Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday Frothingslosh Fellowship...

Well well well, this has been quite the week this has. Yes sir and mam up here in The Hundred Acre Woods By The Inland Sea we've been busy as one armed wallpaper hangers. Ya know, now that we're in our middling years, you think we would figure out that pretty much this time each and every year, we go from manic to spastic to exhausted? And usually there's one point in particular where it all goes straight to wherever and what are these hand baskets for?

This week was *that* moment, and it certainly was? The week started
out innocently enough, but then everything kinda piled up on top of us, all at once? We start the week with a sparkling clean house, and a tidy interior. Somehow, as soon as the tree goes up, the annual Christmas devastation begins? Soon, there's wrapping paper and bows, boxes and gifts all strewn about the place in a willy nilly fashion with no further thought to organization, much less fire safety. It looks like the wrapping department at Macy's suddenly jettisoned their entire workload in our living, family and kitchen rooms? But that's really not the worst of it as we usually do sort and wrap together, and soon enough the house looks quite festive and fun.

On Wednesday, however, we drive about two and a half hours downstate for a funeral of a close family friend's mother. Then luncheon after the funeral, stop for shopping quickly, and onto one of their homes for some social times. Also, as the family rarely gets all the kids together, they ask me to take some pictures. Mind you, I really don't care for doing family photos and portraits, but how can I say no? So really a good time (funeral notwithstanding) and we get back home late Wednesday evening.

Thursday we make a bit of progress on the gift front, even thought we have far more boxes set upon out front stoop than under the tree. We are also on-call with Red Cross as local Disaster Action Team volunteers, and guess who calls? Aye yup, right around 5pm the phone rings and guess who it was? So Barb and I don our RC shirts and vests, and go see what we can do to help. When we arrived at the scene, it was a single family dwelling fire, and the house, along with all of the contents, was completely destroyed! The family was at a regional hospital as two of the children has suffered minor inhalation and minor burns. So we provided the volunteer fire department with water, Gatorade, cookies and coffee for awhile. I also obtained the owner's name and phone number, and left a message. After about two hours there, we come clumping home through the very cold rain and wind. We stopped in our town at the local watering hole and had a quick dinner, then home again, yay. So after we clamber into our jammies and watch a bit of tv, guess what? Aye yup, the phone rings again (?!) and the home owner had called RC again and was now requesting to meet with someone. At this point it's half past ten, and we re just about to think of turning in, alas. So, once again we clamber into our RC togs, and drive out to meet with him. Happily we were able to provide some much needed money to assist in his recovery plans. He has a family of six there, and Red Cross helped him with the cost of food, and clothing for the next two days. Since he had a place to stay we didn't need to put the family in a motel. But doing all that takes paperwork, which takes time, which means we didn't get back home till 1:30am. Ah well, we helped someone in a real and physical manner, and so polished our halos a bit.

Thence comes Friday in all it's glory and splendor. We did sleep in a bit, but knew we needed to start sorting thru the gifts and doing the wrapping. so we get up and get going. And, as I'm wrapping, I'm *also* multitasking. (just had to be, huh?) I needed to burn 50 dvd's of a movie that we made for the Youth Christmas Play at Church. (another very long story for a different blog) At about 1pm I was outside and a silver van sweeps up our driveway. It parks, and then four guys proceed to exit the vehicle, all dressed in typical Up North style (jeans, flannel shirts, hunting jackets, etc) and they merrily, and loudly proclaim that they were all there to drink beer with me as each one raises a cooler of beer to show me? Huh?! What?! We had met the guys last September, at a social event in the nearby village. After the event (The Other Bridge Walk) we had all finished by hoisting a few cold ones together, and (of course) invited each other to come around "anytime" and we'd do it again. So for the first time since September, these guys decided that *now* was the time to come see Jamie? Oh... my... gawd... and yup, this is *that* moment when it all fell apart. They really are a great group of guys, and it was nice to see them... but did they have to do this now? Apparently so. Seems they had been drinking since about 11am, and finally got around to taking the adventure on the road? Nooooo.... oh yeah. They weren't sloppy or sloshy drunks, and they did behave well, and were simply having a good time, and a pub crawl. So... we finally got rid of them about two and a half hours later. *giggle*

Then, that evening we had a Solstice Party to attend at Barb's sister and husband's place, which featured a buffet done by a chef friend of theirs. Very swank, lots of good food and more drinks, and great people. We manage to make it home relatively unscathed. Which leads to Saturday, which finds us still wrapping, and burning and such... and then yet another Solstice Party that night, at one of the Friday Frothingslosh Fellowship friends. Less swank, better fun, more food and drinks. This time the specialty was eggnog. Family recipe that went way back, and is aged for a week before serving. This stuff is so smooth and mellow you don't taste the alcohol (brandy and bourbon) until about your third glass, and then it's too late! Oh did I mention that when we got home I needed to design and print out labels for the dvd's? Oh and did I forget to mention that today at Church, not only was the movie shown (in place of the sermon, yay) but that I was the liturgist? Yeah... *that* moment... *giggles*

Well, Church goes off well enough, everyone loved the Christmas Movie (which Barb pretty much did all the production for, it was great!), and I only lost my place one time? On the way home, we chat about how we really are kinda tired of the constant partying and need to get stuff done... yeah right. When we get home we call the next On Call couple for Red Cross to make arrangements for delivery of all the RC "stuff" that goes with being on call. And yup, you guessed it, they invited us over for a glass of wine! So much for that afternoon nap!

It's all good though, we had a busy week, we really did wrap a few gifts, and we did some good. So really, even though sleep deprived, we're happy to have the love of good friends, and the joy of the season. And so it's our wish to each of you that get to do some good, and spread some joy! Merry Christmas to all...

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