12 October 2006

No light

With many thanks and apologies to Doug Adams:

"Whhhrrrr..." said Arthur Dent. He opened his eyes.

"It's dark," he said.

"Yes," said Ford Prefect, "it's dark."

"No light," said Arthur Dent. "Dark, no light."

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about human beings was their habit of continually stating and repeating the obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn't know about.

"Yes," he agreed with Arthur, "no light."

This is what I hate about fall and winter. I can handle the cold and snow, but I hate the dark. It makes me pertpetually sleepy. It makes it seem like midnight at suppertime in January. It smothers me like a choking haze and not at all like a friendly, warm blanket. It makes the cold seem colder. Yuck. I LOVE cloudless nights with a huge moon and snow on the ground. It's like a cosmic "In your face!" to the dark of winter. I realize I've got 6 months to go, but I thought I'd get this out of my system.


We got the first snow yesterday. It won't be around long; it barely covers the ground and temps are heading back up to the 50s this weekend. Had some cool visuals, though. The clouds pushed through really quickly, and in multiple layers. The snow came in hard teeny tiny pellets pushed by the wind, and often would be flying around in the sunshine as the layers of clouds overlapped. We had a windy, grey, overcast, bright, sunny, snowy day. In the evening I was driving home, and you could see this activity from a distance. It was yet another "wish I had my camera" moment. You know how you can see rain falling miles off, coming down in dark streaks from the clouds? Last night, with the cloud cover, sunset and twilight in just the right combination, we had the same effect in negative, white fluffy streams down from dark clouds. It was really cool. I love weather.


Christmas is coming. Our first Christmas gathering comes the weekend after Thanksgiving. I guess that's become the easiest time to get together for my side of the family.

I have been sucked into a "gift ideas" thread. Jennifer over at Snapshot has started gathering ideas for awesome presents.
I have 4 kids blessed with many relatives who love to give them presents. The girls are all now old enough to really enjoy getting clothes, though they still like toys, too. Even Thing 4 likes clothes if they have Elmo or Thomas or something cool on them. Several years ago, as we were trying to fight the battle of clutter, I asked the folks to think about alternative presents for the kids: ie, things that don't wind up on the floor for Mom to step on. Grandma D took us right up on that. Every year for their birthday, each Thing gets their own weekend with Grandma. They have gone to movies, museums, circuses, ice shows, and inevitably, Chuck E. Cheese. They have even opted to go combine weekends a couple of times. They do crafts and go swimming, visit neighbor horses and puppies, and are gifted with memories that will last far longer than any Fisher Price plastic.
Auntie Tahmi (shameless plug--also full of great gift ideas!) gives each Thing a B&N gift card, complete with a "just us girls" (so far) trip to the store to use it, and have a treat in the coffee shop. They talk about it for months, seeing something they like and stating that they'll save that for the trip to B&N. The trip includes a half hour ride to the nearest mall; they draw for turns in the front seat and whoever loses out gets to sit next to Tahmi in the booth. As much as they enjoy all their gifts, these are the ones that I hear stories about months after the fact.
I tried to do the same think with my nephew, and bought us tickets to see Elmo live. A snowstorm kept me from getting there, but thank God the crew at the Target center box office was really easy to work with and held our seats for his dad to come and claim so he could still go with his family. I intend to keep trying, and hopefully will be able to have some fun with him and his sister before they graduate.


I am the laundry maven today. Turning the closets over from spring to summer, washing, storing, throwing and donating to Goodwill as I go. One benefit of small closets: I have to do this twice a year so I can stay on top of the laundry monster. Having three girls has made it tough, but I've finally learned that I don't have to save EVERY cute little outfit until all three girls have worn it. My laundry is in the basement, but I have a TV down there, so I hope to sort into piles to delegate the kids to put away when they get home and dad wakes up. I can see already this will be the biggest challenge for me as we roll into this night thing. I can get a lot of laundry done on my day off, but I can't be banging in and out of the closet in my room. Oh well, we'll adjust as we have to. And now, to the basement!


Britmum said...

I don't wanna fight about the Mac.... I am waving a flag... each to their own.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the plug!

I think that I will add this as a separate category--non-toy gifts for kids, because it's a great idea.

My idea is magazine subscriptions, and I know some grandparents pay for music lessons or something as a gift. No clutter, and gifts that last all year!

Gette said...


awwwwww. yer no fun. I was spoilin' for a rumble, too...


Cool! We get a couple of mags, too. The kid who got them was really distracted by the "tangible" presents in front of her at Christmastime, but she has looked forward to them every month since they started coming.

Overwhelmed! said...

I love the idea of "time with me" gifts. Good for Grandma D for thinking of that.

I think for my nephew's birthday coming up this month I'm going to mail him a Barnes & Noble gift certificate with explicit instructions that it's not to be used until I fly back for Thanksgiving so that we can make an outing of it together. :)

Thanks for your comment on my WFMW No Fear Shakespeare post.

I totally agree with you. These books should be viewed as a supplement, not a replacement!

Jennifer said...

Gette--what I do when I buy a gift subscription is to buy them the current month of the magazine and wrap it up and give it to them, so that they have something tangible.

I'm glad that you brought this idea up, because I have another idea that I will work up and post next week about this, too.

cosmic junkie said...

Hey, what a great blog you have here! (thought I would state the obvious. Thanks, Doug!) Macs are awesome btw. I was just defending my $50 imac against someones new Dell yesterday with no fear.

Cliff Morrow said...

A great post here Gette. The Christmas talk got me very nervous. Don't tell anyone but we got Lion King tickets for my daughter and etal for Cristmas. It comes to Omaha in January.
I think I have people who would like a gift of time away from me.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

i have totally blocked that part about the snow out..

Heather said...

We have been moving towards the same thing. My kids have to get rid of a toy for each new one (which the grandparents know and which means if theylike something old more than the new then they often choose to get rid of the new--meaning the grandparents have finally quit buying a ton of cheap toys and instead focus on one they ask for.) I like the Barnes and Noble idea. I think I will mention it to my MIL who is desperately searching for something special to do instead.