Onward and Upward

The Christmas décor is down, boxed, and being loaded back into the garage. Somehow, all that work only took 3000 steps, so I’m way short for this time of day—short in steps only, not short in any other way.

The white angel that smiled on us all during the holiday season is now gone from her spot in the family room window. I miss her already. The house, without all its brightly colored finery is looking a bit drab and bare, and the fact that it’s gray, gloomy, and wet outside isn’t helping my mood at the moment.

We had a beef roast for Christmas dinner, and then dined on leftovers until last night, Monday, when we finished the last of a batch of roast beef hash that would have made my mother and her food grinder proud. Based on the number of meal servings from that one roast, Bill figures it cost $2.32 per meal—that’s less than we’d be paying at Burger King. Evie would be proud of that as well. She believed in the old adage “waste not; want not,” and that definitely was part of her strategy for using leftovers.

This year we actually let go of some of the decorations. The Costco Creche went away. Some of you may recall a blog from ten years ago when Colt, then five, knocked Joseph’s head off. Grandpa glued it back on, and it is still in one piece, but as they were putting it out that year, Colt was asking Jim Hunt, our decorator, who everybody was. Baby Jesus was pretty easy to identify, and so was Mary. When they got to Joseph, Colt asked, “Is that Baby Jesus’s daddy?” The question was followed by a long pause. Finally Jim said, “I think you need to ask your mommy about that.” The creche may be gone now, but the memories linger.

As we put the decorations away, we came across the delicate crystal ones that our daughter gave us as a wedding present 35 years ago. This year, they were joined by a lovely crocheted star that was sent by one of my fans. So the old was there as well as the new.

And now it’s time to move on to the new year. This morning I heard from the Tucson Festival of Books, coming in March. On Saturday March 6 I’ll be doing a virtual two-person panel with my friend, Joe Kenda of Homicide Hunter fame. We’ll be talking about his new book, Killer Triggers, and probably a bit about life in general. I had hoped we’d be able to do this live and in person, but them’s the breaks. He’ll be on one side of the country, and I’ll be on the other.

So the new year is here. In a few minutes I’ll venture into the bedroom and start retrieving all the bits of regular décor that were stowed there during the holidays. One piece at a time, I’ll start putting some flesh back on the bare bones of our flat surfaces again.

Once that is finished and I’ve done the rest of my steps, it’ll be time to get back to Beau. I’m 11,003 words into the next book, but who’s counting? I am, of course. That means only 83,997 to go. As I told someone who had added 50 steps to each of her snowbound inside laps, “By the inch it’s a cinch.”

The same thing goes for writing books. By the word it’s a cinch.

PS. We just discovered we failed to pack away the front door angel, so she’s now our family room angel. I’m glad she’s there.