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Christmas over, Gill is back in UK, and as if some horrible cosmic joke has been played on Southern Ontario, the blustery, cold, miserable days of winter have arrived. To hear Gill tell it, we’re still better off than Britain which seems to be largely under water.

It’s true — I really shouldn’t complain about awful weather this year — especially when the worst thing that has happened here is the disgracefully obese state of my backyard squirrels. Their fat rolls have fat rolls. But I guess that’ll happen if you spend all summer, fall, and December ‘bulking up’ for the winter that never comes. I’m thinking of entering them in Oprah’s new Weight Watchers program. Not that I believe Oprah’s program will work. Poor woman has been trying diets for all of her adult life. It hasn’t made her thin, just rich. I don’t hold much hope for my squirrels to achieve her level of success at anything, cute though they are.

The house is quiet again, all the sheets are washed, beds re-made, decorations down. Note I didn’t say ‘put away’, just down. The tree ornaments languish on the living room table, a shiny, sparkly assembly of balls and birds that may remain until sometime after next week. Never mind, maybe the Organization Fairy will sweep in some night and take care of it. What a lovely surprise that would be upon my return from Mexico. Oh, did I forget to mention that tiny fact? Perhaps I just lost the sympathy vote!

Yes, I am fortunate enough to be going for two weeks with The Man In My Life…SO looking forward to it. And if the hot Mexican sun doesn’t bake the vestiges of this miserable cold out of my body, nothing will. And heaven knows, I’ve tried every cold product, salve, lozenge, hippie cure, cough syrup known to mankind. Gill had the cold for almost four weeks, so I’ve still got a few days to go. Too bad this isn’t a trip to Australia…as I recall from last year’s trip, we landed in Sydney to be ‘sprayed’ by some chemical agent to prevent the spread of any diseases that might decimate their agriculture. I bet THAT would fix my cold right up!

It always takes me a few days to get used to the quiet house and Gill’s absence. She IS a large presence (even though she’s physically small –except for her mouth). And now that she’s even more deaf than usual, I’m accustomed to shouting at everyone — even strangers in the drug store. A habit I must break before boarding the plane. Wouldn’t want the flight crew to think Im going to be THAT annoying passenger who will cause an incident.

We had a particularly good Christmas this year, so the letdown is worse. When your adult children live far away, you constantly ride a roller coaster of emotions: ecstatic that they are coming for a visit; crushed when they leave. But I count myself so fortunate that Gill comes home often …and even more fortunate that she WANTS to come home to see us. All in all, I couldn’t ask more than that.