Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Joy of Giving

Started my morning fairly early. The Logan Presbyterian Church in Audubon was having its thrift shop this week. I had more things to donate, including stuffed animals I weeded out of my Care Bears collection. This time, there were no mishaps on the way to Audubon, helped by my basket not being quite as jammed-full as last time. It was cold - really cold for the first time this year - but sunny and breezy, and my ride ended up being rather pleasant.

The thrift shop was busy when I arrived, but not quite as jam-packed as last time. Of course, I showed up a bit earlier, too, around quarter after 10. I left my things at the table where the volunteers sat and browsed around. I found a Normal Rockwell calender for 2012 that was donated by a local veteran's group, a cute blue teddy bear ornament for ten cents, and three records - Barbara Streisand's Broadway Album (replacing an aging cassette copy) and two 2-disc sets of Mummers music for New Year's.

I was thrilled when one of the volunteers told me as I was bringing my things to the table that the two porcelain dolls I donated earlier in the month had sold almost as soon as they put them out that morning. I hope a doll collector or some nice older woman will be able to take better care of them than I could.

After I left the thrift shop, I rode down the White Horse Pike and back into Oaklyn. I needed to deposit my big paycheck from yesterday in the bank. I didn't get there until after 11. There was a fairly long line, and some fairly annoying people, too. Thank goodness everything went fine when I finally made it up to the counter.

I found a heavily-taped package in the mailbox when I arrived home. My friend Rodney Walker apparently had two of the two-disc set of all four of the Beatles' Ed Sullivan shows and sent me one of the extra copies. That was so sweet of him! The only Beatles DVDs I have are the Help! and Hard Day's Night sets. 

Spent the rest of the afternoon making the Cherry Coconut Bars, doing things around the apartment, and watching Christmas In Connecticut. The Cherry Coconut Bars are the last of the five cookies I make every year. They're made like Lemon Squares, but with a cherry-coconut filling instead of a lemon filling. They didn't turn out as well as last year's. I overbaked the bottom cookie layer, and I let it sit too long after baking and some of them got stuck to the sides and wouldn't budge. I did get enough to give some to everyone I needed to.

The only extra on the Christmas In Connecticut DVD is a really good one, the Oscar-winning short subject A Star In the East. Master of accents J. Carrol Naish plays Tony, the frustrated owner of a hotel in the desert where everyone seems to have a complaint or a grudge...except the stranger who turns up in his cafe and starts talking about the brotherhood of man. When a young couple named Jose and Maria need shelter, Tony learns a lesson in the good of all people when the hotel's residents and three kindly cowboys band together to help them. Touching and gentle tale of kindness towards others; Naish is wonderful as the innkeeper who learns to believe in miracles.

I left for work early this afternoon. The Acme was having its big Holiday Luncheon, and I didn't want to miss out. I needed buttermilk and stamps, too. (I have two more cards left to mail.) I stuffed myself silly on more home-made cookies (my friend Jade and her mother make wonderful coconut macaroons and cranberry cookies), sausage and peppers, red velvet cake, pumpkin bread, green bean casserole, and home-made peppermint bark. There wasn't quite as much as there was at Thanksgiving, but it was still more than enough that I was stuffed when I finally went into work.

There are some advantages to working late. Work was mildly steady when I came in, dead the rest of the night. There were no major problems, and I was in and out.

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