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Friday Christmas Adventures

Last night Steven and I got into the Christmas spirit by going to Barnes & Noble in New Hartford, NY to hear a reading of Polar Bear Express by WKTV weatherman Bill Kardas and writer Dave Dellecese. I suppose it would have been nice to provide ourselves with a small child for such an event, but we made do with enjoying the kids that were there.

First we had to negotiate Christmas season rush hour traffic. Yikes! It can get a little hairy around Consumer Square, where Barnes & Noble is located. We first went a little beyond that destination to Olive Garden for dinner. I know, Mohawk Valley Girl likes local, unique restaurants and stores, but Friday I went to two chains. It happens.

After a good dinner with great service, we headed out. We had extra time, so we made a quick stop at Bremer’s Liquor Store, where they were having a wine tasting (ooh, that’s a local, unique place!). Unfortunately I did not have the notebook I like to put tasting notes in, but we did purchase a red blend called RedVolution in a Bota Box. Yum.

For one more stop, we walked around 5 Below, two doors down from the bookstore. Everything there is $5 or less. That was kind of fun to walk around, but nothing tempted us, so we were on to our destination.

Some nice young men were offering gift wrapping for donations as a fundraiser for their school (I foolishly did not make a note of the school; sorry). They gave us a card to give the cashier if we purchased anything, because the store would donate a portion of the sale to the school. I had planned to get Steven Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide, which he had asked for. This way he got his present early plus a little frisson of virtue for helping the school. We also got some coffee, which got the school another small donation. Every little bit helps!

We enjoyed the reading of the book. Dave was dressed as the conductor, which was fun. A man had a train whistle, so there were sound effects, too. A number of kids were there, one dressed in pajamas. Everybody seemed to have a good time. A slight disruption occurred when Dave said he was sure everyone present had been good and would get presents from Santa, and a woman in the audience piped up, “Steven was bad!” (I guess I don’t have to tell you who that was).

According to Bill Kardas’ Facebook page, Polar Express has become a tradition for Bill and Dave. It may become a tradition for me and Steven too.

What’s My Problem, Anyways?

I had not meant to have a Non-Sequitur Thursday this week. I had big plans for a Mohawk Valley adventure on my way home from work. And I was going to walk my dog. Either one should have provided sufficient material for at least a short post.

And then it started to snow. Oh, I know, we Mohawk Valley residents are used to snow. We just drive on, sometimes without fully cleaning off our cars (don’t shake your finger at me; I was talking about you!). It wasn’t even supposed to be that bad. The storm was to pass NEAR us, sending us some snow, but nothing to worry about. “Enough to shovel” was the way Bill Kardas put it on WKTV News.

I had somehow gotten the impression snow was not even predicted to start until late afternoon or evening. At work, my co-worker said he thought it was supposed to start around noon. I looked out the window.

“How about ten?” I suggested, pointing. It was in fact about ten minutes before ten (I keep close track of what time it is at work). I continued to watch the snow fall all afternoon (I work facing a window).

Another co-worker arriving in the afternoon said the roads were not too bad; just a little “greasy.” I think Fats Waller said it best: Life sure ain’t easy when you’re fat and greasy (life sho’ ain’t easy when yo fat and greezy, to be more accurate).

I gave yet another co-worker a ride home prior to my adventuring. Before I dropped her off, I had put my vehicle in full 4-wheel drive and decided to go straight home. I’m still not sure why it seemed so bad. It was just a lot of snow, not even a real full-fledged storm such as we central New Yorkers weather with such tough-minded pride.

Still, I drove home slowly and was happy to be there. I went outside and shoveled what had accumulated so far. Admittedly, it was not much, and it was still coming down quite steadily. But I felt I should do something to lighten Steven’s load tomorrow. If Steven decides to shovel tomorrow. He may leave it for me on Saturday, which would be fair since he has done the lion’s share of the shoveling this winter.

Perhaps I have reached Winter Fatigue or I am suffering from that Seasonal Affective Disorder (OK, one of those I just now made up). But not to worry. We are resilient here in the Mohawk Valley. I’ll be out and doing stuff soon, snow or no snow! I’ll be sure to write about it here.