It was raining again when I dragged my rear out of bed this morning. I ate breakfast as quickly as I could, then finished taking down the Christmas decorations that go in the big felt Santa Bag. These are either miscellaneous items that come out first - linens, needlepoint magnet poinsettia, hand-crocheted coasters, mistletoe, garlands - or items that are too big or awkward to fit anywhere else - nativity, wreath, box of New Year's party goods. Once again, it takes me far less time to put everything away than to hang it, even the garlands. I was done in a little over a half-hour.
Ran Yogi's Great Escape to cheer myself up on a gloomy day. Decided to stick with Hanna-Barbara, but in a decidedly lighter vein. This 1980's TV movie has Yogi, BooBoo, and a trio of hungry cubs on the run. Jellystone National Park is on the verge of closure, and Ranger Smith is threatening to send them all to the zoo! Groups of kids who are fans of Yogi help him and the others from one side of the country to the other. As they flee Ranger Smith and the tracker and his dog he hired to catch them, they encounter several of the other Hanna-Barbara funny animals of the time, like Wally Gator and Quick-Draw McGraw. Cute adventure gets extra points for including more of the HB roster and for some fairly funny moments.
I gave up waiting for the rain to slow down around quarter after 12. Rain or no rain, I had things that needed to be done today, starting with a quick stop at the Oaklyn Library for volunteering. Nothing much going on over there. I saw a librarian chatting with one of the older women customers as I organized DVDs. The kids' area had been reorganized, with many things shifted around. It all seemed in decent order. I headed out after 20 minutes.
Capitol Pizza is only a block from the Oaklyn Library. I headed there next for lunch. Had my slice of cheese, slice of mushroom, and can of Diet Coke while listening to Action News on Channel 6, then The Chew. Action News mostly talked about the weather. The rain would be continuing off and on, though lighter, for the next few hours. The Chew talked about healthy meals for the New Year.
It was past 1 PM when I made my way out. I ignored the rain and the traffic, heading down Cuthbert, Crystal Lake Road, and Haddon to Haddonfield. Glad I stuck to the sidewalk there. Some parts of the road by the Haddonfield Rite Aid had flooded, leaving huge puddles.
Arrived in Haddonfield right on time for my first counseling session in two months. I had a lot I wanted to discuss with Mrs. Stahl, literally everything from birth to death. I told her how excited I was about Rose's pregnancy and being an aunt again, and how happy I was that both my dads had largely overcome their bouts with cancer. Lauren and I set the date for this year's first vacation week - mid May. It's too hot and busy for us to hike around in June.
Work's not going as well. I can tolerate the new front end manager - he's really more fussy than anything - but the new head manager is nasty, demanding, and insensitive. I am looking forward to the grand re-opening, though. Something good did come out of those two months of remodeling. The store really does look great.
For the most part, I enjoyed my holidays. I loved playing with the kids at Thanksgiving, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were fun. I may have to consider taking a week in late November-early December off again this year. That vacation week I had last month was really helpful. Enjoyed my New Year's breakfast, too.
I just wish I hadn't had to learn about death during them. Like I said in an earlier entry, I'm not good with death. I haven't had to deal with a lot of it in my life. I had so much going on when Uncle Ken died in the fall of 2012, I don't think I ever really had the chance to process his death properly. I still miss Miss Ellie, my old landlady. I was in college when my first stepmother Kay and Dad's dad, my grandfather Pop Pop, died. I don't remember much about either. Most of my other grandparents died when I was young, or I hadn't seen them in years.
Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' passings hit me hard. A celebrity death hasn't effected me this much since Davy Jones of the Monkees also died of a sudden heart attack on Leap Year Day in 2012. That two vibrant, vital women, whose films I've been watching and admiring all my life, were there one day and suddenly not the next...especially after all the praying I did for Carrie...it's still really hard to take.
Writing has helped. I did more writing last year than I have since my early years in Wildwood. I wrote 12 completed Star Wars fanfics (5 of them chapter-length), four original short stories (and just finished a fifth I began last year), two Star Wars historical fanfics I haven't finished, and I completed one short story I began so long ago, I can't even remember when I started it originally anymore. I also posted at least three or four older short stories that were no longer on the internet or were on my website.
I don't mind having New Year's resolutions, but I try to keep them simple. I want to finish the two Star Wars historical stories, write more original stories, save for vacation so I'm not broke after my second one, and try to figure out what to do about the three Han/Leia and Han/Leia/Luke-centric stories I had planned that are now being pushed back in the queue after Fisher's death. I know better than to make big, sweeping resolutions. I'd rather do things I might actually do.
For once, Action News was right. The rain was, indeed, slowing down as I was heading home. Even in the upper 40's, it was too cold for a water ice. I did treat myself to a rather tasty apple-filled doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts in Oaklyn.
By the time I got home, the rain was done, and so was I. I spent the rest of the evening finishing my fable. The bear is now happily living with her mother and her cinnamon bear child. She even returns to telling stories about the spirits in the stars. She's reunited with her old friends the falcon and the deer (now a buck), while her daughter finds new friends in a spirited doe, a sweet river otter, and a majestic condor from South America.
There's one story she's never told. She finally reveals how close she and the falcon were...and regrets it. Other animals shun or chastise her for having fallen in love outside of her own species. The falcon tells her it's not so bad. It's in the past now. They have all the time in the world to contemplate the future.
But the bear doesn't. One day, she collapses while on her way home, her heart having given out. Her last request is for the stars to continue to let her...and her stories...shine. The stars hear her, and she soars into the heavens, now the brightest star among them. Heartbroken, her dancing bear mother begs to be taken, too, and also becomes a star.
The young cinnamon bear and their little dog friend are inconsolable. The mother bear and grandmother bear were their world. The buck reassures them that their loved ones will be there every night, shining brightly for the whole world to see. And the falcon soars into the sky, his wings silhouetted against the bright light of the stars, as he forever searches for the spirits of the dancing bear and his beloved, lost storytelling bear in the hopes of being reunited with them one more time.
I don't know how well this came out. I've never written a fable or folk tale before...but I love bears and stories as much as I love musicals and Star Wars. If you're interested, it's posted at my writing blog and at Archive of Our Own. (It's really an original work, so I didn't post it at Fanfiction.Net, for obvious reasons.)
The Bear Who Told Stories at Archive Of Our Own
The Bear Who Told Stories at My Writing Blog
Charlie showed up on my doorstep just as I was writing the last lines of the story. Evidently, my refrigerator was making his downstairs vibrate, or something. Turns out it's the compressor. All the ice in the freezer is damaging it. I have no idea how to defrost a freezer without making a huge mess. Charlie said he'd do it Thursday or Friday morning.
I finished so late, it was nearly 8 PM by the time I was eating leftovers for dinner and watching the end of Yogi's Great Escape. Moved onto Minions after I'd settled on the couch. For centuries, little yellow fellows, the Minions, have been searching for the perfect bad guy to aid...but they always seem to screw things up and kill off their villain. In the late 1960's, one Minion, Kevin, takes two others off into the wide, wide, world to find the perfect bad guy. They think they've discovered her in the wildly popular Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). Scarlet wants them to steal the Crown of England, so she can rule the empire and finally have all the glamour she thinks she deserves. The minions first take the crowns for themselves, then regret it when an angry Scarlet takes it back...and they accidentally end up saving England and the monarchy.
Boy, was this a strange one. The story was bizarre and hard to follow, and it just wasn't as much fun as the Despicable Me movies. Despite this being a huge hit about a year and a half ago, I think it's just ok. (It does get props for its awesome late 60's British Invasion soundtrack, including songs by the Who and the Beatles.) Fine if you have kids or young teens who are fans of this series or for 60's rock fans, cute but unnecessary for anyone else.