|While our winter trip to Mexico didn't officially begin until Christmas Day, the days leading up to our departure were plenty busy. Over the weekend we had Molly & Eric as visitors for an early Christmas. While they brought plenty of nice presents and their delightful personalities, they also brought the better part of 12" of snow Saturday night and Sunday morning. Molly & Eric took off for Appleton (and Eric's parents) on Sunday morning while I blew snow once on Saturday and twice on Sunday. It's a good thing we got out of town when we did, because my little snow thrower had nowhere else to go with all the white stuff.
The rest of Sunday was filled with "de-Christmasing" our house. As any of you who have visited us during the holidays know, Jill is the song "Oh I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas" personified. Happily the various decorations come down much more quickly than they go up, and after 6+ hours of ornament, light and tree removal, combined with a couple dozen trips to the attic with a wide assortment of wreaths, Santas and snowmen, we were able to collapse and prepare for loading up on Christmas Eve.
As you might expect, there are a lot of freezable liquids (e.g. drinking water, soda, laundry & dish detergent, cleaning supplies etc) one has to wait to load until the last minute when traveling in the dead of winter. This year our task of loading such liquids was much more extensive than usual because Mr. & Mrs. Excitement (that's us) had volunteered to deliver reasonably priced malt beverages (with full alcohol content) to some recent immigrants to the state of Utah. It seems that the misguided Utah state legislature (no doubt heavily influenced by the dominant religion in those parts) has decreed that only beer of 3.2% or lower alcohol content can be sold "normally" (in grocery stores, gas stations etc). Any "real beer", wine or hard liquor is available only in state run liquor stores at phenomenally expensive prices. Good parents that we are, when we learned of the immigrant's plight, we did the right thing and ultimately accumulated 24 - 12-packs of the nectar for delivery as a delayed Christmas gift. Jill and I felt like regular "angels of mercy" in carrying out this highly benevolent act.
Most of Monday was spent loading up the motor home, not only with various liquids, but also with numerous other items we couldn't pre-load. In addition, we needed to get the motor home out of the garage, get it turned around (a bit of a task due to all the snow), plug it in (so the furnaces would work and all that beer would stay liquid) and hook up the Saturn. After another 10 hour day we were able to enjoy a very quiet Christmas Eve, with visions of Mexican beaches dancing in our heads.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that this busy Christmas Eve spent at home may have generated unanticipated consequences for the remainder of humanity in 2008. Each Christmas Eve for probably the last 25 years (with only one or two notable exceptions), I have met my good friend Jerry Blum at Baumgartner's on the square in Monroe. At Baumgartner's, Jerry and I catch up on family and friends and generally solve all the problems of the world in the course of a couple of hours, with the able assistance of an occasional brew or two of course. Given that we were unable to perform this public service this Christmas Eve, I want to apologize in advance for any major disasters which may befall us in 2008 (the election of Rudy Giuliani certainly would qualify - or as a sop to some of my Republican friends, the election of Hillary). Hopefully Jerry and I can get together shortly after our return to the USA in April, so that this doomsday scenario for 2008 can be put to rights. It seems like the least we can do for our fellow man.