December 11th, 2009


"You hope, and I'll hurry."

I try to be reasonable with my loved ones and, when I can manage it, with myself. I try to avoid setting up situations where I have an absolute requirement nobody knows about, or when something simply must happen that is not actually very well under anyone's control. Mostly I try not to have absolute requirements at all, but when I do, I put out the signs in advance: I tell anybody else who is relevant, with plenty of notice, and I do what work I can, and I try to smooth the way.

This year I am running low on cope. A few of you seemed to think that my earlier entry about Grandma's appendectomy was claiming that there was nothing good about 2009. People, there is hardly a day I can't think of good things about, much less an entire year. But 2009, really no lie, has been hard. Has had good stuff in it. But lots of hard stuff, and not as much of the "this is good but hard" as one might hope in that context. It has not been "I am sitting around whining over nothing" hard. It has been "this temporary disability is not acting very temporary" hard, and it has been "what on earth do we do without Grandpa" hard, and several other genuinely difficult bits as well. I mean, we keep on. We do what we need to. But some days that's easier than others. And this is the third Santa Lucia Day with the vertigo as a constant companion. After Thanksgiving, we've gotten into the third time through for everything now. We've done two full years. I did not want to start on three. But here we are.

So the long and short of it was, I knew that I absolutely needed Santa Lucia Day to go right this year. I absolutely needed to have lussekatter ready and waiting Sunday morning. There was not any wiggle room on this. There was not any room for "what if I don't have the energy, can't we do it Tuesday instead" or "what if something time-consuming comes up with getting Grandma out of the hospital" or "what if we get another curveball, pleasant or unpleasant." And there is no buying lussekatter or having someone else make them. They are my lussekatter what are mine. I make lussekatter for Santa Lucia Day, and this is at least as important as eating the said lussekatter.

So this morning I stirred the dough together. It took a long time to rise, but was gently behaved once it did, or at least well-behaved for lussekatter. I have done this enough times now that I have my calibration from "merely a pain in the butt" to "do not eat me, crazy yellow dough, or at least spare the rest of the family," and this was far towards the former. Then in the oven it rose like crazy, uff da, never saw such a size differential between the step where I stud the individual buns with dried blueberries and the step where they come out of the oven. The house smelled of yeast and saffron, and my hands feel better, and I am dizzy but resolute, and I have lussekatter. And also I gave some friends some cookies and gave timprov an early Christmas present and went to see Grandma in the hospital. I pummeled, I sang, I gave. And here we are, and come hell or high water--if the sun doesn't come up Sunday morning--I have done the part I can do to bring the light back, and there will be lussekatter for Santa Lucia Day.

Happy Santa Lucia Day, and here's to making certain of the small things we need.

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