I miss the smell of wet wool. In a world before polar fleece, that’s what winters smelled like in Maine. Wet wool, wood smoke, and beans slow cooking all day Saturday. Beans cooking still smell like love to me.
I was Christmas shopping in Portland in December, when a clerk in a liquor store, responding to my innocent query, said some of the most frightening words I’ve ever heard.
“We don’t have any Angostura bitters,” he told me. “We can’t get them.”
My wife and I use a lot of Angostura.
Comparatively speaking. One of those little four-ounce bottles lasts us six months, sometimes less.
I was wandering around the Maine Mall with my wife about a week before Christmas. She was doing her “last minute” Christmas shopping. I was gawking around thinking that I should probably at least think about possibly starting my Christmas shopping sometime fairly soon.
Every day, my husband Charlie and me trade off dog walking duties. Usually Charlie takes our puppy Scamp out in the mornings and I do the afternoons. But last Saturday afternoon, we were both hanging around the house, and I thought, 'Wouldn’t it be nice to take a little walk around the block together?' And let me tell you, it was enlightening!
Thanks to utterly unrealistic television shows, movies and mystery novels, you’re probably all familiar with the “ten code” used by police departments nationwide.
Well, my Christmas decorations are all put away. The only thing I keep out for the winter are a pair of children’s snowshoes, though I do take the little red bows off. I like having them around. They were my mother’s when she was a kid, handmade by her uncle, Octave Pease. The webbing is made from the hide of a deer he shot himself.
If I’d known the U.S. Census Bureau was counting heads in Maine during Christmas week, I never would have gone off to spend the holidays out of state. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered my mistake, the new figures had already been announced.
One more holiday to go! Then I can turn over a new leaf, try to get my weight back under control and get off the holiday treadmill of shopping and parties and red and green everything. My spanky is exhausted, and frankly, so am I.
On New Years Day, the whole gang, Celeste and Bud, Rita and Smitty, Betty and Pat, Dot and Tommy, Shirley, and Junior and me and Charlie have our traditional brunch at Celeste and Bud’s. It’s a low key affair, just good friends hanging out together, enjoying each other’s company: a great way to kick off the new year.
You’d think people in New Hampshire would be among the happiest folks in the United States of America. Unspoiled wilderness. No statewide taxes. The lowest possible prices on liquor.
What more could anyone ask for?
Plenty, as it turns out.
According to a new study conducted by researchers for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Christmas Eve, what did you leave out for Santa? Cookies? A sandwich? I love hearing people’s answer to that question. Chocolate? Or even better, what did you feed Santa’s reindeer? Carrots? Apples? When Dot’s husband Tommy was a kid, they’d leave out dog food, which I think is kind of weird. I mean, these reindeer are magical beings! They can fly, for God’s sake!