Wednesday, January 02, 2008

December 29, 2007 - Hudson, OH

Our sixth installment of Christmas took place today in Hudson with my parents, grandparents, sister, several stray cats and bottles of prosecco. Despite all the crazy traveling we've been doing this past month, this has been the most relaxing holiday season we've ever had. The key is that we started our Christmas shopping last Spring in the Galapagos and finished it in New Zealand in November. We spent a day in Hudson after Thanksgiving wrapping presents. Then all we had to do was to sit back and enjoy the season. It has been blissful. I turned to Sten earlier and announced that we were going to start shopping for next Christmas as soon as we got back to New Zealand.

Two weeks ago, I ordered a dozen flags from US Flag to use as courtesy flags at our landfalls this coming year. The material is very thin - much thinner than the heavy duty flags sold at marine stores - but at less than 1/10th the price, I'm not complaining. The flags arrived mounted on dowels, which we quickly disposed of. We planned to add grommets to make it possible to fly them from a flag halyard. After assessing the thinness of the flags, we figured that the grommets would pull out pretty quickly. So, Alena took me by the hand and guided me through the local fabric store, a place that I would have otherwise found completely foreign and overwhelming - much more so than any of the island markets I've provisioned at this past year. When we arrived home with the goods, Sten took over and sewed binding tape to one edge of each flag before pounding the grommets in. At less than $3 for each flag and the other materials, we saved a substantial amount compared to marine store prices. When they wear out, and they certainly will, we'll buy replacements in country. Meanwhile, mom helped me, or more accurately, I tried to help her, customize a new bottom sheet for our centerline queen mattress, which is shaped more or less like a coffin made for two - narrow at the head, wide at the elbows and narrow again at the foot.

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