Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26

From my diary, December 26, 2008

I am back in the office today after a lovely Christmas. The roads are, for the first morning since Wednesday the 17th, relatively clear and free of ice and snow. At least along my commute, which is not to say it’s the same everywhere around the Sound.

From my diary, December 26, 2009

Everyone was in a foul mood this morning. No water. No heat. A pipe burst yesterday and we had water everywhere, including into the heating and air system. Caryn and Harper went off to wash and dry the towels and blankets she used to mop up the mess(and to keep the waters from flowing into the living room), and I went to the folks and showered. Dad followed me back and we went to work. We stripped insulation from the ducting in the basement, which poured water, insulation under the floor, drained the ducting, ripped out drywall and managed to fix the broken pipe (after three trips to Lowe's) and then I broke the water line to the kitchen faucet, which still needs to be fixed. But we have heat, and water, except to the kitchen sink and dishwasher.

The joys of the holidays! What a difference a year makes.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2009

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2008

Christmas 2008 was my last Christmas in Seattle, though I did not know it at the time. It snowed nearly every day the week before Christmas, and commuting to the office was a bear. But the white Christmas was nice.

I was at Fred Meyer with my daughter in the weeks leading up to Christmas and she decided we needed an outdoor display, something besides the old fashioned lights I hung on the roof and around the front door and window.

While I was browsing in the store, she proceeded to rearrange the Christmas display items in the middle of a large aisle and informed me that I was to purchase a Christmas pig and some illuminated presents. What's a father to say? The photo here is an exact recreation of her Fred Meyer display.

The Christmas pig is back this year, but adorning another lawn in another state far, far away from the snows of Seattle, Washington.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2004

This is one of my favorite photographs, taken during a Christmas snowfall in 2004. The kid in the tree strikes me as some strange winter bird.

We loved the snow in Seattle, and my daughter loved playing outside as the flakes fell while my wife made warn cocoa for our return indoors.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2006

In 2006 my daughter served as a Santa's helper and passed out the Christmas gifts that were under the tree. She wore an elf costume that has a history going back to 1973, when I wore the very same elf costume in a Christmas parade. I remember our mothers made these elf costumes from a pattern. My old buddy Chris was in the parade with me, similarly attired, and there are, somewhere, some Super-8 movies of the two of us in our elf costumes frolicking in his kitchen prior to the parade.

I am told that the day of that parade in 1973 was cold and sleeting, but I don't remember much about it. But that was my one shot at playing elf in a parade. And it was good.

It was great to see the old elf costume get some use after 33 years packed away with the holiday bric-a-brack. I am surprised it was still around. Perhaps it will last long enough to be worn some Christmas by my grandchild.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2003

Pictured: me, George and Alan Greenbeans.

We were all a little less gray.

We all had different residences then.

We were younger.

Our kids were smaller.

We were naive and carefree then. Well, maybe not carefree. That would have been 1983. Even then...

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Memory 2001

My sister visited us in Seattle for Christmas 2001, a time marked by the sad departure of Toonces, the driving cat, whose hospitalization in the vet's ICU forced us to abandon our mountain cabin for an extended family gathering in our small apartment so that I could be near the suffering patient. But we had to let her go a few days before Christmas, and it was a sad time for me.

But having family in town was nice, and our daughter, not quite a year old, really racked up!

A day or two before Christmas my buddy Mike (Mixmaster DJ MC) dropped in with his daughter, who was about 20 months old at the time, and they are pictured here with my daughter (11 months) and my sister (age not disclosed).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Christmas Memory 1999

Another Christmas in the Emerald City: 1999 was a good year and a memorable Christmas. That year I received from my wife a Weber grill which I still use today. It was on the lanai Christmas morning, along with the appropriate grilling implements.

We developed a ritual of Christmas shopping down town each year, one we kept as long as we lived in Seattle. We would buy a few gifts at the Pike Place Market (pictured) each year, though we would often buy fresh seafood and produce at the market year round.

In 1999 we were two DINKs living in the city in the city without many responsibilities. A year later, my wife would be very pregnant with our first child, and after the baby arrived Christmastime changed, but not in a bad way. We transitioned well from celebrating Christmas as a couple to looking at the season through the eyes of a child. I would not change a thing, but I do recall those Christmases before our daughter was born with great fondness.

That was another life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Memory 1998

1998 was my first Christmas as a married couple, living in Seattle. It was an exciting time for the both of us, newlyweds falling in love with the Emerald City.

That Christmas we spent in Seattle, without our families who lived far away. And it snowed that Christmas Day.

My parents had given us a DVD player for Christmas, which we opened on Christmas day. DVD's were new at the time, and I had three, and now we had a player to play them on.

The day after Christmas I proceeded to hook up the player and discovered that our TV, and old Magnavox, had only a coaxial input, and would not connect with the DVD player. I was devastated!

But it was the day after Christmas after all, and many stores were offering their after Christmas discounts. So I walked the four blocks to Fred Meyer and bought a new TV, but realized it was too big for me to carry home. (We lived in the city in those days).

I had to leave my ID with the store in order to borrow a hand truck to cart the TV home, and with great anticipation we unpacked it, giddy at the prospect of watching a movie on DVD.

But the TV, larger than our old Magnavox, did not fit into our entertainment center. It was too big!

Needless to say, we found ourselves purchasing and assembling a new entertainment center in order to have room for the new TV we bought in order to play a DVD on the new player we had received that Christmas in 1998. That player turned out to be the most costly Christmas present I have ever received.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Memory 1997

In 1997 I departed from my usual collection of tawdry Christmas ornaments, and allowed my friend Tim's wife (not pictured) to design my Christmas tree that year.

The theme was Independence Day, and the tree featured numerous red, white and blue ornaments with the occasional holiday-adorned Uncle Sam. The lights were, as one might assume, flashing red, white and blue, a virtual 4th of July fireworks display in my own home.

Needless to say, I have not used the 4th of July theme since, though I have contemplated an Easter theme over the years, which has not yet won approval from the wife.

Picturead are Tim and Madison, preparing to leave my apartment after a little holiday celebration among friends.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Christmas Memory 1995

Christmas is a special time for me. I enjoy the festive atmosphere, sending Christmas cards, the tree and candles and associated decorations that adorn my home at Christmastime.

During Christmas of 1995 I was living in Greenville, SC. As is my custom, I deck the halls, as much as I can.

Many of the ornaments I accumulated during my bachelor days are still on our Christmas tree today.

The Christmas tree pictured was christened "Leonard," in honor of my friend Chuck.

It occurs to me, incidentally, that the same sad angel atop the tree in this photograph rests atop my Christmas tree this year. She still cannot stand up straight.