Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A white Christmas

Very low key this year, but still nice

Depending on how you define a “white” Christmas, we may have had one this year. That is, if the definition is that there is snow on the ground, we had a white Christmas even in Albuquerque. On the other hand, if the definition is that snow actually falls on Christmas Day, then we didn’t have one. I think I prefer the snow on the ground definition.

We started by going down to T or C the Friday before Christmas, so we could work on boat stuff, and, weather permitting, do some sailing Saturday and Sunday. A major storm system was moving through, and although it didn’t bring much precipitation, it did bring nasty enough winds that we ended up not sailing, just spending time with the cats in the apartment. I had the laptop along, and I got some work done on finishing the novel I had started in November for National Novel Writing Month.

Sunday, we returned to Albuquerque, and then on Christmas Day, we (cats included) drove up to visit my folks in Los Alamos for a very low key Christmas. An old family friend, Bookworm, and her fifth-grade grandson were the other guests. The most significant gift, from my perspective, was a check with which to buy boat stuff, especially a new tiller. The one that Black Magic currently has is in very sad shape. Some previous owner of the boat, in order to cut weight, bored a bunch of one-inch holes through it. Someone (I’m guessing probably a different person) also subsequently wrapped the tiller in a really shoddy bundle of fiberglass that is now crumbling. At some point, I don’t know whether before or after the fiberglass, the wood started splintering – I’m guessing before, and the inept fiberglass work was a response to the splintering. During some high wind in one of the fall series regattas, the whole thing was threatening to reduce into toothpicks, and Tadpole wrapped it up in duct tape to hold it together, while I was helming during the race.

After Christmas dinner, we headed north to Five O’Clock Somewhere, where we built a fire in the fireplace and generally vegetated. We stayed there two nights, and we had some good time together playing Clue, Mille Bornes, and Illuminati. The cats also enjoyed the time there; when it was time to leave, it was hard to get them into their carriers for the journey home.

Shortly after we got home, Zorro phoned. The first thing he asked was whether I got a new tiller for Christmas. When I told him I got a check with which to buy one, he recommended a place online to order a new custom tiller that wouldn’t cost so much as a lot of the other tillers on the market. After looking at the website, I’m really excited. We’ll be going down to the Butte tomorrow, and we’ll be able to measure our tiller so we can make our order. The company says delivery time is “two to four weeks, depending on the season.” I’m guessing that in winter, there is less business, so the time will be at the short end of the range. I should have my new tiller by the Frostbite Regatta at the end of January. If I’m really lucky, I’ll have it in time for the Leukemia Cup in Phoenix in mid-January.


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