It’s cookie and bread baking time, and in the midst of stirring and measuring and chopping, and many trips to and from the refrigerator for eggs and milk, I noticed that the refrigerator didn’t seem as cold as usual. I turned the temperature thingy down and still, it didn’t cool off. So along with the other things on my “to do” list, I can now shop around for a refrigerator. Ordinarily, someone among my circle of friends and relatives is trying to get rid of a refrigerator. In fact, not six months ago, I had an extra one – which I gave away.

I went to the Internet and found the repair page for refrigerators but by the time I read through information about vents, condensers, coils, switches and housings – I thought how easy it would be to solve this problem by having a big old fashioned snow storm and digging a hole in the snow bank. It worked once – surely it would work again. The problem is that we’ve changed. The milk isn’t fresh and warm each day – it’s jugged up and needs to be kept cold. I don’t collect the eggs every day from the manufacturer; I buy them in boxes that have to be recycled.

Speaking of eggs, I notice they’ve escalated in price over the last week or two. Haven’t we learned how to make those hens lay an egg every day, year-round, or are they still on that Nature cycle? Does this mean that chicken will be more expensive in days to come? You know the old query, which came first….

Shopping is done and it’s a good thing we have a store where everything is the same price – one dollar. No confusion here, and no calculator needed. I know many of you, like me, miss the old McCrory’s that used to be in North Windham. You didn’t get as much exercise walking but it seems like they always had what you needed.

This is the season for receiving letters from people I haven’t seen for years but with whom annual contact is maintained. I got two of those letters last week. One, from a woman my age who also was a single parent, and was once a waitress, along with me, at a jazz club in Boston. She described her condominium overlooking a bay with swans, her trip with a daughter to southern France, a trip to Canada, Colorado, Georgia, and her other retirement activities.

She retired from teaching English in the Boston public schools, and still tutors. Her year-in-review sounded like a travelogue and for a very few moments (very few) I thought of writing a review of my own. But nothing I’ve done this past year could compare. Then I got the second of this type of letter, from a young woman who lives here in Maine, with whom I used to work. More down to earth, she is still working, trying to organize an old farmhouse, raise her goats and other animals. I can’t wait to see what the mailperson brings today.

Only a few cards yet to address and stamp, and only a few broken ornaments so far (a result of cat play), another Christmas will soon be history. I hope all of you have had a good healthy year and that 2007 will be filled with promises, which come true.

See you next week.

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