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A very passable Christmas

December 29, 2009

On reflection, this was a pretty good Christmas, not entirely because of the blizzard reducing the headcount around the house.  I was able to hide at the office most of Christmas Eve day, venturing out to go home just in time for supper. 

Christmas Day was shaping up to be pretty much a non-starter, so I laid a nice fire, grabbed the new T. Roosevelt biography I had bought for myself, and settled down to intermittently read and watch the snow blowing through the back yard.  This unproductive time was curtailed by the arrival of the new grandson who is all go and strongly resembles his Uncle James in looks and his Uncle Lee in build.

BKM chose to floor me in the gift giving department this year.  She pulled me down stairs to the basement where she had directed Lee to place a large box containing a 10-inch Craftsman table saw.  She adopted frugal Scandinavian habits shortly after we were married, but inexplicably decided to act on one of my hints this year.  It left me speechless; I had decided to go low this year and had settled on getting her an apron from a fancy San Francisco kitchen goodie store and a copy of Nevada Barr’s new book.

Christmas was completed the following day when my sister-in-law and her husband finally were able to travel the 45 miles down I-90 to Rapid City.  She delivered my standing present of a personal container of her flat bread.  It is a tradition of long-standing and is much-anticipated.

My favorite gear story springing from the season concerns one of Lee’s gifts.  We were equipping him for his North Woods adventure, so base layers, special order Sorrel boots, Buck pocket knife, and such were all in the mix.  What he lacked was wool — shirt, socks, pants.  BKM sent me off to score a wool shirt as a tree-present for him.

I went to my standby store, Work Warehouse, only to discover there wasn’t a wool shirt on the premises.  I inquired and an old salesman snorted, telling me that he knew why I wanted it, but “nobody understands wool nowadays.”  They no longer carry wool apparel.  He didn’t know of a store in town that did, but recommended I try a little wool shop outside Hill City.  Having been there before I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be stocking a lot of 3XL wool shirts of varying weights.

I proceeded on my quest and hit Cabelas, the Tractor Supply Store, Runnings, and in order to say that I had indeed left no stone unturned, the local Scheels Store.  I wandered in Scheels for a while seeing nothing but cotton and fleece, and then asked a sales girl if they had any wool shirts.  She looked around in circle and told me no, but I could order one. 

I thanked her and continued wandering and poking around.  Finally, on an out-of-the-way sale rack I spotted some black pull-overs that looked something like wool.  I checked them out and discovered a treasure trove of 100% Merino wool light weight wool pull-overs — with and without collars.  Every one of them was marked down from $99 to $26.  The clearance of the last of their wool inventory.  I bought two for Lee and one for myself.

Sometimes it pays to be old school.

— Margadant

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 29, 2009 6:22 pm

    We really didn’t do too many presents other than the two grand plane ticket to bring her home to pick up the fancy inlaid ukulele I bought. She’s in Mpls visiting college friends yesterday and today. Leaves on New Years Day. She’s as happy as I’ve ever seen her. Bangkok seems to be a good thing for her right now.

    I’ve had a table-saw for years. I really need more projects to justify it.

    Wool is making a comeback with certain elements of the bicycling crowd, even to marketing wool reproductions of the old jerseys, which were all wool, even the short sleeve warm weather shirts. (These work great while you’re moving and sweating. A bitch at rest with no breeze.)

    My Buck was Kirby’s. I have knives from my brother, my uncle, my father-in-law, my father and grandfather. They die, I get the knife. A damn grim way to collect knives.

  2. December 29, 2009 6:23 pm

    And none is a Randall.

  3. December 30, 2009 9:30 am

    We’re glad to see that you found the wool shirts you were looking for at our store – on sale, no less. We enjoyed reading your post, and wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!

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