Christmas mostly went well today. I didn’t get much sleep last night, so morning came a little earlier than it should have, but The Quartet was excited about their visit from Santa. They dragged their toys around the house, ripped open paper and oohed and aahed appropriately. For much of the morning I lay on the couch with my pocket knife and the patience of Job as I opened boxes, cut tape and untwisted those damn ties that keep toys in their packaging. I talked to family on the phone, sipped coffee and read Dickens. And then Kristy did a load of laundry and, just like that, I was ready for the season to be over. In just a few seconds all the planning and anticipation for this day ended when the washing machine drain backed up, sending a torrent of water all over the kitchen. I wanted the toys put away, the Christmas music turned off and the tree hauled away. It was as though the real world rushed in on that waterfall and washed the Most Wonderful Time of the Year away. Perhaps I should back up, though. Back up to last night and the steady rain that lasted All. Night. Long. Because, you see, when it rains here, it doesn’t just saturate the yard and soak the front porch. No, it leaks into the living room. This is a wonderful new development that caused me to wake up every 15 minutes or so last night just to make sure it was still raining and that what I had put under that leak to catch it was still doing its job. So, we had water coming down and water coming up, and if I’m going to live surrounded by this much water, I might as well move onto that sailboat that I plan on living aboard someday.
The washer overflowing did get me out of traveling to Kristy’s grandmother’s house, though, as I elected to stay home and tend to the mess. I ended up straightening the whole house, which I found cathartic after two days of being as sloppy as the season calls for. Later, GK and I settled in bed to watch one of my favorite Christmas movies, The Godfather, and we both agreed that our favorite scene is when Michael Corleone protects his father in the hospital after he’s been shot. (Last night she watched It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time and we both agreed that one of our favorite parts is when George Bailey tells his father that he’s a great guy. And then today she understood it completely when I grumbled about how it was “Another banner day for the A’s!” and questioned why we have to live in this “drafty old house anyway …”) Oh, but first, today, I took time to hook up the new DVD player that Kristy and I received for Christmas so we could watch our movie. Now, years ago I built in 8’x8’ bookshelves with adjustable shelving, and some of this had to be removed and rearranged in order to take the old player out and put the new one in. While I was doing this, the TV fell to the floor, followed by a shelf and a large selection of CDs. Almost all of my Elvis Costello CDs, in fact. Does anyone know where I can get jewel cases that hold a bonus disc? Several of those broke.
But, again, it was Christmas and the kids had fun and that’s what really matters. I should probably apologize to them, though, for being so short-tempered. An apology, also, to Kristy. And to Aunt Katherine, Elizabeth and Favorite Aunt Carol, all who called after the washing machine flooded us out, taking all of my patience and cheer with it. Merry Christmas to all of you while it lasts, because it’s technically over in just under two hours. A time, we know, when elves take a vacation, but all plumbers, hopefully, go back to work.