Posted with thanks, unabashed hero worship, and apologies to E.B.White (7/11/1899 – 10/1/1985), author of Charlotte’s Web and other beloved tales. He wrote “Memorandum,” originally published in Harper’s Magazine in October of 1941 and then compiled into One Man’s Meat in 1942 along with numerous other exquisite essays from White’s writing life. I would listen to this man reading the phone book, and, therefore, celebrate the beauty of “mundane faithfulness” by borrowing his format and style for this blog post.
December 26, 2014
Today I should start tearing down the Christmas tree. The needles have been falling off for over a week, and if I don’t drag it out of the living room soon, there will be more needles in the vacuum cleaner bag than there are on its branches. Before I begin, however, I should open up the attic and bring down all the storage boxes so that everything will be put away properly. This would be a good day to do that because the boys are all home and can help with the sorting. I ought to repair the damaged ornaments and find hooks for all the orphaned decorations that are piled on top of the piano. Then everything can be packed away in good condition. First, though, I need to find the glue gun. I’ll ask Micah where he left it when he used it to repair one of the nativity scenes. Then I will pack up all the leftover wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbons, and tags so that I will know if I need to buy more on clearance. I will store them under my bed, and if I write a note to myself in my planner, I’ll remember that they are there next Christmas. Maybe.
Today I will drag the Christmas tree farther out into the woods than I did last year. I’ll take it out where I threw the pumpkins back in November. The cardinals have all but cleaned up the seeds — scarlet on orange brightening the dull brush pile. Maybe they’d like a new place to perch. While I’m at it, I ought to fill up all the birdfeeders. I’ll have to get a wheelbarrow and find the red scoop so I can do all those chores at the same time.
Once that Christmas tree is out of the house and the floor is vacuumed and the gift wrap is put away, I should hang the framed print of Andrew Wyeth’s Wind from the Sea that our good friends gave us for Christmas. That will require a length of picture wire and the right kind of nails, which means a trip to True Value and, as long as I’m going there anyway, I ought to ask Calvin if we need anything fixed on the chain saws. While I’m in town, I ought to run into Lincoln’s for some more sour cream. We’ve got chips left over from Christmas Eve dinner, and the kids will eat them up if I make some onion dip to help them slide down. Some clementines would be good too.
It is high time I cleaned out the refrigerator which is packed full of little scrids of this and that, leftovers from Christmas entertaining. This would be a good time to take on that task because the boys are home, and they won’t mind leftovers for lunch.
This would be a good day to run some Christmas goodies down to Charlie and Gail. I’ll do that before I go to town. Since I’m going out, I’d better finish up my thank you notes and drop them in the mailbox before the mail comes. Some of those thank you’s are long overdue. I should do it today while it is in my mind.
Today I should organize the shelves in the basement. I’ve given away a fair amount of canned vegetables, pickles and jams this Christmas, which has freed up enough space so that I can rearrange and consolidate. Of course, the man is coming to work on the furnace the first part of next week, so I ought to find that pile of old sheets to hang in front of all the shelves to keep soot off the jars while he’s tearing everything apart. I wonder if Ike and Christine would like to keep their cooler at their new apartment since they now have more room. I’ll have to email them and ask them about that. If I’m going to be on the computer for that, I ought to put out a blog post this week. Things have been pretty quiet around here, but maybe I can think of something to write about if I give myself some time. I see it’s half-past eleven already, though, and everyone will be getting hungry soon. I’d better get moving, especially since Calvin’s family is coming for lunch at noon.
Blessings to all on this Boxing Day as we all do eternally important things without realizing it.