December 21, 2004


We are still on the dial-up connection. I have gotten so spoiled by the faster service the satellite connection provides. Blogging, even e-mail correspondence, seem like a chore using the dial-up connection. Thus, my lackluster blogging performance the past week.

Scott bought a new transmitter box for the satellite connection. (This is a small box that plugs into the computer inside the house, and facilitates communication between the computer and the satellite dish outside the house.) After waiting days for it to arrive, I find it quite an impressive little number: The new transmitter box is sleek and glossy, and has aerodynamically rounded corners. (The old box was just a flat, rectangular metal box.) It has four very authoritative blue lights on it that wink and glow so brightly they are practically blinding. They certainly look like the thing is working.... After fussing with it for two hours last night, Scott gave up.

Back to dial-up I go.

I was on the subject of December weddings and anniversaries. December is such a busy month, it is a lousy time of year to get married. For the first dozen years or so, Scott and I often did nothing more than get each other a card for our anniversary. But for the past eight years, here's what we have done to celebrate: We have stayed overnight at a hotel in Seattle, checking in at mid-day, and doing marathon Christmas shopping at the marvelous stores downtown. We could shop for an hour or two, take the packages back to the hotel room, have a little pick-me-up in the hotel bar, and return to more shopping. And we've gone out for a nice dinner and breakfast. (We've had no hotel loyalty, and have stayed at various places such as the Warwick, the Sheraton, and the Mayflower Park. Last year was the W -- don't know when I have ever been in a place so trendy and chic -- all furnishings are black, white, and chrome, the prints on the walls are B&W photographs, and then bursts of intense color here and there -- for example, the Christmas tree in the lobby last year was shocking pink, a look I hadn't seen in Christmas trees since the 1960s.)

This year was a little different.

Last Christmas, Santa put in my stocking a gift certificate for one night's stay at Willows Lodge in Woodinville, including $100 toward dinner at the Barking Frog restaurant. The gift certificate had an expiration date of December 18, 2004. Somehow Scott and I thought we would use it long before our wedding anniversary, but did that happen? When the 10th of December rolled around this year, we had made no hotel reservations for our usual anniversary-Christmas-shopping event -- I remembered the Willows Lodge gift certificate.

Just in the nick of time. The Lodge was able to fit us in, before the expiration date. (This coincided with Jennie's return from her college dorm, so that she could stay home and babysit her little sister.)
willows 003.jpg

Our waitress at the Barking Frog sensed it was a special occasion -- everyone else in the place seemed to be having business dinners. At the end of the meal, she brought us this, compliments of the pastry chef:
willows 002.jpg
(That smudge you see on the word "anniversary" happened when Scott put his thumb on the plate.)

Of course, the Willows Lodge is out in Woodinville, not near any shops. So the Christmas shopping has had to be taken care of in separate trips, this year. I think I am coming to the end of the list....

For last night's Ferals meeting, I was determined to have progress to show on the Alba sweater. So over the weekend I knitted 8 more rows, moving the foreground sequence from a natural color, through a couple of pale greens, into some turquoise colors. But evaluating it last night, the green colors just did not enhance the turquoises. The looked like sickly, hospital greens. So as I am writing this, and waiting for the dial-up connection to load the pages, I am simultaneously performing a little surgery on Alba, and tinking back to remove those greens.

Posted by Karen at December 21, 2004 11:57 AM

What a lovely, romantic story! Happy anniversary - and happy solstice!

Posted by: Katie at December 21, 2004 07:26 PM

Happy Anniversary, isn't that little lodge out in Woodinville cool? We had a party out there for my little brother's 40th birthday. It seems like it would be a great place to spend some time!

Posted by: marti at December 21, 2004 08:22 PM

Oh, what a lovely looking lodge! SO Northwest. Happy anniversary. We're coming up on 18 in February--I think we will splurge on a meal at Chez Panisse (this is Berkeley, after all!), but I like your idea of a hotel getaway.

Poor Alba! Keep at it, you'll come up with something you love for sure.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Posted by: Janine at December 22, 2004 08:54 PM