Ramblings from the Cove...

February 2018 - Christmas and New Years 2017/2018
(How Lars entertained himself this winter in Magnolia...)

By Lars Gren

Lars in the snow Here we are entering February and I have Thanksgiving in mind, no not for 2018 but for 2017. Why you might ask? Well, I had written a bit about it for you Ramblings readers and then when I went to finish the next morning this machine refused to let me know where it was hidden or saved as one with computer skill would put it. So here is how Thanksgiving and Christmas past were celebrated. The Sobies of Wadsworth Ohio had kindly invited me to visit for a couple of weeks. My decision was an instantaneous “yes!”. Elisabeth and I had the joy of being there several times. Their daughter Dani was also a dear caregiver for Elisabeth who would be there with her husband Ryan and Gracie her first born. Gracie is sweet as can be and is never far from her toy companion ‘Meow’, a flattened out rag cat.

A second advantage to being there was to again experience Lin Sobie’s ability of serving delicious meals with speed and efficiency as though it’s simple to do. As to bread making, she can make six loaves all the same size for she weighs each loaf prior to baking them as though there is nothing to it in assembly line fashion. They come out looking exactly the same! It was not until Dani arrived that I remembered their tradition of trimming for Christmas, including the tree, once she had arrived. So when Thanksgiving was over, everything was in place for Christmas. At one point when all was fully decorated, I stood back, looking at the tree, and mentioned to Lin that on a previous Thanksgiving visit, Elisabeth was sitting in the comfortable lean back chair looking at the tree and all around the room. The fireplace and coffee table were even trimmed with lights and candles and with sweets for the taking. We so enjoyed it and here I was drinking it all in again. It is not rare for me to experience nostalgia when I am in familiar places from our past, but I don’t dwell on it either but rather welcome those moments as a friend. Suffice it to say that there were sweet moments to each day with friends stopping by and many of those I remember from our days there.

It is my want to have a daily walk unless it is severely bitter cold and windy. And so I hoped that the weather would be moderate in Wadsworth, and thus it was. I may have missed one day otherwise I hit the road with my black cane swinging it ala Maurice Chevalier style as he walked down the Champs-Élysées – singing perhaps, “Thank Heavens for little girls,”-- well you may know what I mean.

The roads there have two lanes as a rule, yet good for walkers as traffic is light and drivers often move toward the center giving extra walking room. For, most walks I just went to the T-intersection and then turned around giving me a mile or a bit more when I returned to the house. But I kept thinking if I turn right at the end where does it go? I had a fair idea that if I turned right at each main road I would reach my destination. So one afternoon I stood at the end of the familiar leg of my journey and looked to my right while watching the cars passing by in both directions and I said, “Why not?” There were a few hills and my thought was perhaps on the next hill I would see a road off to the right or a vehicle making a turn. It didn’t happen as soon as I thought it would and then there was a fellow in a yard whom I asked if there was a road ahead that turned to the right. “Oh, yes. You’ll see a flashing light that is just short of the turn.” I thanked him and wished him a good day. And so it was, after a couple of turns to the right that it began to looks familiar—one of my landmarks were two lovely black angus steers and yes they were there in the fenced pasture. The farmer raises two each year. I stopped to greet them and thought, “Now I’d enjoy a steak there.” I thought they would be inquisitive and they were, but not enough so that I could give them a pleasurable scratch on the neck. I walk at a fair clip and shortly I was back at the house. I told Lin of my tour and she said it was about four miles. I should have noted the time it took, but that will have to wait for the next visit.

One other nice incident happened in travelling on my connecting flight to Cleveland as the flight was overbooked. I was at the departure desk chatting with the attendant when I heard him say, “I think that we are still one short, should we offer 1 or 15? OK.” With that he announced that there would be a need for a seat and in exchange would be $1,000 worth of travel miles if someone would take the 2 hour later flight. I rang the Sobies, and cleared it with them. It was a done deal and the attendant was nice enough to add an extra 500 miles plus meal coupons for my dinner that I enjoyed with enough left over to purchase a delicious lobster roll for Lin. What a nice bonus to start a great two week visit.

As to Christmas, well that was another story and in short a unique bust. Long time friends, Sylvia and Allegra, who come to the Cove occasionally for dinner and a movie, planned to come and do just that on Christmas Day. Sylvia, said great but let’s go out for breakfast. Not my favorite thing to do for noise and quality of food. I suggested they come to the house. “I have just been sent some country ham, that plus sunny side eggs—delicious”. “Fine.” Then a winter cold or such set in and they were not feeling well enough to come. Sylvia suggested they wait to come some evening later in the week for dinner for lamb and sunny side eggs. That day came with bad weather, snow and cold, with possible icing conditions on the road and thus that plan was also set aside. So between sickness and snow and icy conditions, I had the most unusual Christmas, and that was, of being alone. In the evening I warmed up some delicious homemade leftover soup and thanked the Lord and sat down to enjoy my Christmas meal. It was a memorable occasion. If it had gone as planned with the Christmas meal, we would also have watched a “Twelve Dog Christmas” which a Rambling’s reader recommended, which was a great movie made from a story made by an 11 year old girl. For want of anything else to do, after I made my soup, I put the movie on and began to watch it. I didn’t get too far into it, until I thought, “I like dogs, but not in this amount” and so if you like dogs—say 15, 20 of them, watch the movie. If not, eat a meal and skip the movie.

The next day when I called Mary Mikels (some of you have read about her--she has a lovely voice and was born without eyeballs), she asked me, “What did you do for Christmas?” And I said, “Nothing, I was alone at home.” She screamed, “You were alone?!!!.” “Yes.” “On Christmas day? No one there?” “That’s right”. “That’s awful! Why, didn’t anyone invite you?” “The plans that had been made did not come to fruition.” Mary did calm down and I said, ‘Mary that is pretty much the way it is every night. You have to remember that I live alone.” “Yes, but at Christmas?” “Yes, Mary, that’s right. Even at Christmas.”

Sylvia and Allegra year for the past 12 years or so, have attended a progressive dinner on New Year’s Eve, and they invited me to come along, with pickup included. I accepted. I had only been to one progressive dinner prior to this, so it was somewhat new to me. There were five or six different homes on the circuit, if my count is correct. The food was delicious and as we moved to from house to house we had a devotional time and at another, a short exposition of Scripture, and at yet another, a hymn sing which included “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight. Then we watched the lowering of the ball from Times Square at the countdown. I was back home at 2:30 am. It is, I believe, as late as I have ever been out on New Year’s Eve. Elisabeth and I went to bed at regular time on New Year’s, as with other days, around 9 o’clock, and if I awoke near midnight I would get up put the telly on for 10 min—watch the ball—return to bed and wish her a Happy New Year if she was awake and that was it. This was indeed a new experience—I enjoyed it even though it was a long night. So my celebration with many friends is past for another year.

God bless y’all and that’s it from the Cove,

Lars


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