…til the pigs go to the butcher, and I’m eager to have them in the freezer, let me tell you. They broke out again. Lizzie and I moved them to the shed, but as pigs don’t much like NEW places they haven’t chosen themselves, it took us almost an hour to accomplish. They are now barricaded in one section of the shed with green fence panels. They are making a mess, for sure. They seem to be digging a hole to China in the middle of their pen. Everything is mud! Never again. Pigs belong on pasture, in the woods, out on the back 40, where they are happier, have lots to do, and I’m happier. They do look good, however. I have to say that.
It’s been a very busy three weeks. I’ve been subbing for our parish priest, which means writing a sermon every week, which is a long, drawn out process similar to making chicken soup, in that after the research, you let it sit on the back burner until it comes together, after cutting up all these disparate “veggies” and putting them in the pot. Until it becomes soup, there is not much clarity. So, it kind of hangs over my head all week. Last Sunday was my last day, thank God. Susan will be home later this week, and the parish is hers again. In the middle of this stint, it was John’s mother’s 90th birthday, so two of his siblings and families and his mother’s favorite niece and daughter came up. Only four of them stayed here, and Ginny was a big help. The party was at the place where Mom lives, and she was absolutely delighted. I’m not sure she actually knew who the three strapping men were surrounding her, but I’m sure she knew they were her special people in some way. She never called any of them by name, one way she has of disguising the fact that she really doesn’t know who they are. But she was beaming, ear to ear, and her usual sweet self, still somewhat of a surprise to me! Of course, five minutes after we left, she had no idea we had been there, but it was worth it for the joy in her face during the event. Then, they all came back to our house, I babysat while some went to the brewery for a beer tour, and got dinner ready for 10. (John’s sister came down with the flu and wasn’t fully healed, so she didn’t come. Too bad, she missed a great party.) On Sunday, I was totally exhausted, having left the house after feeding the animals in the dark, at 6:45, to do the church gig. (Always exhausting to “hold people in thrall” during a service.)
Then, this Friday we got a lovely “wintry mix” storm. (How I love it when wintry mix season is over and we have real snow storms, much easier to deal with, much less damage.) All over New England, lines were/are down. There are still people, five days later, without power. We were without power from 10:45 on Friday til around 8:30 on Saturday night. For us, it is no big deal, since we heat with wood anyway, I have a gas range, so we can cook, and we have a generator, which, if run 30 minutes 3 times a day, keeps the frig cold, the toilets flushable, and gives us minimal light to prepare and eat meals. The freezers are both in the barn/garage, and at 11 degrees, we didn’t really worry about them much! But many people waited while all the food in their freezers which they couldn’t afford to replace, died on them. One resourceful couple took all the stuff from their freezer, put it in five gallon containers, put it up against an outcropping of rock in their yard and plowed their driveway of “wintry mix” putting the mix on top of those containers. Their food stayed just fine. A more creative approach than sitting their crying because your frozen food is melting, the reaction of others. A little resourcefulness goes a long way.
Today I finish a letter of recommendation for a friend/mentee who is going to attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Then, I have some errands to do. And there is that Christmas letter which needs composing. Luckily, since we’re die hard Episcopalians, we do NOT send out Christmas cards during Advent, but wait til Christmastide, so I have some time yet! So long as they arrive before January 5, Twelfth Night, it works for us. I’m sure people think we just got behind…
And, more exciting news: we are negociating and planning for a trip to the British Isles in June, one week in Ireland, and one in Yorkshire. A few details need to be ironed out, and then we are all set. All my life, I’ve wanted to travel to certain places, and never been able to afford it. Finally, we’ve reached the age where if we don’t do it now, it won’t get done, and with careful planning and saving, we can afford a trip every couple of years. I may have to do more subbing for other churches to make some money, but hopefully, we’ll manage without. We want to see cathedrals, but not on tours, rather to experience them by going to services there and singing and praying with the congregation gathered. Cathedrals are big enough so there ought to be midweek services at many of them, hopefully. There appear to be a number within a reasonable distance of the cottage we’ll stay in in Yorkshire. In Ireland, we’ll concentrate on ruins, more, I think, and the Aran Islands, where we’ll go for two days. We’ll be in Tipperary, and maybe we’ll find out just why it got singled out for the WWI song, It’s a long way to Tipperary…or not. We will also visit Richard III’s castle at Middleham. I’m a big Plantagenet and Tudor fan, and am particularly fond of Richard III, who, I think, got a bad rap from Shakespeare to please the “administration” of his day. What artists have to do for patronage!
Okay, onward and upward. Have a great third and fourth week of Advent. So much to prepare, it’s nice to have a season set aside just for that.
One last comment: WordPress is getting just like the local supermarket: you just get used to where to find everything, and they change it all around. I guess that’s supposed to make you do more impulse buying. Me being contrary, it usually has just the opposite effect on me. I get angry because I can’t find what I want, and leave with many fewer groceries than I came for. Every time wordpress changes it’s format, it takes longer and longer to get from typing in the address and having the format come up to do the entry. Not sure why. Took a full five minutes today. GRRR!!! Oh, well…just wanted to air my gripe. Now, to figure out exactly how to publish this thing, not only the format but some of the terms as well, look different.