In the morning, I got up and drove to Abby's Home Cooking. Abby had been at the wedding last night with her family, including daughter Emily who was a member of the bridal party.
So I decided I would go and let her fix breakfast for me.
I passed this cyclist along the way.
As you can see, another horrid mass of warm air has moved in from the Pacific - just like I speculated it would when I was trying to read the signs and predict the weather.
I hate this warm weather in December.
Funny, if any place else in the country, including the coldest states of the northern tier, had experienced the degree of consistent cold that we did in November, the religious among them would have said it was a sign that end was coming soon.
Hmmmm... perhaps all this warm weather in December here in South Central Alaska means... the end is coming soon?
There she is - Abby - cooking away behind the counter. This morning was the busiest I have ever seen it at Abby's. Every table but one was filled and there was action at the counter, too.
Shelly was not there to help her, because Shelly had run the restaurant all by herself all yesterday so that Abby could go to the wedding.
Abby's husband Andy was there, helping her.
Still, Abby was waitressing, cooking and busing.
If business keeps building up like this, she is going to have to hire more help.
As always at Abby's, I enjoyed my breakfast.
I guess I didn't totally work through the afternoon. Margie took the car and went shopping, so, having little rituals that I follow to keep me sane, when the time came, I walked to Metro Cafe for my coffee break. As I walked, this airplane flew by to both inspire and taunt me.
If it had been me up there, I would have had skis on by now.
I surely would have.
I'm not criticising, mind you.
This pilot might have a perfectly good reason to have kept this plane on wheels.
I can't think of a good reason, but the pilot might have thought of one.
Still, I would have rejected such a thought.
One of Carmen's guests had brought his 1974 yearbook to Metro. I would tell you his name, but I am going to let you see if you can figure it out for yourself.
If you can't, then I am sorry to say it, but your own education was a waste.
I don't care if you are a historian now, getting paid millions of dollars by government agencies and $60,000 a speech - if you can't figure this out...
Now, don't anybody post your answers in comments.
If you were wrong, I would hate to have to inform you.
In the evening, Melanie came over. We ate dinner, then we ate Alaska Wildberry chocolates. After that, we decorated the tree - or least Melanie and Margie did, after they went out into the yard while I was working on the wedding and cut it down.
For a long time, Margie had what she called "a Charlie Brown tree" all picked out.
They didn't cut it, though, because Melanie found another, even better, Charlie Brown tree.
Now, I have a very serious question to ask you:
Do you see any chocolate on the left side of Melanie's face?
Do you see any chocolate on the right side of Melanie's face?
Neither do I.
This is important, because a bit after I took these pictures, Melanie saw the image of herself in a mirror. She claims that chocolate was spread all across her face. She says she then washed that chocolate off.
She then began to scold me, telling me not to dare put a picture of her with chocolate on her face in the blog.
You didn't have chocolate on your face, I told her.
Yes I did, she insisted, and don't use any pictures showing chocolate on my face. Delete them. Delete them all.
I never delete a picture, I told her.
It didn't matter. There was no chocolate.
Margie hangs a Christmas tree ornament.
Melanie hangs a birch bark canoe ornament on a high branch. "We should get a star for the top," Margie said.
"Okay," I agreed.
This conversation has taken place now for, oh, I don't know... 25 years now? 30.
We really should, though.
Or an angel.
Or a cat, holding a song book, singing Christmas carols.
It could have a chip in it and really sing.
Last came the tinsel.
When it was done, I noticed they hadn't put the airplane oraments on the tree.
"Why didn't you put the airplanes on the tree?" I asked, reasonably.
"You have to do it," Melanie said.
"No," I said. "You could have done it."
"No. You always scold me. 'Don't put the airplanes on the tree,' you always say, 'only I can do that.'"
"No," I countered, truth on my side but to no avail, "I never say that."
Yet, it was clear that if the airplanes were going to get on the tree, I would have to do it.
So I did.
There were only two of them.
What happened to the rest?
I had enough airplane ornaments to decorate a whole tree all by themselves.
Not that I would ever do that.
But I had enough.
Where did they go?
Probably flew away, I guess.
Finally, the tree was done. The three of us stood before it and altogether we sang, "Oh Christmas Tree."
Or at least I did. All by myself.
Or at least I sang this much of it, in a non-existant key of my own invention:
"Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree! How lovely are thy branches!"
"Dad," Melanie challenged, "are those the real lyrics? Or did you make them up?"