We went back to Glasgow last weekend to help Dad and Anne decorate their tree and see some friends.
The younger-than-us people sitting across from us on the train thought we were Mormon, because of Sarge’s beard. We figured they meant Amish, but further figured they were too drunk to compare and contrast. We arrived in Glasgow laughing and cold, with some doughnuts to test on my people. The second batch looked more like doughnuts. So much more that Sarge wanted me to get a picture of them. I didn’t.
We got to the house and had doughnuts with eggnog. And I actually got that warm feeling inside that meant the holidays had arrived in my heart and mind. And maybe it meant I was a little tipsy, too.
We then decided to put the tree in the stand, and spent a lot of time and problem-solving skills trying to make it fit and not fall over.
‘If we wedge a door-stop in there, saw a bit off the end…’
Sarge volunteered to do the actual sawing, and ended up with a band-aid on his hand, after ‘grazing’ it. I said his injury meant he had to repeat it next year.
For my part, I sat in the middle of the living room eating chocolate mints and saying, ‘No, it’s crooked…yes, it’s fine…no, it’s crooked again.’ I’m not the best person for the job.
When we went to bed, the tree was up. Without decorations on it. I wonder if naked Christmas trees will be a new family tradition.
The next morning, the gift I ordered for my Dad arrived. Before we left, he asked to open it.
On the way to meet friends at a coffee-shop, I took a picture of what the world looks like. It’s one of my favourite shots of the year.
I then had hot chocolate at the coffee-shop and talked about the snow and other things with friends until it was time to get the train back to Edinburgh. The train stopped, and we met friends at the pub, where I declared, ‘It’s too cold to snow tonight.’ I’m eating those words.
On Sunday, there was another snow dump on the way to the book-group. Even though Invisible was my choice this month, all I remember saying at the meeting is, ‘I can’t feel my face.’
Sarge and I went to the shops after books and coffee and thawing out. Christmas shopping that isn’t online might not be the best thing for even the strongest relationships.
‘Right, wanna break up?’ I asked.
I then realised what I’d said.
‘I meant, in the shop. In the shop. For shopping. On second thought, let’s shop together. Don’t go.’
I wanted to get something else for him in case the stuff I bought online and without misunderstandings didn’t arrive. I told him to pick a DVD . Because I didn’t want to break up in the shop. Or anywhere. He picked something. And his real gift arrived the next day.
That was the day my front wheels began to squeak and rebel against all the snow and salt they’ve had to contend with. Beautiful and photogenic snow makes for angry wheels.
And Sarge came home with a can of WD-40, saying it was the least romantic gift he would ever give me. It actually made me giddy. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a can of WD-40.