The weeks leading up to Christmas were rather hectic for us. We planned to spend Christmas with old friends in Massachusetts, but Clara called to say she had to work and wouldn't be able to come. So we changed gears and planned to spend a couple of days in Brooklyn at Clara's apartment so she wouldn't be alone. The Sunday before Christmas we got another call -- she didn't have to work after all and wanted to come home. So we changed gears again.
On Tuesday, I woke up with a miserable head cold, but soldiered through it to finish buying and wrapping presents, grocery shop, decorate and pick Clara up at the train station. I called Barb and told her we would be here and would make Christmas dinner and she should join us. She booked the ferry. I called some friends who were home alone for Christmas and asked them to join us, too. I finally made some curtains for the mudroom. Then we started the storm watch: possible blizzard conditions on Christmas. Two days later: no blizzard on Christmas, just snow the day after. On Christmas Eve: the blizzard is on it's way and it is time to batten down the hatches.
We spent most of Christmas Eve prepping for dinner the next day while listening to Christmas carols. We had unexpected visitors stop by with gifts, which was a gift in and of itself. The visits were such an old-fashioned, neighborly gesture. We opened a bottle of wine and set out some cheese and crackers. Barbara (the basket maker) and her husband Ron came by. They were kind enough to give us our beautiful Douglas fir Christmas tree a couple of weeks ago and came loaded with gifts for Clara, who they adopted this summer and taught to horseback ride. We sent them home with a bag of homemade cookies and 50 pounds of horse feed for our favorite four-legged friends.
Dan, our contractor for the renovation (which we started two years ago just before Christmas), stopped by with peanut brittle and fudge, homemade by his wife Tina. While the renovation was in progress, Dan and I had coffee almost every morning. He is a great, family-oriented guy and is always up on the latest Greenport gossip and I miss our morning chats. So I was really glad to see him.
Christmas Eve was low key. We had fancy hor d'ouevres -- seafood wontons, little lobster rolls, stuffed mushrooms -- while watching Despicable Me (a really nice and funny little movie). Our friends canceled for Christmas dinner (they got the same cold I have). so we got up late, ate Pete's pecan sticky buns at 10 am and put off dinner til 7. We played Banagrams and watched more movies and worried about Barby getting home on the ferry before the blizzard started. Dinner (crown roast of pork, Wisconsin wild rice, applesauce, roasted cauliflower and broccoli and a chocolate coconut charlotte for dessert) was delicious.
Barb left here at 8 on Sunday morning and caught one of the last ferries. Snow had already started, but the winds held off until later in the day. By afternoon the winds were blowing so hard it sounded like a freight train was running down 5th Street. We ended up with very little snow, maybe 6 inches, unlike the City, which got close to 12.
Now it looks like the sun is going to break through and I won't have to shovel! I'm cleaning up the studio, organizing my ideas and looking forward to the New Year . . . and getting rid of this cold.