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  Wednesday January 28th, 2015    

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Al Owne in the kitchen (12/29/2013)
By Al Owne
Phew! Itís over. I made it through another Christmas without too much emotional damage, I think. Much of my success was due to my not-so-far-away son, his wife, and daughter. We put my newly cleaned oven, large dining room, and massive table to good use. They brought dinner partially cooked along with snacks for before and desserts for after. To top it off, now I have a refrigerator full of yummy leftovers. Not only was I fed, but also we opened presents. Yes, I received presents, some came by mail and others by hand. I usually try to discourage clothing, because I donít need any and fitting me now that Iím shrinking vertically is difficult. However, one of my-pretty-far-away children can buy unusual items (not underwear) that fit and fit a need so theyíre usually appreciated.

This year, I received a toy by mail from another pretty-far-away-the-other-way child. This resulted in some confusion on my part. When I opened the FedEx box and saw it was a put-together Lego truck with a million pieces. I was puzzled as to the reason for this. Then a horrible thought came to mind. Did he buy this for a child, and it got miss-sent? A phone call relieved my worries; yes, it was for me. On these long winter dark nights, he thought I needed something to take my mind off winter and guard against depression and seasonal sadness. WellÖOK; itís been a long time since heís spent a winter here and he doesnít remember that everything you set out to do in the winter takes longer and is often a pain in the parka. Hey, Iíve got the massive dining room table cleared off, Iíll see if I can get it together by the end of Minnesota winter; I should have it done by June, eh?

I bought myself a new waffle iron. I already tried it out, and while it will take some getting used to, itís pretty slick. Itís kind of an old-fashioned one and I can still burn myself, which is comforting. I didnít want one of those newer flip-flop models; the waffles are too thick, so Iím pretty satisfied. My sort of local (Rochester) granddaughter bought me a box of waffle mix, which was greatly appreciated. Donít worry, those of you planning on Wafflerama, I still have the 1964 model ready for action with its third cord. I also received a couple of gift cards to eat out. At my point in life, gift cards are a good choice for me, especially those for food items from either groceries or eateries. After all, they donít take much wrapping and theyíre easy for Santa to haul around.

So my Christmas was pretty good, only dampened by the death of an acquaintance just before the Day. I guess at our age, we know that it can happen at any time, but it still hurts. My sympathy goes out to the family.

Whatís next; oh, yeah, New Years. That wasnít a big event for my late wife and me. Usually it meant going to someoneís house and seeing my wife fall asleep in a chair before the ball dropped in New York. More about New Yearís next week.

Winter has set in, so be careful out there and have a reasonable New Yearís. 


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