Posted tagged ‘Scrooge’

“Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”

December 16, 2017

When I let Gracie out at midnight, it was snowing, small slowly falling flakes. I watched for a minute or two then shut the door as it was cold standing there by the storm door. I think we got about an inch, but it was enough to cover my car. Good thing I bought a brush. I have to go to the vets today to get refills for two of Gracie’s meds and Maddie’s nails need cutting.

Last night was really cold. My afghan wasn’t enough. I’ll just have to hunt out one of the guest room comforters stored down cellar. I think I know where it is.

Today is sunny but cold, about 30˚ right now. There are dripping icicles hanging from the roof. They’ll keep dripping and getting longer until the sun moves around the house. The sky is pure blue and beautiful. The scrub pine tree branches have a layer of snow. When the wind blows, some of the snow falls in a flurry.

I had no mail yesterday so I wondered if the mail truck drove pass my box because I hadn’t shoveled. I called my neighbor whose box is next to mine, but he had mail yesterday. We chatted a while. He wondered where I’d been lately as he hadn’t see me. I mentioned hibernation, and he chuckled. I also mentioned I was going out later. Not long after the call ended, I heard a motor outside. It was my neighbor snow blowing the mail boxes and the area around my car. I yelled out the door to him and thanked him. He said no problem, glad to help. He is a wonderful neighbor.

The first load of clothes is in the washer. A second load is on the floor waiting its turn. I didn’t realize how many dirty clothes I had until I went down the cellar this morning. Most are my comfy clothes, evidence of my hibernation.

I am watching yet another version of A Christmas Carol. This one from 1938 stars Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart as Bob Cratchit. From what I’ve read, this adaptation isn’t as accurate to the novella as other, later, films are. Anything scary or distressing is missing like the wandering souls Jacob shows Scrooge, the two children, ignorant and want, under the cloak of the Ghost of Christmas Present and the thieves who ransacked Scrooge’s belongings after he died. The studio, MGM, thought at the time these events were too disturbing for a family audience. I’m okay with all of that. The essence of the story is the same.

This film is my sixth A Christmas Carol so far this season. I don’t ever tire of the story, and I’ve found the films differ from one another in many ways. When I was a kid, Christmas was never complete until I’d seen what was usually the Sim version on TV. Sometimes it was on Christmas Eve, the perfect night for watching.

 

 

 

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

December 2, 2017

The sky is cloudy, gray. A small breeze just about ruffles a leaf or two, brown ones left on the branches. It is a bit colder than yesterday but not so bad that I’d need to bundle going out. I have a list of errands, but I haven’t ventured beyond the yard for the last few days. I’m either becoming a hermit or I’m practicing for hibernation.

I actually vacuumed the kitchen yesterday and hope to do the rest of downstairs today. I can’t even remember the last time I vacuumed. I do some spot cleaning between visits from my cleaning couple, things like using my sweatshirt cuff to dust and a wet paper towel under my feet to wipe the kitchen floor, but I don’t vacuum or rather I didn’t vacuum.

I have started writing down what I want to bake for Christmas. One sister always gets fudge and date-nut bread. I add a few other cookies but those first two are more than enough for her. My sister in Colorado always wants my English toffee. I don’t make it every year, but I used to because my mother loved it. The orange cookies are on Clare’s list. They remind her in a way of her mother’s orange cake. I also usually make a new cookie each year, but I haven’t decided which one yet.

I’m Hallmarking it today. It is a perfect day to stay home and watch Christmas movies with happy endings. Last night I watched Alistair Sim find Christmas in his heart. I never tire of him as Scrooge. One of my other favorites is called Scrooge and stars Seymour Hicks. It was released in the US in 1926. It opens with Charles Dickens pacing his library and hoping for inspiration. He writes A Christmas Carol. This movie presents a graphic picture of London with its beggars and lines for food. Scrooge falls asleep with his money around him. But watching Alistair Sim is the real beginning of the Christmas season for me. Let the bells jingle and the carolers sing. It’s time to start getting ready for Christmas.

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.”

June 9, 2016

This morning I heard the first bird greeting the day. It was around 4 or 4:15 and still dark, but the bird knew. The sky started to lighten. I tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t so I got of bed around 5. The papers weren’t even here. I decided to get coffee and a donut. I saw one truck at the red light. Dunkin Donuts was the only place open, but that was all I needed, two coffees and a butternut donut.

It’s a chilly morning. Even now at 8 it is only 55˚. The sun is shining, but the breeze is strong enough to rustle the leaves. I can even hear them.

I started watching The Gathering Storm. Winston Churchill is warning England about the rise of the Nazis. The plot also touches upon the relationship between Winston and his wife Clemmie. Albert Finney played Winston, but his acting reminded me many times of when he played Scrooge. He even looked and sounded like Scrooge. I kept waiting for him to say bah humbug.

I can hear Gracie snoring from her crate. Fern took her place on the couch so Gracie’s routine has been up-ended as has mine. I figure, though, we’ll both adjust.

My laundry finally got done. It is one of the chores I dislike. I think it is the folding and the hauling up two sets of stairs which puts me off.

I also watched Sergeant Preston of the Yukon on Grit. The picture was a bit weird looking as they had stretched the film to fit the screen. All the actors looked short and the trees stunted. King, the dog, looked elongated. It was winter in the Yukon.

The hot spot in Bolgatanga Ghana when I lived there was the Hotel D’Bull. Its outside walls were painted like the black and white body of a Holstein cow. Other than that, I have no idea as to the name. D’Bull doesn’t sound at all Ghanaian but sounds as if a Ghanaian thought it a wonderfully fancy name. It had an inside bar with air conditioning, but it was usually so full you couldn’t feel the cool air. That was called the cold room. The hotel had a huge courtyard in two parts. The upper part was where the bars were, the cold bar and the outside, windowed bar with tables and chairs. The lower part, a couple of steps down, was where they showed movies on the wall. I saw my first Bollywood movie there. It was subtitled, and I was amazed at all the singing and the glitter. The clothes were spectacular and colorful. The singing sounded odd to my ears with the jingle jangle of lyrics. I saw an old western there, one from the 30’s in black and white. I usually got the expensive seat, on the roof, a patio table with chairs. We usually ordered kabobs for dinner. The first time I ever ate liver was on that roof. It was one of the pieces of barbecued meat. The room were spartan but clean, all with their own bathrooms. They had ceiling fans, not AC.

When I went back, the building was still there but its name had changed. It is now the Black Star Hotel. The cold room has been removed and a small internet cafe has taken its place. The rooms are air-conditioned but still a bit shabby. I think they lost a lot when they painted over the cow.

I was just warned by the deputy chief of police not to be alarmed if I hear gunshots and bomb blasts. They are having a drill about a mile from here. It’s a good thing to have a warning.

“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”

December 21, 2015

Today is warmer, and if weren’t for the wind would be almost tropical at 50˚. By Christmas Eve it will be in the low 60’s. That’s deck weather. I hope Colorado will be just as nice.

Today my to-do list runs for pages so when I finish one, I cross it off with a flourish! I love forward movement and am getting really excited at the thought that tomorrow is the day! My carry-on and Gracie’s bag sit in the hall just waiting to be filled. They’re on the afternoon list.

I watch Christmas movies most nights. Hallmark is always good for happy endings. No matter what happens, the main character will find love or a family or both. Royalty appears in more than a couple. The prince or princess hides his/her true identity, falls in love with a commoner, reveals the royal lineage and overcomes parental disapproval. The wedding occurs at the end of the movie. All is well.

The old Christmas movies I can watch over and over again. A Christmas Carol is a seasonal must. Alastair Sim is my favorite Scrooge. I love him when his hair is messy, he’s wearing his white linen nightgown and he’s giggling from pure joy. Patrick Stewart is a stern, almost frightening Scrooge so his transformation is amazing. Miracle on 34th Street is another favorite, but I’m not really all that choosy. I watch them all.

Christmas encompasses so much, but it all revolves around Christmas Eve and Christmas day. When you’re little, the day never seems to come. When you’re older, there never seems to be enough time to get everything done, but it happens. It all comes together. The presents are bought and wrapped, the tree trimmed, the cards sent and the cookies baked and decorated. We’re  ready for Christmas.

Christmas is so many different traditions and customs, but the one we share is spending Christmas with family, whether a family by blood or one by friendship. Tomorrow I will be with my family, my sister her husband, their three kids, their spouses and children. I am so very excited.

“Go, and redeem some other promising young creature, but leave me to keep Christmas in my own way.”

November 14, 2014

Last night the rain started and didn’t stop until late this morning, but it was a short dry spell. The rain started again about 20 minutes ago. It is colder than it has been, 41˚, and tonight will be in the 30’s. Gracie and I just got back from the dump. Going in the rain is the best time for the dump as few people venture. Trash can wait. There were just three other cars. Luckily the rain had stopped when we left the house. I dumped my recycles and trash and left. As soon as I got through the gate, the rain started again in earnest, regular wiper speed a necessity. The day is raw cold.

Yesterday I was Hazel, the maid and filled the bird feeders, cleaned the fridge, swept the floor, washed the dog bowls and placemat, did two loads of laundry and even brought both loads upstairs. I dusted the den using the sleeve of my sweatshirt, always a handy tool for dusting, and polished a couple of tables. I was not meant for menial labor.

I am a woman of very few words today. I haven’t seen anybody or done anything interesting. I did watch A Christmas Carol last night, my favorite with Alastair Sim. It was retro Thursday on the Hallmark Channel. I do love this movie and his welfare, his reclamation if you will.

I read an article about Scrooge called Diagnosing Scrooge Syndrome. According to the author Scrooge suffered from Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder, not yet official in the DSM-V, only proposed. “PTED will, if included, probably apply to a person experiencing, witnessing or being directly confronted with a highly traumatic event or events leading to chronic (longer than three months minimally, but more realistically, at least one year) feelings of embitterment.” The article is a long one so I won’t quote all of it here, but dear old Ebenezer, according to the author, saves himself through his interactions with the ghosts. That part I agree with, but humbug I say about the rest of the article. Some things needn’t be analyzed.

I’m now visualizing Rudolph on the couch, his red nose bright, his eyes filled with tears as he relates the story of being ridiculed and harassed. I won’t even mention Santa.

“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.”

December 15, 2013

North of me is the winter wonderland. My sister, outside of Boston, got either 10 or 11 inches of snow. We got torrential rain all night. I could hear it on the roof. I have no idea why but heavy rain triggers the sensor lights in the backyard, the ones geared for Gracie, to go on. They stay on until the morning light triggers them to turn off. This is the second time it has happened. The first time I thought some giant animal had burrowed into the yard, but after 15 minutes, when the lights didn’t go out, I figured it was either a very patient animal casing the yard for dinner or some weird problem with the lights.

My errands yesterday were fruitful. I found two small trees, one smaller than the other but both perfect. They are now standing in the corner of the living room waiting to be decorated, but my back is bad so that may not happen until tomorrow, but I don’t mind the wait. The trees are lovely even without the lights and decorations.

I am not traveling north to see the play. My sister said it is miserable up there, really cold and dark, and when you add my back to the mix, staying home sounds like the better choice. I’ll watch Christmas movies and drink egg nog. I just watched Reginald Owen’s A Christmas Carol and now I’m watching the Muppets get their chance at Scrooge’s rehabilitation. It doesn’t matter how many times I see this movie I love it every time.

Christmas still has wonder no matter how old you are. I love the lights on my house, and I drive by the house sometimes just to look and to admire the view. I’m sure my neighbors, should they catch me, might think it strange. If I’m on the road and a house covered in lights catches my attention, I deviate my route just to see it. On my official light tour, I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts first for hot cocoa. Christmas music now plays the whole time I’m in the car. I sing along. I sit on the couch in the living room to read so I won’t miss a single minute of the tree. The season is short enough as it is. My two sisters always have live trees. I think it is built into our genetic code. They fill their houses with Christmas just as I do and my mother did. I remember she’d come down for the weekend, and we’d go shopping. She’d buy an ornament and say, “That’s it, no more ornaments. I have enough for several trees.” Well, she always bought more and always declared it the last. I have a couple of new ones this year. One is the official 2013 World Series ornament. The other is a sand dollar made from pottery.

It’s egg nog time!

“Even as an adult I find it difficult to sleep on Christmas Eve. Yuletide excitement is a potent caffeine, no matter your age.”

December 24, 2012

When I was a kid, I knew today was the longest day of the year. It had everything to do with anticipation. Clock watching never helped. The clock’s hands took forever to move from one tick to the next, and every tick seemed to echo. Usually it was too cold to go outside and play so there was little to do to while away the hours. We’d watch television, and we’d watch Santa Claus, who had been on TV every afternoon for a few weeks from a station in New Hampshire. He’d be winding up his TV career, loading his sleigh and saying good-bye to all of us. As soon as it got dark, we pretended to be tired, but my mother knew. We just wanted to go to bed early hoping we’d fall asleep so the night would pass quickly. Supper was light. My mother always had the big dinner to prepare the next day so mostly we had sandwiches and sugar cookies for dessert. The tree looked especially beautiful on Christmas Eve. It was lit the whole day.

I remember one year on Christmas Eve my mother sent me to buy some ingredient she’d forgotten. I rode my bike to the red store. I couldn’t believe my mother had me doing an errand on such an important day. It just wasn’t right. Christmas Eve was too special for a simple errand.

If we were lucky, A Christmas Carol, the perfect movie for Christmas Eve, was on TV in the late afternoon or before dinner. I have never tired of watching Scrooge and his redemption. This year I have seen two different versions, both excellent: George C. Scott and Alastair Sim.

Just before bed, it was time to hang the stockings. They were red with white cuffs. Our names were on the cuffs and had gold glitter on them. The bannister was a small one but we managed to fit all four stockings. Though we didn’t have a fireplace, we never worried. Santa would find a way.

We’d lie in bed and talk from room to room until finally we’d drift off to sleep.

“Fairy tales only happen in movies.”

November 23, 2012

It was a sleep-in morning, a result I suspect of the sumptuous meal I ate yesterday as well as having been up late watching the Patriots demolish the Jets. The Pats scored three touchdowns in 52 seconds, two of them so extraordinary they have to be seen to be appreciated. Even the announcers said they had never seen the like of those two touchdowns.

It is again a cloudy day, the latest in a long string of cloudy days, but I don’t care. I’ll just keep taking my vitamin D to compensate! I have no plans for the day except to loll around and read. I do need bread so I may venture out later. I might even do a wash, but that might just be going a bit too far.

I’m a sucker for Christmas movies. As sugary as some are, I watch them anyway. The Hallmark channel is either the best or the worst depending upon your holiday movie taste. Every Hallmark movie has a happy ending. Despite the impeding divorce or estrangement, you know right from the start that everything will work out in the end, and the couple still love each other. It just takes a push from Hallmark to remind them. I love A Christmas Carol, and I watch any version though Alastair Sim is my favorite Scrooge of all. I even watch Christmas horror movies, probably to counteract all that sugar. I have some favorites. Jack Frost is at the top. No, not the Jack frost with Michael Keaton, but the one with the murdering snowman bent on revenge. My mother and I first happened on it late one Christmas Eve, and we stayed up to watch the whole movie. Gremlins is another. I always laugh at the scene of the gremlins sitting in the movie theater eating popcorn, watching Sleeping Beauty and singing along with Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho. Last night I watch Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the very first movie about the Waltons. I’ll admit I really enjoyed it. The kids fight and call each other names, and I can relate to that. Though it wasn’t Hallmark, it still had a happy ending. I always think Christmas deserves a happy ending.