All the presents wrapped: check. Crates of presents sent thither and yon: check. Decorations up, both in and out: check. Plans for Christmas Day in hand: ooops!
I had thought that Lloyd and I would run up to see our daughter yesterday. There is still a box intended for her and her husband, and some books to trade with my sister whose home is on the way. I don't want to have the box delivered as it includes a pair of glass candlesticks that once belonged to my paternal grandparents. These are not a Christmas present. They just didn't go home with Cyb last time she was here. It seemed logical, as they were already boxed up, to include them with the Christmas presents.
Claudia, Lloyd's elder daughter, is going to visit with her mother in Arkansas, thus will not be coming down for Christmas. She was here at Thanksgiving so her other relatives will be happy to see her this month. Tim, our son, is still in Oregon. He won't be back for Christmas. (He claims he's allergic to Kansas. I think he's allergic to Oklahoma from whence we get most of the dust and pollen.) Cyb's brother-in-law is to be back for Christmas, so she and her husband will be spending time with them. My sister went to Iowa for Thanksgiving, so we have invited her down for the day. However with the weather so unsettled this time of year, that probably won't happen either. I'm just going to put one of those Hormel tenderloins in the crockpot and whoever comes will get fed something. At least I don't intend to have Beanie-Weenies on toast as my parents did the first Christmas the three of us kids were out of the house.
In our Christmas cards this year, I sent an actual letter (gasp!) Going through my address list, I realized that a number of people only hear from us at Christmas time. Many of them had not heard of Lloyd's medical problems, nor that the company I work for had been sold. (I'm doing the same job with the usual suspects, just the logo on the shirts have changed.)
Yesterday a fellow who used to work with Lloyd answered my letter with a note of support. Also two dear friends—Betty, who used to cut Lloyd's hair, and her sister, Joyce, who makes the best sweet potato pies in the world—stopped by to chat for about a half-hour. As I hadn't seen either of them for some time we did quite a bit of catching up. I now also have their e-dresses and phone numbers in case of need. Such an uplift for any season.
Our word of the day for December 14, 2008 is "braced" Pronunciation: \ˈbrāst\
Inflected Form(s): brace; braced; brac·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French bracer to embrace, from brace
Date: 14th century
transitive verb 1 archaic : to fasten tightly : bind. 2 a: to prepare for use by making taut b: prepare , steel [brace yourself for the shock]. c: invigorate , freshen. 3: to turn (a sail yard) by means of a brace. 4 a: to furnish or support with a brace [heavily braced against the wind]. b: to make stronger : reinforce. 5: to put or plant firmly [braces his foot in the stirrup]. 6: to waylay especially with demands or questions.
intransitive verb 1: to take heart —used with up. 2: to get ready (as for an attack).
Our quote for the day is from Edwin Markham (1852–1940), U.S. poet. "Lincoln, the Man of the People" (l. 30–35) [Our Holidays in Poetry. Mildred P. Harrington and Josephine H. Thomas, comps. (1929) The H. W. Wilson Company]:
Sprung from the West,
He drank the valorous youth of a new world.
The strength of virgin forests braced his mind,
The hush of spacious prairies stilled his soul.
His words were oaks in acorns; and his thoughts
Were roots that firmly gript the granite truth.