Christmas, during Thanksgiving, on Granny Annie’s front porch


I know, I know. What a weird title, and weird picture to go with it!. Well, it’s a weird gloomy day, and follows two other weird days, Thanksgiving and yesterday, since I have been sick in bed most of the time with a low-grade fever and “the best made plans” . . . etc. Which meant that Sean and Kiera and Drew and Colin got to hang out together without me (which was probably a good thing; have my sons ever been together without their mother for so long as adults? And of course, the kids adore their Uncle Colin).

Since Sean and the kids fly back to Boston early tomorrow morning, I did want to get a bit more time with them. But Colin feared coming down with whatever I’ve still got. So I suggested we all hang out on my front porch while the kids showed me what they got for their $20 each from Goodwill. That new store, by the way, is twice as big as the old one was, the size of a large supermarket, which is what used occupy that building, and already stuffed full of stuff.

I’ve noticed, while shopping at Goodwill, that there are a lot more people rummaging through the color-coded aisles now; I even ran into two professor friends of mine. I think we were all shocked to see each other there. Why? I’ve been shopping at Goodwill for everything except underwear, pajamas, shoes and outerwear for at least seven years. No need to pay $75 when I could pay $3. Ecopod furniture we usually find free, or at garage sales. Or on the street. Even got our famous mobile firepit that way. A friend of the ecopod unloaded it off his truck and brought it back to the patio.

Why doesn’t everyone do this? Get and exchange stuff this way? Make this the goal: to live mostly below the money culture. As permaculturist Peter Bane once said, “We could stop manufacturing stuff right now and have enough for 30 years.” Well, maybe not 30 years, but ten anyway. “Except for the Garden Tower!” Colin piped up when I said that. We all laughed. Yes, Colin’s Garden Tower Project is getting rolling on an international level now, and may it grow and prosper to fill the world with compost-tube container towers that rotate and can grow 50 plants (or even 100 plants) at a time! Meanwhile, the Garden Tower just won another international design award. Don’t know its name. One of their distributors filled out an application, and once again, the Tower won!

So here goes, Kiera and Drew’s Christmas during Thanksgiving on Granny Annie’s front porch.

First Drew. His big prize, a “50s Style Snow Cone Maker.” And it is! I remember those snow cones from high school basketball games: 1958-1960. Zowee!


Next up, the kind of shirt every other nerdy 12-year-old boy wouldIMG_2759 die for.

And he does love bacon.

Drew got a bunch more shirts with his $20, but none of them had writing. So let’s turn to Kiera’s haul.

Probably her best find: a jacket with her school colors!

Other stuff too, mostly tops, like this one. IMG_2766

Granny Annie: “Kiera, does everybody wear ripped jeans?”
Drew, with disdain: “It’s mostly the girls.”


Our Christmas during Thanksgiving on porch session ended with a bit of puppy Shadow adoration.IMG_2769

Oh, and as part of the deal, I told the kids I’d personally ship their new Goodwill stuff.

So thus it was we pulled out of a tailspin (at least from my point of view — not seeing the kids and Sean hardly at all during their short three days here) into a fun time.

Our Show and Tell ended with stiff hugs from all three of them (don’t want to get too close to the still feverish one!). Oh well!





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