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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: 1st snowball of the season

© Another Day in the Country

Yes, I made my first snowball this morning.

There was only a skiff of snow on the lawn, but on the table that graces my front porch there was quite a collection.

That table was repainted this fall when I went into a frenzy of rocking chair reclaiming. I started out just trying to paint the first chair with regular enamel and soon grew weary of all the curves, corners, spindles, and railings that make up a rocking chair. I went to the hardware store and bought spray paint — we’re talking cans and cans of spray paint. When the rockers were a lovely variety of colors, I launched into the table.

It turned into a sunflower spectacular, but this new, updated table isn’t happy outdoors, so this morning I just brought it inside, snow and all. Enough snow had blown onto the table to make a snowball!

My new Christmas cactus, formally known as Schlumburgera Truncata ‘Harmony,’ is doing fine, I guess. Some of the blooms that shot out so unexpectedly are starting to wither. I’m not sure if that is just nature taking its course or me doing something to offend it.

I’ve been watching my mailbox like a hawk waiting for Christmas cards to arrive. It is only a week away from Christmas and as of yesterday, I’d received only four cards.

What is happening to Christmas cards, my friends? In this age of fast-serve communication, we just can’t let that custom die out.

I don’t send a lot of cards. Maybe 30 or so in the beginning, and then a few more when I hear from someone unexpectedly.

My four cards sat on my desk looking lonely until this morning. There were eight cards in the mail. I treated them like gold, I was so excited.

There was a handwritten card from my cousin Janice in California.

“Isn’t this the worst time for the computer and printer to malfunction?” she wrote.

I thought it was a wonderful accident, because suddenly I noticed that her handwriting looked so much like her mother’s. Of course, Aunt Anna’s cards and letters were always written by hand.

There was news in this handwritten missive from Janice of her grandchildren, who often used to visit us here in Ramona and reveled in our small-town atmosphere. Now they are all in college, some studying abroad.

There was a card from a last name that I didn’t recognize. I opened it and found a note from a friend at the gym where I exercise. Rosie and her husband had come to Sunday dinner at our house with some mutual friends and she was thanking me again for all the fun we had. I had to laugh that I only know these new acquaintances by their first names.

There was a card from Rita, with whom my sister and I share a great-great-grandfather. She included pictures of her grandchildren.

“You can see from the picture that our oldest granddaughter, Ela, dwarfs us,” she said. “It seems like yesterday I was attending her birth in Washington, D.C.”

I read the notes included in these precious cards with relish. I sat gazing into the faces that had gotten a year older.

I think I’ll lengthen my list of contacts this season, just for the pure JOY of celebrating another day in the country. Merry Christmas to you all!

Last modified Dec. 22, 2016

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