Wednesday, December 26, 2018


So what did we get for Christmas? I'm hard to shop for, so I got a DVD on Churchill and a canister of candied popcorn from B., and tendonitis from an anonymous giver. The cats (by courtesy) got us a few things, including the annual wall calendar. Usually our choice features photos of cats, big cats, or penguins, but 2018's was one of medieval illuminations we found in the DeYoung Museum gift store at the end of the previous year. This year, animal calendars were short on the ground where I looked, and I found one of reading-themed illustrations by Mary Engelbreit. The cover shows a girl perched, I hope not too precariously, in some high tree branches, reading a book whose distinctive jacket design reveals it to be The Hobbit. So, can't miss.

This will probably be the last year that B's family gathers in the old family homestead, as her brother and his wife, who are currently rattling around in it after the departure of all their children, are planning on selling it and moving up to Seattle where their grandchildren are. At least we had a festive gathering, enlivened in particular by the burgeoning family of the niece from Fresno. I asked her eldest, the ten-year-old, about the school play her parents' holiday letter had said she'd be in come spring. What's the play? Treasure Island, she said. I thought rapidly for anything I knew about Treasure Island, a book I've never read, having bounced off it in childhood. (I also bounced off of Hornblower, much to my navy-veteran father's dismay. This was before the fame of Patrick O'Brian, whom I did not bounce off of until a considerably later date.) "The one with the pirates?" I said, and earned compliments for my familiarity with Treasure Island.

As my contribution to dinner I brought the veggies in the form of a rice casserole, but little of it got eaten, so dinner at home for us for the next few days is set.

Back to making hooting noises as I wrap the dashed cold ice-pack around the hand I'm trying not to type with. See you later.

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