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Back from holiday

Now that my Blood Caramel Level has come back down from .5 and I am returning to pre-Thanksgiving range on the Holiday Cheese Index, I can reflect a bit on the season just past.

Feet of snow in Northern Utah between Dec. 26 and Dec. 30: 4
Total miles driven: Approx. 2600
Hours spent watching Lord of the Rings films: 11
Hours that, although I really enjoyed all the movies the first time around, were just way too damn long the second time: 2
Pieces holiday beefstick consumed (without guilt): 1
Pieces holiday beefstick consumed (with guilt): 3
Christmas Day movie-line brawls barely averted: 1
Uncomfortable silence with father-in-law: Um, yes
Favorite Ogden microbrewery: Roosters Brewing Co
Unsuccessful attempts to get some work done: 3
Hours spent admiring Dad’s wood shop: 5
Cross-country skiing: Yes
Best gift, received: Anatomically friendly bike saddle
Snow dogs: 2

We’re back in Tucson, having driven home on December 31 to avoid yet another whopper of a storm predicted for the Wasatch front. The past few days have seen much unpacking, cleaning, and sealing away of winter clothes and boots for the future. One thing’s for sure: We like it up north, where the winter is cold and there is a realistic expectation of a white Christmas. (Note: Whenever we comment that we like snowy winters, people remind us, “Hey, it sometimes snows in Tucson.” Yes, strictly speaking, that’s true. But when everybody in town remembers precisely the date of the last snow storm—“Easter day, 1999!”—it means that, come on, it doesn’t snow here.) There’s nothing like the almost-silent falling of snow and the sharp cold of the first clear morning after a storm. While it’s true that it’s hard to complain about sitting on the patio in December, I will be just as happy to sit by a fire.