So today we had 63 degrees for a high temperature. Two days ago it was 15. The forecast indicates we’ll continue to see this vacillating back and forth throughout the next week. Tomorrow temps drop again and maybe there’ll be a little freezing rain overnight. Saturday and Sunday, warmer with sunshine. Hard to make any sense of it, until someone suggested to me that it was probably the Cold Miser and the Heat Miser with their regular sibling rivalries. Most of you get the reference, right? Please tell me it’s mostly just my friend Vicki who never saw the Rankin and Bass classic The Year Without A Santa Claus, with Mickey Rooney as a grumpy Santa and Shirley Booth as Missus Claus.
I did take advantage of the nice temperatures to spend a few minutes at the beach today on the way to the office. We had strong, gusty winds overnight which brought us today’s high temperatures and they were whipping about a bit at the beach. But it only sounded cold.
This isn’t much of a blog post, really. Essentially, I’m feeling a little like this is my away message: “You have reached the blog of the Midnight Gardener. Greg is off having Holiday Themed Adventures in the Big Apple and probably won’t be posting for a bit. Thanks for visiting and have a great day.” because I am leaving tomorrow and will be gone throughout the weekend, with little time for or access to a computer. I’m all packed and will hit the road for Connecticut as soon as the bank opens and I can cash my paycheck. But in the meantime, am I sleepy? No, of course not.
And a conversation with Marisa, who shares December 12th as a birthday with me has me thinking about past birthdays, as I get excited about this one. It’s been forever since my birthday hasn’t had some kind of commitment or other. Usually it’s a workday. In college, it was usually the first day of Finals. This year I have the day off, and I’ll be wandering around one of my favorite places in the world…and spending time with some pretty terrific friends, too. That’s often a theme of my birthday, working or not, I’m happy to say: the Friends.
Random flashes of Birthdays Past spring to mind. I remember answering phones with my pal Bob for a public television telethon (*Chris Shaw, were you in the studio that night?) in Schenectady one year, with tiramisu afterwards. I can hear Hark, The Herald Angels Sing played by Andy on a solitary trumpet echoing across a frozen pond in Saranac Lake, freshly falling snow softening the sound. There was barhopping with Spike and Tom in Plattsburgh on another year (let’s keep the details entre nous, eh, Spike?). One year I received a gold wedding band in lieu of an actual commitment. For a much earlier birthday, it was the funeral of my great grandpa Flannery.
You hear a lot from people about dreading those big round numbers that mark off the passing of decades…but those have never bothered me all that much. The one that freaked me out in its approach was the 27th. I recall that it bothered me I’d never been so close to 30 before. As it turns out, it was pretty delightful, as I spent the evening sipping Guinness with a handsome Nutcracker Prince in between performances, listening to him read his poetry. Other years there were caroling parties, or Christmas concerts or Messiah sings. Many years have included a festive red and green Jell-O cake. Once or twice my day has coincided with staff holiday parties.
Of course, like any day, you never know exactly what you’ll get. So it’s good to keep expectations low, and plans adaptable. There are a few things I think I can count on this year: I’ll have seen some of my dear family the night before. I’ll have the pleasure of traveling by train to that great isle of Manhattan. I hope to have a visit with Santa Claus and to see The Most Beautiful Tree In The World. And like always, there’ll be dear friends.
Meanwhile, here at the Nest, the Downstairses have put up their holiday decorations outside, to say Merry Fishmas to you.