Category Archives: Coffee Corner

The Great Sledding Conspiracy

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

As children, we believed our parents gave us Christmas sleds because they wanted us to have fun.

Wrong. They knew children already had too much fun.

Instead, as card-carrying members of the Great Sledding Conspiracy, they purchased sleds to ensure their own survival. Their brains atrophied by 573 games of Candy Land, mothers and fathers ordered us to go sledding.

“Fresh air is good for you,” they said.

Chances were, they’d given us a Flexible Flyer, whose sharp runners could slice through granite. We hurtled down hills, often vaulting over streams, stumps and each other … standing up.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay.

This was good for us?

I was surprised to discover the inventor of the Flexible Flyer, Samuel Leeds Allen, was a Quaker. Maybe this desperate father of six strove for peace by concocting ways to keep his tribe outdoors.

Perhaps both Dad and Samuel belonged to the Conspiracy for an additional reason: they’d lower food bills permanently by lessening the population at home.

Mr. Fowler, another secret member, drove our school bus. While my yard was flat, his nearby house sat atop a tall hill. Even we children realized he endured unspeakable racket, yet Mr. Fowler let us sled on his hill. Such a nice man.

Ha! What better way to lower his bus population and its accompanying decibels?

However, one snowy night, Dad topped Fowler’s ploy, offering to take my siblings and I sledding.

Only when we rendezvoused with Dad’s buddies did we realize the fathers would join their kids’ sleds behind a truck. We would zoom along unplowed country roads.

If we children had been older, we might have realized this plan represented the ultimate in population control. Instead, we believed our dads, like Mr. Fowler, were nice.

Soon, we were skimming past a dark blur of trees, fences and fields at speeds we’d never dreamed of. The only complication: when one sled veered into a drift, the whole line followed. Guess who spun off into drifts the most?

Years afterward, I realized those pauses helped preserve our lives.

Upon our return, Mom immediately deduced Dad had overstepped. No one lied to Mom, including Dad. She soon extracted the whole story. Never again would Dad take her children sledding.

Image by Lena Helfinger from Pixabay.

Given my steering, that did not bother him.

Did I buy my children sleds? You bet. With no conscience whatsoever, I joined The Great Sledding Conspiracy.

Though lately, I’ve heard my grandsons have been whipping down snow-covered sand dunes on Lake Michigan shores. Do they stop before zooming onto the lake’s ice? Maybe all the way to Chicago?

But their parents say all that fresh air is good for them.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a member of the Great Sledding Conspiracy?

“We’re Stranded!”

Even spelled on a SCRABBLE board, the word “stranded” packs enough panic power to send us to our vehicles with snow shovels, boots and sleeping bags as well as food, water and Prozac.

Image by Bindue from Pixabay.
My parents and older brother in 1952.

We Midwesterners have two words for those “stranded” in the tropics: oh, please. That goes for you, Swiss Family Robinson, Tom Hanks, and snowbirds who grouse about sand in their bathing suits.

My family and I have collected a portfolio of strandedness Gilligan wouldn’t believe.

My parents, newlywed missionaries in New Mexico, were gathering firewood atop a mountain when the year’s only rainstorm struck. Torrents washed away the road, leaving their Model T half-buried in mud. Having left coats at home (they’d anticipated a three-hour tour), Mom and Dad spent the subfreezing night there. They burned the firewood to stay alive and dug out. Thus, began a long, creative career of strandedness, generously shared with five children.

Fast-forward two decades. My medical student husband and I skated our car down interstates between Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Muncie, Indiana, where Hubby would work in a clinic several weeks, staying in a decrepit, deserted dorm. I’d planned to drive home to Indianapolis, but remained until conditions improved. Much skinnier then, we fit in his twin bed. Sort of. Glad to be alive and together, we decided that despite resident ghosts, being stranded wasn’t half bad.

Image by parker from Pixabay.

Sharing the Minneapolis airport with thousands of angry people — including our teenagers — during a nationwide blizzard wasn’t nearly as much fun. Snarling, would-be passengers formed mile-long lines at ticket counters, restaurants and restrooms. Areas under drinking fountains morphed into sleeping quarters. A stranger accosted me:

Strange Woman: Where did you get that shirt?

Me: Um, at a consignment shop.

Woman: I gave my husband a shirt exactly like that for his birthday.

Me: The consignment shop was in Atlanta.

Woman: (baring her teeth) I’m from Atlanta.

That encounter, along with a 24-hour TV loop featuring the Sports Illustrated bathing suit edition, didn’t brighten my day. Leaving Minneapolis never felt so good, though our trip home from Indianapolis would have proceeded faster if a single sled dog had towed our minivan.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay.

Years later, amid another hair-raising drive during an ice storm, Hubby and I managed to reach a hotel. Fortunately, our room featured a king-size bed, not a twin. I could banish swimsuit models from our TV with a single remote click. Nobody demanded the shirt off my back.

The aforementioned folks marooned in the tropics might question my strandedness. Too bad. They should write their own blogs. Since this is mine, I affirm my official status: stranded.

Though, sometimes, stranded isn’t half bad.

Image by Olichel from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever been stranded?

The Great Long Johns Debate

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.
Hubby braves Indiana’s winter weather for hikes.

This shivery, January day, I contemplate a profound subject: long underwear.

My interest is personal. I prefer that my husband not freeze into a hiker-sicle.

While sane people stay by the fire during inclement weather, he’s addicted to five-mile winter walks. (And you thought Zoom had messed with my brain.) No antiquated long johns for him. He wants “base layers.”

At first, I feared he’d fallen prey to some paint-your-body trend. Then, I realized Hubby was carefully editing facts and figures to promote a new, improved version of long johns. Their wickability — whatever that was. He expected me to rubber-stamp his purchases.

Though even if I accidentally (ahem!) lost my rubber stamp, he would buy them.

I registered a protest. “John Sullivan never blew big bucks on base layers.”

“Who’s John Sullivan?” His eyes narrowed. “How do you know about his long underwear?”

“He was a boxer who made long johns popular during the 1800s. Wore leggings into the ring.”

“With that heavy cotton, he probably sweat gallons.” Hubby brightened. “Which is why I want base layers —”

“When I was walking miles at college in freezing rain,” I retorted, “I wore long johns Mom sent. Plain, cheap long johns. Why do you need something expensive?” I pointed at his laptop screen. “Those don’t look like they could keep somebody warm in Florida.”

Patiently, he explained that a modern winter base layer consists of a thin, but warm shirt and leggings of special fabrics that maintain body temperature. Yet, they prevent a hiker’s sweating too much, dangerous during extreme weather.

He made his case sound infinitely reasonable. As reasonable as a hike in single-digit weather can be.

Until he insisted he needed wool T-shirts for summer hikes.

“Wool?” My rubber stamp vanished into a black hole.

“Merino wool’s a main component of Smartwool®.”

Smartwool® in July didn’t sound smart to me. Besides, I distrust the label “smart.” We already purchase smartphones, smart cars and smart watches. Now we have to buy smart underwear?

He insisted, “Smartwool enhances the layering system.”

A system? “Does it require Wi-fi?” I said. “Or maybe it meshes with satellites. They’re tracking people’s long underwear from outer space now?”

Hubby — armed with base layers — hikes a nearby university forest.

Despite my objections, I knew he’d never buy long johns. I couldn’t permit my husband to freeze to death. Because base layers were on sale, I found my rubber stamp and approved his purchases, making him very happy.

Plus — (gasp!) this is hard to say — Hubby (choke!) proved to be r-r-right. The base layers have kept him toasty and safe.

Sorry, John Sullivan.

When it comes to long johns, you and I were way off base.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Has your spouse proved r-r-right lately?f

Looking Back on Resolutions 2021

Image by USA-Reiseblogger from Pixabay.

Are you one of those scary people who keep New Year’s resolutions?

Then skip this and return to Planet Jenny Craig, from whence you came.

If, however, you’ve given up all hope of achieving such goals, let me be the first to encourage you. A decade ago, I discovered a unique approach that revolutionized New Year’s Day.

I learned to make only resolutions I will keep.

Please note the effortless beauty of the following examples:

  • I promise I will not mow our lawn in January.
  • I will give up earmuffs for the Fourth of July.

Check out my actual 2021 resolutions, whose success rates left those of Jenny Craig aliens panting in interplanetary dust, including:

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.
  • I will refrain from topping my waffles with pickles.
  • I will, however, break world s’more records, as our children gave us a patio firepit for Christmas. This mother wants to make her children happy, so no sacrifice is too great.
  • My next resolution should prove doable for 95 percent of the world’s population: I will blame COVID-19 for everything. Conventional therapy points fingers at spouses, parents, kids and in-laws. Instead, blame COVID. This is cheaper and less complicated, as no virus yet has been named in a lawsuit or divorce.
  • Speaking of COVID, I also resolve to wear a mask in public. Even if most are designed to fit your average antelope.
  • I’ll still greet all checkout personnel and other shoppers with a smile.
  • If the pandemic endures, I’ll continue my role of Invisible Pickup Customer. Despite reservations, confirming emails, receipts, pickup signs and angels blowing trumpets where I park, I will continue to elude pickup personnel at each and every store.
  • Out of deep concern for the local economy, I will order takeout. Three times a day.
  • In 2021, I will talk to my microwave more than to humans. Which probably is good, because mostly I yell at it to shut up.
  • I resolve not to camp in Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma.
  • I will continue to brighten the days of IT personnel and car mechanics with the astute diagnostic phrase, “It doesn’t work.”
  • I will regard all device updates as tools of the devil and Russia.
  • I will not lift my car to clean its underside.
  • I resolve to write in cursive, though my grandchildren believe I am using hieroglyphics. Not surprising, as I helped build the pyramids.
Image by TheDigitalArtist from Pixabay.
  • Finally, I will stumble through playing and singing one praise song daily, thankful that my childhood dog — who howled epithets when I sang — no longer critiques me. Fortunately, Jesus and Hubby like it.

See? A simple, innovative approach. Profound. And free. (You only pay for shipping.)

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you ready to take the resolution leap in 2022?

Miracle Morning Sickness

Unlike Mary, Jesus’s mother, and Zechariah, John the Baptist’s dad, my husband and I didn’t see angels when we learned we would be parents. Medical tests one December confirmed our first child was under construction. Our Christmas miracle.

Other confirmations seemed less wonderful. Entering Grandma’s kitchen Christmas morning, I nearly fainted. The fragrance of spareribs, usually mouth-watering, spun my stomach onto a Tilt-A-Whirl ride. Our teeny-tiny daughter, who later adored Christmas cookies, ate zero that day.

Image by Eukalyptus from Pixabay.

Soon my waistline and feet vanished. One guy, playing a game at my couples’ shower, guessed my belly diameter measured seven feet. He shouldn’t have lived to procreate. Because his wife was my friend, I allowed it.

Given pregnancy and delivery, how does the human race continue?

Yet, according to Dr. Luke’s biblical account, devout, elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth longed for that miracle. Marginalized because of infertility, they had lost hope.

Then Gabriel, an angel, appeared to the freaked-out priest, proclaiming they’d have a son.

Even an angel couldn’t convince Zechariah. Still, as Elizabeth’s baby bump swelled under old-lady dresses, his faith grew.

Meanwhile, Gabriel visited teenaged Mary in Nazareth and greeted her as the soon-to-be mother of the Messiah.

Mary was engaged, not married. She hadn’t been with Joseph or anyone else. This intruder was delusional, maybe dangerous. If I’d been Mary, I would’ve called 911.

Instead, she listened — and believed he came from God. Mary offered herself to whatever He had in store.

Image by dodo71 from Pixabay.

Gabriel also said Elizabeth was pregnant, too.

This, Mary had to see. Had Gabriel shared God’s truth? Or was that stranger crazier than she?

When big-bellied Elizabeth greeted Mary as the mother of her Lord, Mary’s festering doubts disappeared.

Elizabeth knew. Mary didn’t have to explain. Or hide.

The pregos could tell their stories without boring each other. They could gripe about swelling feet. They agreed that neither could stand spareribs.

Both, however, had developed cravings for pickled goat. If Zechariah balked at buying it, Mary would.

With her young body, she accomplished tasks creaky Elizabeth couldn’t. But the older woman’s lifelong faith, despite hardship, strengthened the teenager’s. God, who already had done miracles, wasn’t finished yet.

Image by gamagapix from Pixabay.

Because He gave those women each other, Elizabeth could face people asking if John was her grandson. Mary could go home to her parents. Face Joseph. Face rabbis who might throw rocks.

Our oldest daughter’s first Christmas. She made the spareribs worth it.

Mary would need more miracles. Still, God wasn’t finished yet.

Because Mary accepted stressing along with blessing, Jesus came and redeemed humankind.

Today, His miracles may also include not-so-spiritual complications, some nastier than morning sickness. Some, perhaps dreams come true.

He’s not finished yet.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you think He will work in 2022?

For My True Love

Image by geralt from Pixabay.

Have you spent endless hours seeking Christmas gifts for your Numero Uno?

We search stores. Dig through photos, files, and websites for unique gifts that say, “I love you.” Right, guys?

We’re all inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Mr. True Love went all out to find his sweetheart’s presents. Five gold rings notwithstanding, though, romantic zeal doesn’t always translate to gift-giving know-how.

Our first Christmas together, my true love gave me gloves. Hairy-looking, mottled red and gray gloves, the like of which I had not seen before, nor have since. Later, I learned his mother, terrified her 17-year-old was hurrying into something serious, had suggested a pair.

He should have asked her help.

My future husband’s gift-giving impairment didn’t surprise me, though, because my father was the world’s worst. The oh-is-something-happening-tomorrow? thought never occurred to him before Christmas Eve. Second, penny-pinching Dad comprehended zero about Mom’s preferences.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay.

Around age 10, I noticed their annual conflict.

Dad bought Mom a blue eyelet dress, perfect for running through daisies.

“Pretty!” I cheered. “Like the ones the eighth graders wear!”

Mom grated, “I’m not in eighth grade.”

True. Most eighth graders didn’t have five children. And even I saw the dress was four sizes too small.

The following year, Dad bought her a practical gift. A slip the size of your average city bus.

After 25 years of bombing, he finally welcomed his daughters’ help in choosing Mom’s Christmas gift.

My husband learned much faster. Now he’s so good, he should teach gift-giving lessons. Hubby could have helped the guy who teased his girlfriend one holiday season, insisting he’d give her an iron.

Image by stevepb from Pixabay.

She responded with cute giggles.

He purchased a super-cheap iron, gave it away, and packaged a romantic gift in the box.

She unwrapped it. No cute giggles.

He spent the rest of Christmas trying to persuade her to: Open. The. Box.

If it’s the thought that counts, a traveling salesman’s wife blew that aspect. She gave him a week’s supply of socks, all dotted with her portrait.

Having dissed all these givers, I tried to be fair, asking Hubby, “What Christmas gift for you did I blow?”

He shrugged. “None I remember.”

None? Our relationship has spanned almost five decades.

I threw my arms around him. “You’re so forgiving!”

“Forgetful’s probably the word.”

“At our age, same difference.” I hugged him again.

During the holidays, I often lie awake. Did I buy the teens’ gift cards from stores that will ruin their reputations for life? Are the in-laws allergic to blue? Do little ones’ toys contain kryptonite?

Hubby’s forgiving/forgetting my Christmas miscues is the best present he could give me.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s the best/worst gift your spouse has given you?

Classic Post: The Perfect Christmas Tree?

This post first appeared on December 9, 2015.

Ask a thousand people to describe what makes a perfect Christmas tree.

You’ll receive 966 rapturous — and opinionated — answers.

What about the other four? A few Christmas-tree-impaired people don’t get it. My father, who loved trees, saw no sense in chopping down an evergreen, hauling it inside, and decorating it with expensive baubles.

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay.

Fortunately, Mom overruled him. Because of Dad’s reluctance to contribute, though, we celebrated with a tree that looked as if it had been mugged by a Grinchy Weed eater. But Mom filled our tree’s gaps with strategic placement of greeting cards. We decorated with our scanty string of big-bulb lights, the ornaments we and our pets hadn’t yet broken, plus glittery Sunday school paper bells and stars. We draped random garlands of popcorn and, as a finishing touch, tossed on wads of shiny icicles. Finally, we gathered outside the picture window, shivering and marveling at the most perfect tree in the world.

With my background, I am not choosy. I always allowed Hubby and the children to select our tree. If it appeared undernourished, we dangled extra ornaments and strategically placed large greeting cards á la Grandma. If its lower layers stuck out too much, I sympathized, as mine tend to do that around Christmas, too.

Image by Meelina from Pixabay.

On the other hand, my husband makes great tree choices. While flexible, he insists upon one stipulation: the tree’s trunk must be straight, as in a perfect ninety-degree angle to the ground. No leaning, even if it’s a little tired of the holidays.

I only ask that the tree look fresh and green. No yellow needles. And they must cling to the branches like a scared-of-Santa toddler to his mommy. Please, no needles scattered abroad, their prickly presence lodged forever in my socks, sweaters and undies.

Although we miss the kids, our empty nest simplifies the selection process. Hubby, measuring trunk angles with a protractor, will get his Christmas tree wish. I, giving each one the super-shake test, will too. We’ll haul home a fresh, green tree with a straight trunk.

Our straight and fresh Christmas tree.

So far, we’ve never found a flawless one. But that makes sense. Advent is all about God’s coming because we — and our world — are flawed. A Christmas tree reminds us what He can do with imperfection.

After we’ve decorated our tree, I will drag Hubby outdoors by the picture window and force him to enjoy the view.

“It’s straight,” he’ll say proudly.

“Yes, isn’t it?” I’ll answer as we hold each other close in the darkness, shivering with delight.

No, our tree is not perfect. But it’s the most beautiful tree in the world.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What makes your tree the most beautiful in the world?

Classic Post: Weird Things for Which I’m Thankful

This post first appeared on November 22, 2017.

No doubt, our Creator appreciates gratitude for freedom to worship Him, for family, friends, food and shelter. But my cornucopia also bursts with weird things for which I am thankful, including:

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay.

Avocados. As a missionary kid in Mexico, I picked them up like apples under big trees. I still am a guacamole junkie. How many other fattening foods are good for me?

Shots. Immunizations don’t rank as my preferred activity, and certainly not my grandchildren’s. But because of shots’ protection, holiday hugs and kisses induce only mild winter plagues.

Black, washable pants. They love sparkly holiday tops and simple ones. They’re immune to stains and grandbaby spit. Roomy in the rear, they don’t desert me after the holidays, as many of my clothes do.

My piano. I don’t own a grand or even a baby grand. But my little Baldwin comprised our first major purchase after Hubby finished medical school. I thought we should spend his first paychecks on practical items. He insisted, “You miss having a piano.” Whenever I play, it still sings a love song.

Our baby trees, whose lanky little branches and colorful fall foliage inspire me with lavish dreams for their future.

Image by lovini from Pixabay.

Our camper. The one Hubby purchased when I was too sick to fight it. Even sitting idle, it sets us free. Already, we picture days in the green woods and s’mores around campfires on starry nights.

Gummy worms. Incredibly lifelike, they possess magical powers. When decorating a grandson’s birthday cake, they enable me to resist eating it.

Our brown sofa. Thank God, Hubby talked me out of buying a red one. Otherwise, after eight years, it would present a less-than-artistic mosaic of peanut butter, jelly, pizza, mustard and gravy stains. Because of, um, the grandchildren. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

My neighbor’s yard. Raked and pristine, it gives me a goal to shoot for when I grow up.

Free chips and salsa. A highlight of dining in Mexican restaurants.

Image by Lilly Cantabile from Pixabay.

Laid-back drivers. People who drive sl-o-o-ow-ly on two-lane highways annoy me to the point I pray aloud to occupy mind and mouth. They even force me to notice the loveliness I miss when whipping by as usual.

Accelerators. Cars wouldn’t be much good without them, right?

Ditto for brakes. And headlights.

Paper towels. While living in Ecuador for two months, I missed them terribly. (Thank goodness, Ecuador did manufacture toilet paper.)

Our grandson at the beach.

Baby smiles. They always ruin a bad day.

A critic might protest, “Your list goes on forever!”

True. I never run out of weird things for which to be thankful, because my Creator never, ever stops giving.

He’s weird that way — and wonderful.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What odd reasons for gratitude pop up on your list?

Winter Outerwear: The Mayhem, The Mary Magic

If you live in Florida … why are you reading this?

To gloat? Floridians do that.

So did Aristotle Onassis, who married John F. Kennedy’s widow, Jackie. Aristotle’s logic: “Because I am a rich person … I have to tip $5 each time I check my coat. On top of that, I have to buy a very expensive coat, and it would have to be insured. Added up, without a topcoat, I save $20,000 a year.”

Instead, Mr. and Mrs. Onassis probably spent cold months — and considerably more than $20,000 — where wintry mix is unknown.

If you, like me, endure cold weather and lack $500 million, you know the blessing and curse of winter outerwear.

The curse?

All Midwesterners recall being stuffed into snowsuits like sausage. Perhaps the sleep-deprived woman I called my mother, having stuffed, unstuffed (bathroom breaks), and restuffed five children into snowsuits, grabbed the wrong girl off the playground. Maybe she extracted, fed and hurried me to bed without recognizing she’d goofed.

I later endured her sweaty, August ritual of trying on winter outerwear. Buttons and zippers refused to cooperate. Tight sleeves crawled up arms.

Mom grimly calculated costs. Why couldn’t children grow wool like sheep?

As a second grader, I remember shopping for (drumroll) a rare new coat. I adored a blue parka with a hood — super-cool!

My mother’s choice: a long, old-lady coat. As school codes decreed girls wore dresses, it would have kept my legs toasty.

Mom bought the parka! She wasn’t so bad. Even if she wasn’t my real mother.

Eventually, I overcame my accidental kidnapping, acquired a job, and bought a double-breasted, navy coat. With a tam I privately tossed like Mary Tyler Moore during her TV show’s theme song, I felt like a star.

Sadly, I forgot the Mary coat in a restroom. Within minutes, it vanished.

Later, a young mother, I cherished a mauve parka with different magic. Diapers and bottles fit in kangaroo-sized pockets. Or a baby in the left one and a toddler in the right.

Only when I stuffed three little ones into snowsuits did I realize my not-real mom should have won a Purple Heart. Every venture outside included a howling smackdown with my son.

Now, he (heh-heh) wrestles his toddlers into snowsuits.

Since then, attractive coats have warmed me, but none possessed Mary magic.

Recently, Hubby took me shopping for a new coat. I almost settled for another serviceable one. Then I spotted it.

A Mary Tyler Moore coat.

With its furry hood, I’ll be super-cool when I brave Midwestern tundra.

Floridians, who never experience such enchantment, eat your hearts out.

Aristotle Onassis, you, too.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever possessed a Mary coat?

That Between-Holidays Feeling

The calendar gap spanning Halloween and Thanksgiving gives me that between-holidays feeling.

Image by Michael Shivili from Pixabay.

Many, craving Christmas, skip it.

Me? I want to slow down. With no more scary skulls, spider webs and zombies, why not continue the fun of pumpkins, cute scarecrows and gorgeous leaves?

Another cause for celebration: colder weather brings comfort food — though the official Comfort Food Day is December 5. Do holiday authorities really think I’ll wait that long for chicken and noodles?

Fortunately, this influx of calorie-rich food is accompanied by baggy sweaters, lifesavers until New Year’s resolutions ruin everything.

Not all between-holiday positives are unhealthy. Though the growing season is finished, carrots, still residing in our garden, will bless our table. Tomatoes and peppers rescued from frost glow in golden and red splendor before patio doors. Why my parents ripened garden produce on paper grocery sacks, I don’t know. But following suit recalls their love of autumn and determination not to let food go to waste.

Rescue efforts during this between season include the migration of shivering, potted plants from porches to places inside. For plant lovers like me — and my longsuffering husband — this can prove challenging:

Image by zbuhdalu from Pixabay.

Me: I can’t let this begonia freeze. It started blooming again. My zinnias. My herbs —

Husband: How many pots have you brought in?

Me: So far, only 37.

Hubby: Where will you put them? What will we do with them at Thanksgiving? You know Tate [our toddler grandson] loves plants.

Me: Let’s hide them in our room.

Hubby: (resignedly) Gives a whole new meaning to “flower bed,” right?

Sadly, this between season doesn’t preclude yardwork. Not only should I trim perennials and compost withered annuals, but thousands of leaves wait to pounce on us. No raking deadlines are etched in stone, but this must be accomplished by Thanksgiving, right?

As should major indoor cleaning. My chaotic office — drafted as a “spare bedroom” during the holidays — couldn’t provide overnight accommodations for a visiting chihuahua. Our neglected home dictates a major cleanup. However, we have six grandsons, ages 3 to 15. Given Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings, why would anyone possessing a brain cell perform such an exercise in futility?

Wait.

I, too, have shifted to pondering the holiday season. Thoughts of cooking, shopping and wrapping cram my mind like too many ornaments on a gaudy Christmas tree.

Friends who are aliens already have completed shopping and wrapping. They’ve designed and frozen perfect cookies for Santa — plus enough for the entire state of Indiana.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

But I still sip pumpkin spice lattes when I can find them. Savor that rare, soon-to-vanish feeling of having some money.

Let’s enjoy between-holidays feelings while we can.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you in a hurry for Christmas?