January 8th, 2018



I don't think this was the first year we didn't watch any holiday movies, but it's definitely the first year where I threw away all the ones we have...they were on VHS tapes and we don't even have a player anymore. Goodbye Rudolph! Goodbye Fred Astaire in Santa Claus is Coming to Town! Goodbye Grinch! Goodbye Ralphie! Goodbye (and good riddance) Little Drummer Boy! I recycled all the cases and Anders will take the videotapes themselves to the dump the next time he goes and make sure they get put in the right place.

It made me a bit sad because I loved watching Rudolph and the Grinch and the old Rankin/Bass stop-motion masterpieces each year, that were such a big part of my childhood holiday memories. I guess I'll have to buy them from Apple TV or stream them next year, since I don't want to buy DVDs either.

This weekend was spent taking Christmas down. Only the advent lights and stars are still up in the windows, bringing a bit of light into an otherwise icy, dark, Swedish winter. Despite the fact that we've passed the solstice, it will be dark here for a long time, so even though the rest of the holiday bling has been packed up, the lights feel more like a necessity than an extravagance. The tree was so dry and droopy-stiff that even Anders didn't make a fuss about keeping everything out until Tjugonde Knut, which is far too long in my opinion, anyway! His gingerbread house is still out, though...not sure when I'll throw that away. It's so cute!

Anders has started a winter project, making a wooden kayak from scratch. He got the plans for it from me for Christmas LAST year but is only now getting around to starting it. It takes up the entire garage and that's just the frame/base to build the kayak around. If you are interested, you can follow along with his progress on Instagram: @anders_62

Martin made it back to Detroit in one piece on Thursday. He got to Newark without problems, but was unable to get a flight rebooked until 8:30 am Sunday. So, we got in touch with my sister, who lives a few hours away, and he managed to get a train to Hartford, Connecticut, where she and her husband had driven through the snow chaos to pick him up. He stayed with them for 2 nights, and managed to get moved up to a flight on Saturday afternoon. He stayed with friends Saturday and moved back into the dorm yesterday. Classes start today, so he made it just in time!

Work was insane today. There is SO MUCH OF IT. I worked until well after 5 and didn't even feel like I made a dent. And as ozswede so cheerily informed me, there are NO public holidays until EASTER. That's TWELVE weeks. I don't know if I can manage that. Sheesh. Last year I took every Friday in March off...maybe I'll have to do that again. Although, I DO plan on taking off time in the beginning of March, to see my best and oldest friend who is coming over to this side of the world. I haven't seen her since 2009 in The Netherlands, when we met up (with a couple of other old junior high friends from our gang) at our old school. She lives in Oregon, which isn't easy for me to get to, even when I am in the States. I can't even remember how long before that we last saw each other.

Anyway, she and her husband and a friend are coming to London to see Hamilton, visit family, (her husband is English) and then they are coming to Amsterdam for a few days, where I will meet them before bringing them back to Sweden for a bit. I CAN'T WAIT!! When it goes 10 years or more between our get-togethers, we have to make the most of every chance. We used to write stories about our future selves, when we were "old", in which we all lived together in a big house and drove our caretakers crazy with our shenanigans. I doubt that will ever become reality, so we'll have to party it up for the limited time we do get to have together this year. Who knows when we'll see each other again? After all, we're like the living equivalent of VHS tapes. I suspect if our children thought of it that way, they'd probably be taking us apart for recycling right now.