Four more days, and soon I will be counting the hours till cast off. The last 8 days went fast, as expected, because of the Christmas distraction.

The day before Christmas Eve everyone arrived from Dorchester and Easthampton. Furniture was pushed to the walls to make room for the Christmas tree plus Faro and the two dogs, allowing just a little opening for me on my scooter.

We celebrated Christerklaas, starting at 11 PM on Christmas Eve, one hour earlier than usual. Despite last minute signs and groans about not being able to do much this year, everyone pulled through with poems (or prose in some cases), fantastic constructions as fake presents pointing to the real thing.

The gifts and poems this year were about cooking, knitting, and feasting the eyes this earth’s amazing landscapes, plus some chocolate on the side. The center piece for Faro was a shiny black baby grand piano, various trucks and books for opa and oma to read to him (we are currently quite taken with David Wiesner (Tuesday, Flotsam, June 29, 1999).

By 1:30 AM enough of us were yawning to suspend the festivities. We have exhausted young parents in our midst now – no matter how late they go to bed, Faro will wake them up at about 7:30 AM at the latest. We had only made a small dent in the pile of presents under the tree and the poems dangling from its branches.

We continued late the next day, Christmas Day, when everyone had emerged from their various quarters and Faro was fed and ready for his nap. Axel and I gave each other ‘non-thing’ presents – a massage and a two day trip to Maine with a visit to Axel’s favorite museum in Rockport and maybe a side trip, if we can swing it, to one of Axel’s Afghan student who came up from New Mexico to visit his American parents for the holidays.

Tessa, Steve and the dogs have returned to Dorchester, leaving us to enjoy a few more days of Faro and his parents before they too return to their home, after a visit to the New England Aquarium on Sunday morning. By then, I am sure, time will slow down again, but then I will be down to 48 hours.

In the meantime my office has moved from its prime Cambridge location on Memorial Drive to Boston’s northern suburb of Medford – a shorter commute for me in distance; no longer require traversing the Tobin Bridge into the city. Next week I will start experimenting with the best route.

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