Starts and Stops to a Happy Holiday

The month of December has been one of those get all excited, plan and then whoa – stop – no – change plans and try again later. The weather in Minnesota is goofy. It always is but this year it has been a start and stop as well. We have had 9 inches of snow and then a 55 degree day where everything melts. It then turns cold, like below zero cold. Oh, but wait let’s warm up to 42 again. There have been blizzard conditions, rain, ice, sunny and warm.

As we manage this weird weather our household fell into a strange cosmic hole. It started the first week of December when the contractor I have been trying to meet with to plan a re do of a screen porch set up a meeting. Yeah, finally! Only to call the morning of the meeting to say well I tested positive for Covid today so will not be coming by. Ok, that project is now pushed into January. It was suppose to be done at the end of October.

Cookie Bake

We moved on the the excitement of cookie baking for the holidays. A big family tradition. It was super hard to set a day but we got one that at least some of us to come to. Then Friday before we were to meet we got hit with that 10 inches of snow I mentioned. Saturday morning of the cookie bake we were all digging out. It did happen – one person got dropping off so their car would not get stuck, one walked over and one young brave soul after shoveling got on her fat tire bike and rode over. (way to go girl!) So five of us made a complete mess of the kitchen and dinning room with cookies, sprinkles and lots of butter and chocolate. There were great conversations – deep and connecting about current and past events – all while a 2 and half year old ran between our legs sneaking cookies and dough whenever possible.

A glorious day until about 3:00 pm when I realized we no longer had hot water. No, it was not just that we had used it up. There was none to be had. The relatively new water heater was broken. We can fix that. It is under warranty – this is no big deal I kept telling myself.


It is Saturday and they say they can’t come until Monday. We can deal – heating hot water on the stove and finish the clean up. All well and good until I wake up Sunday morning to a house at 54 degrees and dropping. It is 12 degrees outside with those 10 inches of snow. Another call and they will be out – furnaces are a big deal and they will come more quickly. The furnace was a quick fix but after checking the water heater, a completely separate problem, it was going to need a new part to be ordered on Monday.

To make this stories a bit shorter – after several miss ordered, used parts that didn’t work, a holiday weekend, showering at all our friends houses we are 18 days without hot water. We are hoping for a part that really works today. We are told by email it is here in the cities. I am not counting on it but we will see.

Layered over all of this water heater business was Christmas – well sort of. The Atlanta kids were not coming – thank goodness given the new Covid and no hot water. My daughter stepped up to host Christmas eve but on Wednesday before Christmas she calls to say she felt awful and learned she had been exposed to Covid twice in the days before. No Christmas eve gathering. I thawed out ground turkey on Friday morning and made Swedish meatballs, rice pudding and a sweet potato dip. We drove it over with a Christmas eve gift for Mason (the 2 year old) and headed home for a quiet night watching Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales.

Christmas Morning

On Christmas morning daughter had had three negative quick tests and felt much better so we gathered for cinnamon rolls, opened gifts, Face-timed the two in Atlanta and had a very lovely morning with a very excited two year old. Doug and I left them to go see other family and took up the offer from friends in northern Minnesota to come visit for a few nights, have a hot shower and watch lake Superior in all its winter glory.

It was lovely until – there is always an until isn’t there –

Until the forecast rolled in on Sunday morning that there was a blizzard on the way – another 9 to 10 inches of snow, wind and ice. This lovely couple of nights stay was cut short – we shower one more time and head back home before the storm hit. We did’t want to be snowed in up north when we had a water heater to fix.

It is now the last Tuesday of December we are still working on getting a working part for the water heater, it is snowing again (beautiful even though I am sick of it already – just bad timing) and the Wednesday reschedule holiday happy hour with family is canceled once again. Dear daughter was feeling great and now is under the weather again – this time she has taken a PCR test that we expect to be negative but still checking. We are pretty sure she just has a cold and is over tired from teaching but best to check these days. This holiday event will have to wait until some time in January.


All I want right now is a working hot water heater and January to begin. We will try again for a smoother new year.

I am off to read my garden magazines, order seeds for the spring garden and drink a hot cup of tea. Oh and watch the snow fall.

Here is wishing everyone a Happy and Glorious New Year!

I am also hoping your December was more successful than ours. All in all I have to say we had small moments of joy. The 2 year old now has a better idea about snow, Christmas, family traditions and Santy Claus. Also the reindeer, whom he is sure came in his house to eat the carrots he left for them. He can show you exactly were they stood by the door to eat their carrots.

Happy New Year!

There is always joy with a 2 year old!

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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1 Response to Starts and Stops to a Happy Holiday

  1. britt says:

    My two year old (as well as 7 month old, but mainly the more aware big brother) has also been our absolute joy and excitement this holiday. We, too, have had one thing or another. Husband had covid, so we moved to my mom’s house. Then I got covid. Now both my sons have covid. So does my mom, as well as my sister who traveled here from Hawaii. We’re also experiencing the hottest December in history here in Houston.

    I can relate!! Here’s to 2022, friend. 🙂

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