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With a sigh, and some dejected looks, the boys are off. School is back in session and the countdown to exams is on. They were hoping, dreaming, praying for a snow day – to put off the reality of having to go back to school – even if it does mean seeing all their friends again – for one more day. I remember Christmas vacation. It is almost as hard as summer vacation. To put all those lazy days behind you and get back into the routine of school, homework, activities, everything that goes along with the regular grind…is, well, boring.

The magic of Christmas is over. The anticipation is gone. There is nothing to look forward to except the next day off, which doesn’t come for a couple weeks.

I feel for them, I was them not that long ago (at least in my own mind). No one wished for the phone to ring with that lovely automated message that school was closed this morning, more than me. To not have to get out of my nice warm bed, to not have to leave that layer of dreamy sleepiness, now that would have been a good present. Despite the snow (which appears to be measured in feet, not inches) that has fallen on the ground, school goes on, the vacation is over…there is work to be done. We live in a place where snow is snow, much like rain, school goes on. No ice, then there’s school. Simple as that. No wishing, no dreaming, no snowstorm that lasted for days to slow it down.

Happy First Day Back from Christmas Vacation!

We picked up my nephews from the train station this evening. The five boys are all happily comparing Christmas presents and snowboarding stuff and reconnecting. Everyone is anxious to get to the mountain tomorrow and do some snowboarding and skiing. The boys will be with us through New Years when their parents come up for the holiday. Lots of testosterone in the Ts house this week, clearly I am outnumbered – like that’s anything new around here. The dog and I may run and hide, but it’s all good. Lots of kids to cook and bake for. Loving it since I get to try out some of my new Christmas goodies in the process.

This is a picture of the auditorium at the boys’ high school. On the first day of Christmas vacation I lugged myself out of my nice warm house to witness a pretty cool sight. There were about 40 high schoolers who had also dragged themselves out on a morning with a wind chill of -6 and snow to come to school on the first day of their vacation. They were there to finish putting perishable items into food boxes that would be delivered by these same students all day long until each of the 100 “baskets” of food had been distributed to the families on the list.

Every seat in this auditorium was filled with a box of food. Each recipient family received between 4 and 5 boxes crammed full of food for a week. Turkey, potatoes, carrots, eggs, bread, milk, butter, apples, oranges, dry goods and personal hygiene items crammed the boxes which were all festively decorated by the students. Every year since 1976 the National Honor Society at the Mill River has been doing this – delivering food baskets to needy families. They started out with 5 baskets, this year they did just about 100. I am telling you that it was an awe inspiring sight. These kids were happy, spirited, helpful and polite. They came with cars, trucks, SUVs. They divided up into teams of two or three and loaded up their vehicles, got their assigned recipients and directions and took off. When they would finish delivering what fit in their vehicles, they would return to do it all over again, from 10 until 3 or 4 this afternoon – whenever the last food boxes were delivered.

To accomplish this, they worked to raise monies. They had a bottle drive, a car wash, a raffle and a benefit soup luncheon. They solicited donations from area businesses, they raised the $10,000 needed to accomplish this task. The entire school got into the spirit with each homeroom adopting a family to donate non-perishable items to and some of the TAs even came up with their own mini fundraisers to help the cause. One class sold tiny rubber duckies; another had a raffle of guessing the pieces of candy in a jar. Faculty members were on hand to help deliver baskets and to help coordinate the delivery and finishing touches this morning. It was an encouraging sight to see when you only read about the miserable things that happen in this world.

It is nice to know that these kids gave up the first day of their Christmas vacation, the whole day, to get up early and come and do this for other people. They are an inspiration and truly demonstrate the spirit of the season.

Kudos goes out to the young men and women who dedicated the start of their holiday to making other people’s holiday just a little merrier.

Evilwife on the move

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