Monday, January 10, 2005

O Tannenblog.

On Sunday, Christmas was laid to rest around our house. The tree, dry as a treatise on offshore reinsurance, had to go, and so it went. As usual, it wanted to stay, which I know because it left so much of itself on the carpet, and some other places that I’m certain it never went. Pine needles have a way of traveling, especially when little feet are active nearby.

To do the needle-vacuuming job, I had to bring in the wet/dry vac—the Big Suck, it ought to be called. Our other vacuums are ill. The Hoover upright is far past prime, and noisy as an aircraft carrier deck must be. The smaller Hepa-Shark Euro-Pro sounds fine, but it doesn’t suck squat. I spent some time with it over the weekend, and the problem seems to be in the vacuum attachment, which has that fine Euro-style, but also seems completely impossible to open up and remove obstructions from. That’s Euro-style for you: it looks marvelous! You literal-minded Americans, worrying about how a thing works. So unsophisticated.

Then again, I suspect that the damn thing was built in the Orient anyway, so neither European nor American strawman sensibilities come into play.

The tree’s decorations returned to the garage, and Lilly’s little collection of presents left the living room, which will seem empty for a little while. The outdoor lights are still up, because they’re covered with snow. I haven’t lit them in a few days, and every day that passes fewer and fewer other light strings are aglow in the neighborhood. I think I saw only two last night. Tempus fugit.

A brief visit to Target yesterday provided the season’s final holiday purchase: four boxes of tolerable Christmas cards at a 90% discount, for a grand total of about $1.50. Christmas has evaporated. Valentine’s cards and candies are now front and center in seasonal merchandising.


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