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Daily Archives: November 22, 2012

What I Will Be Doing on Black Friday … And Small Business Saturday

Anything but gift shopping. I never got why it was so important to run out to save a few bucks on things we really don’t need. The stress factor alone would get to me. I know I just am not that big of a bargain hunter to stand in long lines or fight crowds. Too many years commuting to DC, I guess. These days I go out of my way to avoid crowds.

So, what will I be doing tomorrow and Saturday? Besides cooking a turkey sometime, and writing the Christmas cards while my husband is on his radio.

Friday is supposed to be lovely. We considered a trip to one of the local wineries that open on Fridays, for a picnic lunch. It is still high on our list. We haven’t been down to Glen Manor since last spring. They are just below the entrance to the Skyline Drive. Leaf peeping season is about done, so on Friday while everyone else is at the malls, we could have the back roads of Virginia to ourselves.

the view from the deck at Glen Manor Vineyard

Fall is also the time when our sunsets are spectacular. We haven’t sat on the front porch and enjoyed one while having appetizers. If it does get close to sixty degrees tomorrow, it may be one of our better days to sit and relax and watch the world drive by.

A November sunset last year from our porch

Saturday is Small Business Saturday. One of those events promoted by a credit card. This one is an American Express promotion, but it certainly does have merit. Giving money to our local businesses and supporting our local economy is not a bad thing at all. It is one of the primary areas of writing that I focus my blogging on quite often.

Saturday I intend to wander out to a few of my favorite places while my husband is occupied on his radio. It has been a while since I hit the Silver Spring Farmer’s Market. Atwater’s Bread and Mock’s Greenhouse tomatoes sound good right now.

Maybe Mother Nature’s in Oakland Mills to replace a feeder that the squirrels have finally trashed. With a stop for a sandwich at Bon Fresco in the same area.

For me, a much more sedate way to spend the holiday weekend than fighting to find parking at the mall.


Over the River and Through the Woods …

… one thing I don’t miss these days. The long trips over the holidays. On clogged highways. My husband’s family lived out of state. It always meant traveling in the winter on snow covered roads. We tried avoiding bad weather, following forecasts and working our schedules around the best travel days.

I-70 at noon Wednesday

One Easter we got trapped by a late ice storm and didn’t get home to get back to work. Having relatives in the highlands of northeastern PA meant treacherous trips on I-81 and I-83. I feel for those who have those same dilemmas and who face the clogged roads to make it home to visit. But, I would be happy to have his family still with us, and take those trips to see them. We miss our families most during the holidays. My mom is still active and we cherish the years we have by sharing holidays with her.

Today we get to leisurely drive about 30 miles to share Thanksgiving with my brother and his extended family. Since the 1990’s he has always sponsored midshipmen at his home, first in Catonsville and now south of Annapolis. It means quite a bit to the families of these young men that they have a safe place to come and share a day or two, or a meal or two, with someone who looks out for them. Many of them still keep in touch.

We go to his home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July, usually. Plus, birthdays, weddings, graduations, Mother’s Day, and just sometimes to see old friends, having a base for get togethers is comforting and familiar. It does mean we have made our own personal traditions, that dovetail with the family visits.

I don’t know how many years we never had a Christmas tree. Lately, we do get one since we are home on Christmas day. The first few times we got one when we married more than 30 years ago, they would dry out and drop needles all over the place, since we went to PA for four or five days. I have yet to succumb and buy an artificial tree. We now buy ours locally at either TLV or Pine Valley

Around our current home, all the trees grouped by the driveway were former Christmas trees from the previous owner. Bought with the root ball, they were planted and some of them are 25 years old. If we were younger, we would do that, but at least we recycle our tree into mulch with the county. I do love the grouping of trees at our home, though. They make me think of the memories of the family whose children grew up here 20 years ago.

Today I will eat my brother’s turkey and fixings. He cooks most of the dinner, just as my dad loved to cook. We will come home tonight and brine our turkey and have our dinner tomorrow or Saturday. This is also a big radio contest weekend, and luckily, my husband now contests from home. It means we can have that dinner, and make our own memories in our home. Now, off to find the brining supplies for the turkey and put together the cooler to take to my brother’s.

Then, I need to figure out where I am putting the tree, and go up in the attic and get the Christmas lights out. And, do Christmas cookies and cards. Ah, the beginning of the busy season. Don’t forget about Small Business Saturday! Go out and buy something, presents, food, trees, whatever, from the small local businesses in Howard County.

Happy Thanksgiving!