Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book News and Holiday Greetings

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past few weeks, this post explains it all. Our first Christmas in the condo presented me with many challenges, but before I get to that, some shameless self-promotion. Jagdish went back to India for three weeks in November. I used that time to put another volume of my blog essays to bed.

Retirement Sparks Redux is the third installment of my humorous takes on the retirement process and the ensuing life transition. Redux continues to showcase my signature style— edgy, irreverent and self-deprecating, but I offer a glimpse of a different style in the final section: Wistful Reflections. Retirement Sparks Redux is now available on Amazon and will soon be out in a Kindle version.

Back to my Christmas challenges. First, where were the various decorations I planned to put up? The shipping cartons left Oriole Avenue well labeled, including what floor they should go to in the new location. Unfortunately, there were so many cartons relegated to the basement that not every one labeled Christmas landed in the area I had set aside for them. It took several days to organize the boxes in a way that made sense and gave me a snowballs chance in that proverbial hot place of finding things.

The next challenge was to figure out where I would put certain items that I displayed every year at Oriole Avenue. Just one example: I put electric candles in the windows, a practice that many of our new neighbors also follow. Figuring out which windows would have how many candles wasn’t easy. At Oriole I put one candle in each very large window, but many windows here have an even number of multiple panes. That meant a wood strip would obscure the bulb. Those windows needed two candles.

That sorted out, I had to find the nearest outlets and decide what length extension cords were required. I bought and installed some new ones, only to uncover a stash of various cords a few days later that I had packed away but not remembered.

Deciding where to put the trees was also a challenge. Too many good places. Worse yet, the living room easily accommodates a ten foot tree. It virtually begs for one. But our stand won’t hold a tree that tall. More importantly, Jagdish and I can barely drag an eight-footer into the house, much less get it installed upright without help. We settled on two smaller trees and agreed to figure out a better solution next year. Read: find a stronger stand and line up some muscle well in advance of the holiday.

Now that my book is out, the candles are installed, the snowmen are placed in their new spots and the trees are up, I expect to get back on a weekly blogging schedule. Perhaps not next week, but soon thereafter. In the meantime, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to all!

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