December 4th, 2021



We're now in the end run, counting down through the last month of the year. The clock on 2021 is running out. Thankfully, the clock to the winter solstice is counting up and it's only a month, give or take, until the darkest day, and then the slow return of the light. We've had snow on the ground for a week, and extremely cold temperatures. Here in Flyinge, for some reason, everything sticks and ices over and hangs on for weeks after the rest of Skåne to the south of us has melted. It's pretty, so I mostly don't mind, though the icy streets in our village are a pain.

Because of the snow, we had to change gears abruptly on Tuesday. I was supposed to work in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday but Anders had not had time to get the winter tires on the cars...and we didn't have winter tires for the Tesla at all, because they weren't available in time. It was snowing all day Tuesday. Anders took Martin with him to Lund, to work, in the Volvo, and called me to say I should definitely stay home. Luckily for me, that wasn't an issue. It snowed all day. Anders came home early and got the winter tires on the Volvo for me, because I had to be in Malmö that evening for the AIC meeting and cookie exchange. He changed the tires on Karin's car, too. And finally yesterday evening he was able to get to the Tesla dealer to get the winter tires (put on the summer rims because the winter rims are still on order) put on. So now we're all set and everything is, of course, melting.

My to-do list now mostly consists of end-of-the-year things: write the Xmas letter, write and mail Xmas cards, bake Xmas cookies, get the Xmas tree and trim it, and finish the Xmas shopping...I'm very nearly done as it is. I just need a few more stocking stuffers each for the kids, the "big" presents for each of them, and one more thing for Anders. I've done nearly all my shopping online, both for my family abroad, and my family and friends here, but I think I will probably go into town and to the mall tomorrow to do a big final shop. Martin's birthday is on Tuesday and two of his presents haven't arrived yet (I can't even tell if they've shipped), which is annoying, as I will have to find substitutes. I can give the missing ones to him for Christmas, assuming they ever show up.

Tonight, I'm going with Debbie and Camilla to a Celtic Christmas concert in Malmö. We're meeting early at Camilla's to hang out and chat and have dinner beforehand. I'm looking forward to it, as the last couple of times we were together it was with families, which is fun, but not the same. I have their Christmas presents (though they aren't wrapped yet), but we're not exchanging gifts until later.

We don't actually have that much on the calendar between now and Christmas, though we have to coordinate getting together with Anders' sister and family, both for Martin's birthday, since her kids still haven't seen him since he moved home, and for Christmas itself. That feels right, to take it easy as much as possible now at the end of this second crazy year of pandemic and unrest in the world. I don't feel like the crazy is over, though, far from it, so some time spent recharging and girding our loins for the next year feels much needed.