Yesterday evening Richard's parents drove up for a belated birthday visit. They took us out to dinner, and afterwards we all finished up the last of the birthday cake. They brought him presents, and among the loot was a collection of Alfred Hitchcock films on DVD.
After they left we decided to watch one of them, and pulled out one neither of us had ever heard of - Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was described as a 'screwball comedy'. The premise of the whole thing is that a married couple finds out that, due to a technicality, they are actually not legally married. For some obscure reason the wife decides she would prefer to remain 'unmarried', and begins dating her husband's law firm partner. I am assuming that back when this was first released on the big screen n the early 1940's, the whole thing was considered oh so funny. However, when viewed from current standards it fell more than a little flat. Throughout the movie the husband tries to convince the wife to come back to him; throughout the movie I kept trying to figure out why the heck he would actually want her back.
Today felt quiet, even though we managed to get a lot done. First was church, where I was the accompanist, and then we had lunch at the local diner because we haven't been there in a while and it's nice to occasionally support your local greasy spoon. After lunch Richard took down all the lights in all the windows while I battled the rather dead Christmas tree for all the ornaments. Normally we would have left the tree up at least until the 6th, but it's been looking more and more brown and dry lately, and the volume of pine needles accumulating on the floor has been increasing. As it was, the needles were so brittle that I ended up with hands full of tiny pinpricks by the time the tree was bare.
We did a quick run to Costco (along with most of the rest of Solano county because apparently that is what one does on a rainy Sunday afternoon) and picked up a case of canned food for the cats, a new sweater for Richard, and a birthday present for my niece because that is the fun of Costco. Then we came back home to finish the task of putting Christmas away.
Last year the living room felt far too empty and hollow when we took down the tree and put away all the decorations. This year I didn't feel as if it felt much different (with the possible exception of 100% fewer pine needles underfoot). Somehow we managed to get everything into the crates, although each year I wonder if that will be the year we'll actually have to break down and get one or two more containers to hold everything. I hung up our new calendar downstairs – one with antique maps on each month – and we moved the plant tree out of the dining room and back into the bay window in the living room, which makes the dining room look suddenly spacious once again.
We went to my parents' house for dinner and had the traditional Christmas meatloaf (a week or so late, but who's counting?). I introduced my mom and dad to Haley Westenra, and my dad and I thoroughly trounced my mom and Richard in Boggle. We had pie in the shortbread-type crust that my dad makes by hand each year for the holidays and when we headed home, we took with us a huge mirror, framed in gold and dark wood, that came from my uncle's house and has been living under my parents' bed for years. We're still figuring out what to do with our living room, but if this mirror fits (and it's certainly looks large enough) it will hang over the fireplace and finally the little dark wood sofa table with the leathered top done in antique maps will have something to make it look as if it belongs.
This has been a Holidailies entry.