Was that it?  The Spring Thaw…New Year’s Day was the whole thing?  When the subject comes up for the rest of the season we get to say, “ Been there. Done that.”  Doesn’t seem right somehow.  We ought to get a chance to get out and wash cars or something; mine is middling filthy–salt-splash and  mud-luscious décor bumper to bumper, not to mention the detritus piled on the floor and seats–plenty of melted snow and just-in-case stuff like extra boots or mittens, at least one spare snow scraper, a couple of blankets, flashlight, umbrellas, raincoat, spare water bottles, a reeeeeal old Quaker Oats cookie bar( never know when a person might be stuck in a ditch somewhere).  I’m thinking that a lot of this could be considered superfluous if  I’d just remember how to use the cell phone…or to have it with me all of the time.  I’m working on it.

I’m also working on summoning up enough gumption to begin thinking about possibly starting to commence planning  the removal of most of the remains of the Christmas Walk 2010.  Finding all of the boxes and containers of various sorts that things go in is going to be a challenge, seeing as most of that prep stuff had been tossed into the attic or the basement to meet whatever fate was in store.  Staying “in the mood” for over eight weeks has reduced my cheeriness capacity considerably at this point and the youngest of the resident felines has decided that all of the  foreign items introduced here are about to be “naturalized” and subject to exploration or demolition; more and more shiny objects are appearing on the floor, behind furniture or beneath cushions.  Something periodically rattles in the corners; the poinsettias have all turned up their little botanical toes and are on the way to that Great Greenhouse in the Sky (Honest, I did water them, it was the lack of sun what done ‘em in).

The other greenery  is holding up about as well as could be expected…which is to say that the real stuff went some time ago from inside the house, to be replaced by some perfectly respectable ersatz pine on the mantel and over the doorway…at which time, the original stuff could have been more truthfully be described as “brownery”.  The outdoor décor–done by Art-N-Flowers–is amazing, all things considered, still pretty verdant in the back  where it’s been protected from the sun, toasted-looking around the garage door where it hasn’t.

The red and green spotlights in the rear elevation are going to go soon; the neighbors have probably had about enough of that display.  From Center St. it must have looked like a landing strip for an Elf-O-Copter.  The elves have all gone back to the North Pole so we can close the facility down.  The front porch still is pretty festive but is suffering from MAJOR droop; the mailbox is about to lose its bow and spruce swag–don’t want to create a hazard for Dan the Mailman.

And–God knows–we wouldn’t want to add to the impediments already out here : snow, rain, heat (not right now, check back in August), gloom of night, etc.  Gotta keep the way clear for the delivery of tax documents…which have begun and will continue through the month of January.  The first batch that arrived met a watery fate of some sort ; apparently the rear door of the aforementioned mailbox got bumped opened on one of those duck-friendly days that we had. Anyway, most of the mail was soaked and had to sit on the bathroom heat source to recover (My village sewer bill will be suggestively wrinkled when I pay it; they may want to use tweezers).  The IRS has never been squeamish about such things, however, as long as the paperwork is in on time.  More about that later, I imagine.

In any case, in that same vein, if you’re a resident of Romania (This just in from the Associated Press), watch out, the labor laws have just changed to crack down on wide-spread tax evasion.  Astrologists, embalmers, valets, driving instructors and witches are now considered to be working real jobs, subject to income tax.  At least one of the affected witches has threatened retaliation.  Now there’s something to think about.  Sort of on a par with the thought that the United States–or at least the Smithsonian Institution–now owns the Hope Diamond and there’s supposedly a curse on that fabulous stone (Who comes up with these things anyway?  Ancient traditions are constantly popping out of the woodwork…prophecies…predictions…National Enquirer stories…all about the same credibility on the Truth-O-Meter, if you ask me.  No one has.).

So we’re off on another year.  Let’s try not to do as the cheerleaders used to encourage after somebody sank the front end of a two-shot free throw .  They’d chant : “Let’s have another one, just like the other one!”

We can do better.