There are two things on the mind of most Islanders these days, and things are no different for our family.
As the Christmas preparations continue unabated, Mother Nature seems to be setting us up for an old-fashioned winter.
For the past few years, December has seemed more like an extension of fall – I guess it technically is until today – but the weather usually reflects that.
The new snow scoop I purchased before Christmas to save somebody in my family the trouble of wrapping it has already seen way too much use for my liking. One overnight storm, I was out before first light to begin the job of getting our fleet of cars mobile. My wife, who is an early riser, had already been out there for a while.
The next storm, I shoveled a bit at lunch to get the door open to take the dog outside. Then it was out just before dark to shovel a path so my wife could get up the driveway without snowshoes when she got home from work.
For many people, going to work on a storm day is actually a bit of a break since things are slow. However, my bride is a radio newscaster so storm days are actually busier than most as the phone never stops ringing with cancellations.
That time shovelling proved to be a balancing act, because going out too soon makes it an exercise in futility, while too late results in an unfinished job.
Then, of course, there was another pre-sunrise session to get everybody off to work.
As for the Christmas preparations, my wife is going full-tilt trying to balance everything and letting me know quite frequently, I am very little help.
I don’t know why holiday preparations always seem to fall disproportionally on females. I suspect it stems from a time when the majority of women didn’t work outside the home – something that is far from the reality of today.
Right now, it is at the wrapping and baking stage as most of the presents are purchased. I did help with that phase a bit and I still have the shopping to do for my wife. However, neither of those two areas falls into my area of expertise. To put it bluntly, nobody in my family wants a present wrapped by me – regardless of what might be inside.
As for baking, that is way out of my league. When it comes to cooking, my kids say I can just make chicken and crap that tastes like chicken.
Therefore, I will continue along making the only contribution I can – being a sounding board and a lightning rod for my wife as she does the heavy lifting. It is not much and I am not pretending it is.
I know her favourite part of the holidays comes after all the presents she bought and wrapped are opened and the holiday cooking and baking is all gone.
Merry Christmas to everybody, especially those wives and mothers out there who are doing the heavy lifting in making Christmas happen for their families.
That’s the way it is in real life.