)

Some still hand write theirs, I've noticed, and I appreciate the effort! A few still type out stories of the past year, which I always enjoy and I considered this time around, but then I have this silly blog and I'm not sure I'm capable of winnowing down my loquacious tome of personal anecdotes into a hundred word abstract that would encapsulate all the magic, wonder, and excitement of the past 365 days. So it's just an informally stamped "MERRY CHRISTMAS" with no punctuation. Meh. Maybe I should have just stamped the blog web address on it. (Probably best I didn't.)

The storms are behind us, so after work today I get the job of cleaning up the devastation that Mother Nature hath wrought in my backyard. (Where is Father Nature in all this? Can't the guy get up off his heavenly couch and pick up some of the slack around here? I mean, come on, we've got global climate change for gosh darn darn!) It got pretty windy there for a bit, and our patio umbrella lifted into the air like a Chinese dragon kite at a crowded beach, taking out everything in its doomed flight across the yard. We lost the chiminea, which is a million pieces of damp terracotta now. As well, there is broken glass from a collection of busted candle holders, the remains of upturned succulents scattered about the patio, and a single sad thermometer filled with water on the inside. Also lost were my adored summer dragonfly lights, but they're old and it just isn't the season for them, and they didn't make it.

Everything is waterlogged, which I think is dandy, and my rain gauge measured a good 3 and-a-half inches worth (not counting the stuff that blew sideways.) The day it really started coming down we got a letter in the mail from the water company describing the current drought situation and the "recommended" water-rationing program we are to start soon, under the threat of jacked-up water bills. In the trash, that went. Coming on this blog in February: me complaining about the water bill.

Some say more rain is on its way next week, and wouldn't that be nice? We'll see. Since when can weathermen predict the weather, let alone the future? I say, take your best crack at it, but keep an umbrella in the car. That is, unless you live in Southern California, where it's illegal to sell umbrellas. (We smuggle them in from Washington.)

Work today is me fixing all those leaky patio covers I built over the summer. And I told them it never rains here.