Thursday, December 15, 2016

Seasonal Slog

It's beginning to look a lot like...well, y'know.
That’s what we call it; not sure what you call it.  Perhaps you don’t have it.  It’s not really a malaise, or SAD, or even ennui, just a feeling that now, about a couple of weeks before Christmas, things seem…slow.  Really S  L  O  W.  Detached, maybe.

Reasons?  Well, it’s cold.  Snowy and/or stormy.  Even if it’s not cold and snowy, the weather is probably the worst it gets wherever you live.  We have cold, rain, storms…and of course, it gets dark sooner and light later, and the days are as short as they’ll ever be.   And the rain/storms don’t make it any brighter.  No wonder folks get SAD.

People are distracted because of the holidays, and final exams, and a whole bunch of stuff.  We were at Fred Meyer today and Costco yesterday and there are folks there going through the motions, buying groceries and presents and the usual holiday trimmings, but everyone (including us) seemed to be in s-l-o-w motion.  Even the help.  OK, more so than usual – no one moves that fast here on the coast.  That’s just the way it is.

Here in our tourist-town tourist-crowds are Twiggy-thin – things won’t pick up again until spring and the basketball tournaments on the weekends next year.  Some merchants (like us) know it’s a losing game and take their vacation time now.  There are a few still hanging in there, taking whoever comes to town (not many).  I used to joke that we could rename Seaside to “Cannon Beach” in the winter because you could go on the beach and fire a cannon and never hit anyone.  It’s true.  And since locals don’t go downtown to the shops there (they frequent the outlets on the highway just east of the tourist areas), it makes for a very quiet, lonely downtown.

So combine the closed stores and restaurants, the dark, the rain, the cold, the inactivity, the slowness, and you have the “seasonal slog.”  For us, anyway.

We used to think that it was all because of Christmas and the fact that we don’t have kids.  Or grandkids (obviously).  Many say that Christmas is a time for kids, and family, and since we’re just us two, maybe that’s the reason for the glum season.  We do have family, but no one here.  We “finish” Christmas right after Thanksgiving in that we make sure we have everything here so we can ship everything across the Mississippi to friends and relatives in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and New York.

Even that’s slow this year – we’re waiting on one more thing, but it actually goes out to everyone on our list, and it’s been the biggest Christmas clusterf**k in quite the while.  It deserves its own blogpost and it will have one after the holidays, because if I explained it all now it’ll spoil the surprise.  By that I mean what everyone received, not the surprise we got when this seemingly simple process took on a screwed-up life of its own.  As of this writing, it’s only half here (don’t ask) and the other half is somewhere between South Carolina, us, and the ether.  In other words, both sender and deliverer have no clue whatsoever.  Great.

So we’ll slog along until the big holiday weekend, and do our traditional things (again, just the two of us).  We actually like it that way, as we had plenty of crowded, noisy celebrations with extended families to last us several lifetimes.  Good meal, good company (each other), and then we’ll look forward to the end of the year and the most important holiday of all – CAPITOL ONE BOWL WEEK!

Until then, Happy Holidays.  All of them.

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