Today, in the wake of a storm that swept our part of the world, we woke up to a thick blanket of snow. Roxy, who was born last spring, was ecstatic and spent all the time we were out shovelling nosing around, listening for mice under the snow, and generally getting the feel of this new experience.
She didn't much like the feel of the packed snow between her toes, but it was more than made up for by the joy of barrelling chest first into four-foot drifts and galloping in huge circles around her shovelling humans.
The shovelling part took us the better of two hours; that was just fine by Roxy, who found much to amuse herself.
My daughters were both at home last night (a rarity), and it was the only night we had to decorate the tree. So we put on our favourite Christmas music , I poured the drinks (rye and Diet Pepsi for me, Oban for my wife, and orange juice/Sprite spritzers for the girls, even though both are legally permitted to drink; they just choose not to, at least in front of their mom and dad), and we began.
I string the lights; it's a Dad job. I don't know why - it just is. I'm terrible at it, hate the job with a passion, have no particular talent for arriving at the most pleasing arrangement of colours and can't judge how I am doing with number of lights left versus number of branches left to be strung. But still, I string the lights.
I shouldn't complain. Because once the lights are strung, my part is effectively done, other than change the music from time to time and make sure everybody is well watered. Well, that and heckle the decorators, for which I have developed a singular skill.
As the girls were decorating the tree, they chatted about what was going on in their lives. Both teach music - the older daughter teaches piano, the younger violin/fiddle. Both have a number of students including, predictably, some exasperating kids who just won't practice.
"Honest to God, this mom says to me "Well, my daughter's been too busy to practice." I mean, come on ... she's in Grade Two! How busy can you be in Grade Two?" said one daughter.
"I know," said her sister. "And one of the kids I have was sick last week, so he's had two weeks .. and do you think he did a lick of practicing? Noooo."
At this point, both my wife and I were hooting with laughter. The girls stopped and said, "What ...?"
"Well," I said, "You know that song by Alanis Morrisette, where she gives a whole bunch of examples of things that she describes as "ironic", and none of them are...?"
"The two of you being music teachers and whining about how hard it is to get your damn students to practice ...? That, my dears, is ironic."
Don't you think? A little too ironic. Yeah, I really do think.