At one point on Sunday afternoon, I was gathering and stacking wood while Tara was in the kitchen baking. Then I went downstairs to watch football while she busied herself doing laundry. Rarely have our gender roles been so clearly—and, it must be said, stereotypically—defined.
It’s not always like that. Honestly, it’s rarely like that. If one of us were whipping up a fancy meal in the kitchen with an apron cinched around our waist and the other were changing the oil in her car, well, you wouldn’t need that pronoun to figure out who was doing what. So, given the novelty of the situation, I cherished my hunter/gatherer role for a few brief minutes before disappearing into the bedroom to sort and fold socks.
Further evidence of the fleeting nature of my alpha maleness: I took a personal day today to make spritz cookies and wrap gifts. Actually, I took the day off because PPL doesn’t roll over to the next year and I still had a balance of eight hours. When presented with a use it or lose it scenario, I am Team Use It. So, I decided to stay home and mess around with my gun.
Granted, it’s a cookie gun.
Shh. Move along, folks. There’s nothing to see here. Other than some delicious-looking coconut, lemon, orange, vanilla, and almond cookies.
The holiday season has long been synonymous with traditions. In the PNW, that meant attending the Festival of Lights at The Grotto and watching brightly decorated Christmas ships parade down the Columbia River and narrowly avoiding getting blown up by terrorists to catch the tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square. You know, the usual festive fun.
Out here, we had to come up with new traditions. One of our favorites is grabbing dinner downtown before hopping in the car and driving around to look at Christmas lights and decorations. We bring along mugs of hot cocoa that may or may not contain a splash of something adultish.
Last year, we discovered an amazing light display in Hermosa, a little town 20 or so minutes south of Rapid City with more cows than people. We thought maybe that display was a one-time event, because can you imagine his lighting bill, but nope. It was every bit as big and bright this year.
It’s official: this guy wins Christmas.
Another new tradition involves seeing It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen Christmas Eve. Last year was Tara’s first time getting to know George Bailey (how is that even possible??) and she loved the movie, so we bought tickets for the 1:00 show at the Elks Theatre tomorrow.
Not a tradition per se—but maybe it should be?—we’re meeting up with a bunch of Tara’s coworkers for drinks at our local dive bar this evening. We’ll probably play a little pool, too.
By the way, it’s a good thing I brought in all that wood on Sunday. It’s supposed to get super cold next week with arctic air settling in. Single digits for highs, below zero overnight.
Even the good ol’ PNW is forecasting frigid temps.
Not sure whether we’ll have any snow accompanying the cold yet but fingers crossed!
Have a merry Christmas y’all, and stay warm if you’re in the path of the polar vortex.