|A pair of cardinals pause before breakfasting.|
The morning is overcast, the dimly-lit sky filled with snow—flakes so fine the air seems hazy. The river is dark, somber, moving quietly along. A pair of cardinals are sitting on a limb near the cottage door, glowing bright against the gloomy background.
Yesterday was Myladylove's birthday and also our anniversary. We celebrated the former last night, at a favorite Italian restaurant south of town, joined by my daughter and son-in-law, and fellow-father-in-law. Good food, good company, and I daresay a good time had by all; the best way to tick off another year's mile-marker. Myladylove and I had enjoyed our anniversary dinner the night before, at a Mexican eatery not far from the cottage. Unlike birthdays, years shared in love are like dividends paid from a treasure whose value increases annually.
Here's a newsflash: the Christmas tree is now decorated…well, almost. I still have a handful of ornaments to put on later today, between writing and zapping off a column, plus finishing a couple of other chores. But the bulk—which must number at least a couple hundred and are about evenly divided between various speciality decorations and standard glass balls—have been hung. The only question remaining is whether or not to add a few packets of those silver mylar "icicles." My mother never thought a Christmas tree looked finished without shimmering strands of icicles, along with the lights, ornaments, and garland. But they're time-consuming and messy to apply correctly (no, you don't just stand back and sling gobs at the tree) and time-consuming and messy to remove. And of course Moon the dog always eats a few, which does tend to brighten up her morning walks. Nevertheless, I agree with Mom that the added sparkle is worth the time and mess—so providing there are a few packets among the tubs of decorations, I suppose I'll add them to the tree along with the remaining ornaments.
Tomorrow morning, at 8:00 a.m. sharp, Myladylove has to be in the dentist's office for what is hoped will be the final installment to last week's tooth cap fiasco. Then it's a concerted push to finish our Christmas shopping, which at this point now seems possible. Who wudda thunk? And if we're really on a roll, we'll make it home in time for a fireside dinner, carols on CDs, and a leisurely hour or two in which to admire the fully-decorated tree!