Tortiere and Christmas Naps – more Seasonal Happiness

This is the Christmas I stood in our storage locker, in front of a grubby bag full of home-made Christmas cards, surrounded by cassette tapes, life jackets, dinghy paddles and enough sock yarn to potentially cause death by moths, and thought, “Naaaa – I can’t handle Christmas cards this year.” Besides, I’d have had to lean over two kerosene heaters, a suitcase full of knitting patterns and the keel of my sailing dinghy to reach the bag. Also, I was discouraged. I was cut to the quick because I COULD NOT find the Christmas tree (all 18 inches of it) that I’d bought at Canadian Tire 21 years ago for $15.00. Decorations? check. Lights? check. But no tree. So I gave in, left the tree where it was (wherever that is), and bought a brand new one at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for $5.00. Five dollars! I was thrilled. Until I got it home and discovered the teensy little base was so narrow it wouldn’t stay standing. John Darling to the rescue! He gave it a ‘Cowichan Bay fix’ with a sawed-down two-by-four plank and some industrial-strength glue. The man is a genius.
THIS was the year my tree wouldn’t fall over in the December storms and spray miniature tree decorations into the bilge.
I was wrong. We were hit with ‘the Great Windstorm of 2018,’ and among the trees that fell over was my Christmas tree. More worrisome than the tree decorations we stepped on, was the power. For three days there wasn’t any. And though we had enough kerosene heat to stave off hypothermia, the candles did not really light things up, and – wait for it – there was no TV. John Darling was quite unhappy.
The last day of school before the Christmas break, I was tasked to teach at a middle school in town. I set off in my car in the direction of Duncan, and barely cleared Hecate Park before I spotted the police tape across the road – and the giant tree felled across the road, too. “Gosh,” I thought. “I’ll try the other direction.” But at the bottom of the hill, only a few hundred yards from the first barrier, was a line of orange cones. My only option was Wilmot Road, which I’m ashamed to say I know nothing about even though I’ve lived here for 20-odd years, but I pulled a right, drove up and hill and started twisting and turning through a most confusing subdivision. “Surely not left,” I thought every now and then. “This looks like a good place to turn right.” By some miracle, I was spat out the other end of Wilmot onto a road from which I could spot the highway. Victory! Though I did question whether I’d ever find my way home again.
Anyway, it was the last day of school, so I was asked to watch Christmas movies in the school theatre for six hours, which if I may say, is probably a health and safely issue. I hope I never have to watch ‘Elf’ again in the entire course of my life. (Also potentially deeply offensive was the rendition in the course of the movie of ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’, but that’s an issue that has been played out on Facebook by all kinds of people with not enough to do)
I DID make it home safely. John Darling, in a different car, became hopelessly lost on his way home and would still be driving around Wilmot Road if some helpful drivers hadn’t tooted their horns at him and otherwise made themselves useful. Then after they’d complained about the way John tried to make up his mind at stop signs, they probably all went home to complain about politically incorrect Christmas songs.
You’ll all be glad to know that after the power came back on, the Christmas decorations were all picked up off the floor, and we’d had hot showers, we were much more cheerful and sweet-smelling.
Christmas day a friend invited us over for Tortiere. Elk, venison and pork in a flaky pastry crust – Marie is a wonderful cook. We came home full of tortiere and good cheer, and spent the rest of the day in a happy coma.
Christmas eve I’d cooked a turkey, so now, 3 days after Christmas, we are marking the fourth day of turkey soup for dinner. John Darling is starting to notice.
My Christmas present this year was a second-hand touch-sensitive keyboard that weighs more than my car. I keep it in the forward cabin and lug it out once a day to practise in the main saloon. Alas, for the couple of hours I practise (anything that weighs THAT much, you leave out for a good practise session), nobody can get by to use the head. No system is perfect, and in the mean time, I am having the time of my life. John Darling’s Christmas present was the earphones I use while I practise. He asks for a Ferrari every year, but once again Santa failed him.
My three ‘Arctic’ children’s chapter books should be ready in 3-4 weeks. I’m starting to think this might actually happen! Yay!
May Heaven bless you this Sacred Season and always.