It was absolutely lovely to be able to sleep in this morning to the oh-so-late hour of 7:30. That's about when my brain simply could not stand being idle any longer, followed a fraction of a nanosecond after by the arrival of several of the cats, who all could immediately sense that I was finally awake. No matter - I had plenty of knitting to get done, and laundry to wash, so I got started on that, after first feeding the cats because making them wait any longer for their breakfast - even though they have two bowls of kibble upstairs, available to them any time of day or night - would surely have constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
My mom called first, it being Saturday and one of the first weekends in a while where we've actually been home to receive the traditional Saturday morning phone call. And then my older sister called, wanting to know if I was interested in going shopping, Christmas is coming and she actually had some time to take advantage of. I pondered my tentative plans for the day - more knitting (because by Christmas I will have made ten snowmen and you know what? They are cute but I am starting to get a wee bit tired of making them) and possibly dragging ourselves out of the house to run errands, and a husband who I knew would much rather hole up in front of his computer to continue writing because November - and thus Nanowrimo - is not yet over. And I also pondered just how long it's been since my sister and I got to hang out together, just the two of us, so after about two seconds of thought on the whole thing, I noted that my only time limitation was in waiting until I had clothing that wasn't still sopping wet (see above mention of needing to do laundry), but no problem, because she wasn't going to be heading out until after lunch anyway.
It was actually a fun trip. I was half afraid the mall would be crowded and horrible with after-Thanksgiving shoppers, but if there was any sort of mad post-holiday rush, it must have occurred yesterday, and so today it wasn't bad at all. We wandered around Mervyn's first, and even though I was supposed to be looking for ideas for the few Christmas presents we have left to buy, there were sweaters on sale (and I have been needing some new winter tops) and miraculously I found a purse that meets all the criteria for what I need in a purse and it was also on sale, and then there were these really cute Christmas guest towels and even better, when we went to pay for our finds, even though we'd both managed to lose our 15% off cards, the clerk gave us the discount anyway, plus an additional $10 off the whole check. Plus she did not laugh (well, too much) when I asked for a pair of scissors so I could immediately remove all the tags from my new purse and start using it right away, and my sister also refrained from laughing (too much) at me when I insisted that I needed to go find a quite, flat spot to commence with the transfer of purse contents. So we got small caramel sundaes from Dairy Queen and bemoaned the rather glaring lack of seating in the mall and instead perched on the floor in an out-of-the-way corner so I could dump the old purse into the new one and use it as an excuse to also clean it out. And then we wandered around a few other places and eventually made our way over to Target, where stocking stuffer shopping commenced with great abandon, before we realized that it was way past the time when she said she really had to start heading back. So we both headed home in separate directions and I stopped by the fabric store on my way home so I could pick up a large sack of polyfill (to stuff all those darn snowmen) now I am home, where it is warm and there are cats, and there is pizza on the way for dinner and presents stashed away in secret places.
It is funny, that on Thanksgiving, when we went around the table to say what we are thankful for, my mind went blank and so all I could think to say was that I am thankful for my family. But tonight, it all comes clear. I am thankful for this - for being lucky enough to have a wonderful husband and a nice house, and a family who is (mostly) close enough to visit as often as I want; thankful for yarn and cats and afghans to cuddle into when it is cold outside, and for the change of seasons and most of all, just because.