JJ is in the kitchen talking to Chip and his friend John, who has arrived for his decaf because it is too dark to start working yet. She's dressed for a run with Chandler, who is on the Cornell cross country team. He'll be here any minute. JJ tells John she's going to be a teacher. John says she should work at the lumberyard, because of job security. "Everybody needs a house to live in." JJ says teachers get tenure. Chip says, "I'll give you tenure." Everybody at Lutak Lumber is tenured. "I just gave Henry tenure the other day." Then the subject changed to the coffee.
The north wind is shaking the house and the children (can you still call them that when the youngest is 20?) are nestled all snug in their beds, or whichever bed they can find. (They went to sleep early last night after being out at the bonfire on the lake late for the eclipse the night before.) We had early Christmas last night before Sarah, Brian and the baby head to Wisconsin. This year, maybe because they are far flung all winter, the kids wanted to have just family for a night. (That meant nine of us.) The baby took center stage, as did the food.
Morning Muscles was a little sparse this morning thanks to last night's lunar eclipse. The temperature may have something to do with it too, it's really cold and the wind won't quit. Then there's the stress of the season. The food, the gifts, the family and friends. I suppose it is a woman thing to want everything to be perfect, and then to not be exactly sure what perfect means. I was feeling pretty virtuous, making it to exercise class, but when Marnie changed the routine and had us try some things we haven't done, especially the crab walking, I felt like a total klutz.
I have a quiet moment, everyone is still asleep (it is dark at 8:15, so who blames them?) The ice is sort of good on Chilkoot Lake. Two seasoned skaters fell through Thursday night, but lived to post a sign warning of open water, and to skate the next three days. The cold has hardened the ice, but if you go, follow other skaters' tracks, and be careful. There is a total lunar eclipse tonight at about 9:30, and tomorrow is the solstice.
It was more like a Christmas party than a gathering of TV critics, being Friday night and December 18-- and since the college kids are home and the tree is up. Sarah and the baby were there too, and we took turns holding her. Chip and the guys kept shushing us so they could hear the show. Since everyone brought their dogs, that meant six of them were trying to get a bite of our deer burgers, salads, and Kim's amazing layered jello cubes.
From Anne Sexton's poem, Welcome Morning:
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
We are making breakfast and planning cookies for later. (Baby Caroline and Sarah slept over, as Brian is in Petersburg with the basketball team.)
JJ says, "Butter eggs, sugar, we have chocolate, we need some more peanut butter. Oh, and jam, what else do we need for jam thumbprints?"
Sarah says, "Cream of tartar and almond extract."
JJ says, "What's cream of tartar?"
I say, "We have about sixteen tins. I buy one every time we do this."
JJ says, "How are the pancakes?"
Stoli asks, "Anyone else want an egg?"