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Suburban Island

Simple Saturday with Dash of Snow
Saturday, Dec. 06, 2003, 4:53 p.m.

QUESTION: Who turned the snow off?

WHAT I LEARNED: Those front-yard reindeer don't get there by themselves.

We have had some snow here but it is the kind of snow that doesn't do much more than powder the ground, delay school by 2 hours, and infuse children's mind with dreams of endless snow days. There are some snowy patches in the common area and so the boy in the neighborhood have taken their snow gear there to take advantage of the weather such as it is. The ice drenched carpets, dryer loads filled with wet snow clothes, and the background noise of the TV as the kids de-thaw are soon to come.

My husband and I have just returned from a coffee run and a quick dash into the grocery store for necessities like cold cuts, canned tomato sauce, a bottle of wine, a 24 pack of Diet Coke, a big carton of lite butter pecan ice cream, some Charmin TP, and the latest copy of Woman's World - my favorite checkout counter magazine. With these purchases, we felt prepared for whatever the weather and the weekend would bring.

Arriving back home, we were just in time to negotiate the entrance and exit of our kids as they revel in their weekend. My son is going back out into the snow that is still left unmelted after lunch. My daughter is going to the mall with a friend for some power window-shopping. I am going to revel in my weekend by cleaning and continuing to attack my files, which are now so many unending stacks of paper lining my family room floor. I know if I threw it all out, it would probably be 99% okay but itís that 1% that bugs me. I am worried about that one important document or picture or piece of memorabilia hidden among the trash. I must find the flier from the beach that I will add to the scrapbook that I havenít started yet. I must make sure that every school document my kids ever generated is saved for posterity. I must be certain that I havenít lost some important personal document in this flurry of paper. I think I need the Clean Sweep team here to talk some sense into me.

And I have not even started decorating for the holidays. My husband is clinging to his recuperation from surgery to keep us from a frenzy of holiday decorating. He better hold on to his light-duty paperwork because this house will not be bereft of holiday cheer or holiday chore or holiday kitsch. We have to find the Santa that swivels his hips while he sings. We have to find the snowman that blows bubbles into the kitchen sink. We need the reindeer that lift their heads up and down to graze in front yard. And most of all we need a tree Ė a real tree, a real big tree. The battle of the tree is about to begin. The negotiations are already starting.

I smell Christmas in the air.

Peanuts cartoon images by Charles Schultz

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