December 23, 2012
On The 9th Day of The Reverse Commute: My Daughter is Home for the Holidays
My younger daughter flew in from Denver, Colorado last night and is home for the holidays. We went Christmas shopping today in a torrential downpour that lasted all afternoon. The rain was driving sideways down the road, pushing ankle deep waves of water towards my car. I felt like I was navigating a boat down an inky black river.
We scurried in and out of stores, dodging falling displays and signage as doors blew open, bringing a gust of wind through the store along with the holiday shoppers. In the spirit of Christmas, we stopped to put a cardboard rack of gift cards back together then moved it further from the door.
My daughter said she hadn’t seen dark gray clouds like this in weeks. There had been snow in Colorado but as always the blue skies returned within a day. I haven’t seen blue skies in a week.
So many people, when they hear I am moving to South Florida, ask, “Aren’t you going to miss the four seasons?”
“What four seasons?” I reply.
I haven’t seen spring in thirty years. Winter turns into rainy mud season then suddenly one day it is a muggy, hot, and humid ninety-two degrees. As a child I remember beautiful springs. The air was slightly warmer, the sun shone, and we’d dress in our Easter finest, taking pictures in front of the forsythia bushes. Lately it either snows or rains on Easter, and it’s too cold to take photographs wearing a pastel spring dress.
September is nice. It is my favorite month in New England, but by Halloween my daughters would be complaining about having to wear a winter coat over their Halloween costumes. Winter starts in October nowadays and lasts through April. For a region with four seasons, winter dominates the calendar.
Something I am looking forward to is having the time to enjoy Christmas this year. The holidays are the time when tradition seems important. I love going through the boxes of decorations and pulling out the same stockings each year. There are so many memories in those boxes, including the Christmas ornaments the girls made over the years and the ones we bought on various vacations.
Each year we cook the same foods. Although we are not Italian we love the tradition of serving seafood on Christmas Eve. I have been told it is good luck to make an odd number of dishes. As there will only be three of us this year we will be serving seafood chowder, scallop puffs, and smoked salmon with crackers.
Christmas Day arrives fast on the heels of Thanksgiving so it seems too early to be eating another big turkey dinner. We make a standing rib roast with twice baked potatoes and broccoli. This year I am also going to make the salad from The Reverse Commute, the one that is served with the Best Boy’s freshly caught striped bass. It is made with baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, sliced pears, goat cheese, and walnuts. The red and green are perfect for a Christmas day dinner and as the Best Boy says “This salad is award winning. restaurant quality. It is the best salad I have personally ever had.”
Tonight we will start baking cookies. Snickerdoodles, peanut butter blossoms, and my mother-in-law’s he-man chocolate chip cookies. Recipes handed down through the years keep the memory of loved ones alive.
When we arrived home from our wet and wild shopping outing, the sun finally did come out. A huge rainbow hovered above us. A winter rainbow for the winter solstice. A very good omen for the coming year.